Gardiner’s Byrd named All-State, All-Conference

Ryan Peerboom — Enterprise Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
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Elijah Byrd (1) carries the ball down the sideline in a game against Sheridan this season.

Enterprise photo by Ryan Peerboom

Gardiner senior running back and linebacker Elijah Byrd has been named to the Class C All-State team after a monster season for the Bruins. Byrd will also play in the 6-man All-Star game in the spring. Not surprisingly, he was also named first team All-Conference.

Byrd was a leader on both sides of the ball for the Bruins. He carried the load on offense and swarmed to the ball on defense on his way to leading the Bruins in nearly every statistical category.

Gardiner head coach Greg Bohun said he was excited for Byrd.

“I couldn’t be happier with Elijah’s All-State selection,” Bohun said in a written statement. “He’s been the backbone of our program for the last three years.”

Byrd’s impact extended beyond what the stats could show.

“(He was) voted, by the team, as captain his sophomore, junior, and senior years, he has been the defensive play caller throughout,” Bohun said. “He deserves the recognition and we are all proud of him in Gardiner.”

Byrd’s hard work during games was a byproduct of the effort he gave in practice.

“He’s a guy that never misses practice, always gives one-hundred percent, and (is) always there for his teammates and classmates,” Bohun added.

Bohun said he was glad he gets to see him suit up one more time at the high school level.

“We wish him good luck in the future and are excited to watch him play in the 6-Man All-Star Game,” he said.

Byrd finished the season with 1,506 yards rushing on 144 carries for an impressive average of over 10 yards-per-carry. Through the air, he also led the team in receiving yards, 351, on just 17 catches. In all, Byrd accounted for 228 total points with 36 touchdowns and over 2,500 all-purpose yards.

When the Bruins were on defense, Byrd refused to rest. His nose for the football led him to 94 total tackles with seven tackles for loss. He intercepted four passes and returned two of them for touchdowns.