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Football player’s journey beyond the field 

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The Bobcats rush the field Sept. 2 at the opening of the first home game of the season at Bobcat Stadium.
Photo by Victor Rodriguez | Staff Photographer

Scheduled to graduate this December, senior inside linebacker Gabe Loyd opens up about his experience as a football player and his personal life.

Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Loyd had a normal childhood experience that included going outside and playing with his four siblings and the neighborhood children.

“I was outside a lot because we used to play in the streets with the neighborhood kids,” Loyd said. “I had a normal childhood.”

Loyd began his football career at a young age when his mother, Toyetta Loyd, thought it would be a good idea to sign him up to release energy. Loyd was not too fond of the sport until he realized he could tackle people.

“I was really a hyper kid and football was an outlet,” Loyd said. “My mom saw that I was a little aggressive and decided to sign me up. I didn’t like it for the first few weeks until I started hitting people. From there, I knew I could do it.”

The St. Louis native received All-State honors his junior and senior year of high school. Although he was one of the top athletes in Missouri after being named a Missouri All-Star, a stress fracture in his foot led him to Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kansas.

“The end of my senior year, I had a screw in my foot from a while ago,” Loyd said. “It was affecting recruiting because I couldn’t perform at the camps like I wanted to. So, I decided that the junior college route was the best route for me.”

Loyd’s first experience away from home was hard on him. Homesickness took a toll on him his first year.“It was tough. It was a grind,” Loyd said. “There was homesickness, and I just didn’t want to be there. My second year I found a family, and I was a lot more comfortable.”

Loyd transferred to Texas State in the spring of 2016 to continue his education and football career.

“It was weird my first year, but my second year was a lot more comfortable,” Loyd said. “It is so different than what I’m used to. The scenery is nice; the people are nice and it’s really open.”

Months after arriving in San Marcos, Texas, Loyd was voted the 2016 team captain by the team and coaching staff.

This was an honor because he had just transferred over, and his new teammates really respected him. Loyd was very appreciative of his position.

“I felt like my team really respected me and looked up to me as a leader, and I really appreciated that,” Loyd said.

Loyd was voted team captain for the 2017 season by his teammates along with three other veterans: Bryan London II, Gabe Schrade and Easy Anyama.

Although home is far away, his family attended the closest game to Missouri which was in Arkansas last year.

“My parents did make it to the game when we played in Arkansas last season,” Loyd said. “It is kind of a far trip from St. Louis to Texas.”

Loyd is pursuing a degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. The linebacker chose his degree because it was interesting to him, and all his Fort Scott credits would transfer over. Loyd was focused on graduating on time.

“To be honest, from Fort Scott, it was if my credits would transfer over and me graduating on time,” Loyd said. “It’s also interesting because I always thought about being a lawyer.”

Loyd is still unsure of what he wants to do after graduation, but law school is a thought for him.

“After graduation, I’ll see where life takes me,” Loyd said. “I may possibly go to law school. I don’t know.”

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