Former Holliday Eagle in tragic drowning accident

Holliday Eagle Sam Shirley with fan Max Owen in November 2012

Former Holliday Eagle Sam Shirley tragically lost his life in a drowning accident at Lake Arrowhead last Friday afternoon, according to Game Warden Richard Key.

Shirley is said to have swam about 100 yards into the lake after a float that blew into the water. He called for help when he was overcome, but disappeared. His body was recovered about two hours later.

Former Holliday Elementary and High School Principal Shannon Owen said about Shirley, “I was blessed to be Sam Shirley’s principal in elementary and high school. Sam and my daughter, Alli, graduated together. We are praying for the Shirley family and all of his classmates and teammates. This is such a tragic loss of a young life. You are definitely a HERO just as that uniform you have on says!”

Shirley was selected to play football in the 76th Annual Oil Bowl Game. He graduated from Holliday High School in 2013. His mother is currently a Special Ed teacher at Holliday ISD.

Owen said that Shirley has been a coach for two years. This year he was coaching football and baseball at Weatherford High School. Last year he was a coach in Iowa Park.

“I have no doubt he was a positive influence on many young athletes just as he did my son Max,” Owens said.

We at the Archer County News wish to express our condolences to the family and know you remain in our prayers.

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