Former Ceres High School multi-sport athlete Marcellus Boykins was recognized last week for making a difference in Southwest Louisiana.
Boykins was named the McNeese State University Athletic Department’s Community Impact Student Athlete of the Year during the Second Annual Rowdy Awards on April 29.
“I’m overwhelmed with joy,” said Boykins, a junior, who competes in track and field at the NCAA Division-I level. “It’s an honor. My name is on the award but I can’t take all the credit. I couldn’t have done it without help from the administration, faculty members and my peers. We did the work, collectively.”
Boykins, 21, helped organize a toy drive around Christmas time for underprivileged elementary-school children in the Lake Charles area for the second year in a row through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
“We physically handed each kid a toy,” said Boykins, vice president and social media executive for SAAC. “Words can’t describe the feeling. There was a lot of joy on their faces. We played games with them during recess. At one point, I was an elementary kid looking up to high school and college athletes. The roles flipped. It’s crazy to think about.”
Boykins also founded a campus-wide recycling initiative at McNeese State last November.
“The University didn’t have one in place,” Boykins said. “We want to try to help save the planet as much as possible. We collected 800 pounds of recycling materials in just four months.”
Boykins was also nominated for the 2019-20 Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award.
The winner will be announced in mid-May.
“I’m just happy being nominated,” he said. “Winning or not doesn’t matter. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a Division-I athlete. The fact that I’m living it, I want to inspire the next kid who has the dream I once had.”
Boykins and his McNeese State track and field teammates had their 2020 outdoor season canceled this spring due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Boykins, a natural sciences major who’s minoring in both mathematics and communications. “But everybody has to deal with it. I still have two outdoor seasons and one indoor season of eligibility left.”
Boykins graduated from Ceres High School in 2017.
Seeded 15th, Boykins soared a personal-best 44 feet, 3 inches en route to an eighth-place finish in the triple jump at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet during his senior year.
He took third at the Division-IV-V finals and second at the WAC championships.
A three-year starter at receiver in football, Boykins caught 151 passes for 2,144 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He ranked fifth in the Sac-Joaquin Section in receptions (78), ninth in yards (1,145) and 10th in touchdowns (9) as the 2016 Bulldogs posted a 4-6 overall record and placed fourth in the Western Athletic Conference standings (2-3).
Boykins earned first-team, all-WAC honors as a senior and sophomore.
He played in the Central California Lions and North-South Rotary all-star games.