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December 21, 2013

$50K endowment fund created in memory of former JHS football player

JACKSONVILLE — Joe Villavisencio had a positive impact on his Fightin' Indian teammates at Jacksonville High School (2005-2008) as well as various members of the Texas A&M football team, where he toiled on the Aggie offensive line for three seasons following his high school graduation.

Affectionately known as “Joe V.," Villaviscencio's young life ended when he succumbed to injuries suffered in an automobile accident Dec. 22, 2011 as he returned home from College Station for the holidays.

Though Joe V. is no longer with us, he will continue to leave an imprint on Jacksonville High students for many, many years to come.

The Jacksonville Education Foundation (JEF) announced this week that a $50,000 endowment fund had been established in memory of Villavisencio.

The endowment was made possible by the benevolence of one of Villavisencio's former Texas A&M teammates, Arlington, Texas native Luke Joeckel.

Joeckel, who played along side Villavisencio on the Aggie O-line, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and is currently a member of the Jacksonville Jaguar football club.

“I did this to honor Joey and so he would not be forgotten,” Joeckel said. “Joey had so much influence on my life and on others.

“Joey would have been all of our boss and the most successful of all those who played with him.”

A scholarship will be awarded each spring to a graduating senior that is both a student-athlete and a member of the Jacksonville Indian Band.

According to Matt Montgomery, Chairman of the Donor and Finance Committee for the JEF, scholarship funds are expected to grow and to last for 30-40 years.

Endowment funds of this size are rare for Jacksonville.

“We were absolutely blown away by Luke's (Joeckel) donation,” Montgomery said. “It just speaks to the impact that Joe  had on this young man's life and the lives of so many others.

“First (Texas A&M quarterback) Johnny Manziel salutes Joe in his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech last year, and now Luke sets this up. It's an incredible donation to the Jacksonville Education Foundation.”

Music was an important part of Villavisencio's life, as was athletics, therefore Joeckel stipulated that the scholarship be awarded to a student-athlete that also is involved in band.

“Luke called Joe a 'true Renaissance Man' and I agree,” Montgomery stated. “It is so unique to be able  to do both (athletics and band), and Joe did it so well.

“I can still see Joe taking off those pads every half time and slipping on his instrument and joining the band in the end zone for halftime. Not many people are able to do both as successfully as Joe did and that's why Luke said that he wanted to honor Joe and his memory with this

scholarship.”

Joeckel said Villavisencio was the epitome of what a student athlete should be and that he will always remember him for his hard work both on the football field and in the classroom.

For those who may believe simultaneous success in athletics and music to be difficult to attain, Villavisencio left us with a bit of wisdom (as told to Montgomery) on the subject.

“It's not hard ... you just have to work at it,” Villavisencio said.

 

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