PREP CROSS COUNTRY: St. Bernard’s Eli Loyd signs with Jacksonville State

Front seated (l-r): Eli Loyd front and center is surrounded by his sister, Gracie (PS ’19); Mom, Brandi Outzen, and his dad, Brandon Loyd. Standing (l-r): Grandparents, Larry and Sandra Snow; Step-father, Hugh Outzen; Assistant Coach, Deacon Tim Vaughn; Athletic Director/Coach, William Calvert; St. Bernard President, Fr. Joel Martin, OSB; Assistant Coach, Katie Clemmons; and Grandparents, Joey and Belinda Loyd. (photo courtesy of St. Bernard)

CULLMAN, Ala. — Eli Loyd, a Senior, at St. Bernard Prep School recently accepted an academic scholarship to Jacksonville State University as well as an invitation to walk on to the Gamecock’s Cross-Country team. 

Athletic Director, William Calvert commented “Eli has accomplished a lot in his abbreviated 2-year career at SBP.  He certainly has the potential to compete at the college level.  JSU Cross Country is currently in a rebuilding stage with a young new coaching staff.  I think Eli will contribute greatly to that rebuild. “ 

Eli transferred to St. Bernard his sophomore year from Fairview High School in Cullman County. Due to AHSAA transfer rules, he could not compete for his first year. However, Eli used that year to train with the team and made every practice possible during cross country and track seasons.  His junior year of cross country was a breakout experience for Loyd.  He quickly became one of the top runners in the area and consistently finished high for Saint Bernard Prep at meets. He helped the Saints win their 7th straight sectional championship and a 3rd place finish at the 3A State Meet.  He earned a place on the All-Section 3 Team.   Eli and the Saints were off to a great start in outdoor track in the spring of 2020 achieving a number 1 state ranking after the first two weeks. Then came the corona virus pandemic and the successful season had to be cancelled.

Eli took advantage of his off time and trained all spring and summer for cross country.  It paid off with an outstanding cross-country season for Loyd and the Saints.   SBP won the 3A Section 3 Championship on the way to the 2020 3A State Championship.   Eli was named again to the All-Section 3 Team and missed earning All State by 1 second placing 16th in state meet.

“Loyd’s running career has been short, but it’s certainly been successful.” Calvert said, “His best running is definitely ahead of him on the collegiate level and we are excited to watch him compete!”