Walkin’ the walk, runnin’ the run.
Here’s how Bryant senior Joey Colvert’s attitude towards cross country running has evolved:
“It relates to my faith extremely well,” he said. “It’s a very good analogy to use when I consider my faith in Christ along with running — the training, the daily commitment to it, just outstanding, giving my all for it. I’ve always loved that about it when I finally made the two connect.”
On Thursday, Colvert, the son of Craig and Robin Colvert, signed to take his running ability, his faith and his hard work to Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, where he will continue his career and his education next fall under scholarship.
“Joey, to me, is the definition of a high-character kid,” said Bryant coach Steve Oury. “He’s a hard worker and he is a kid who is driven by his faith. He walks the walk.”
Colvert added, “I’m very blessed that I’ve been given the opportunity to be able to do this. I honestly didn’t think I would, because I was the middle of the pack, with decent, average times for a senior in high school. I figured I was the average kid. I wouldn’t have a fast enough time to do that.”
“We’re a young program,” said WBC coach Andrew Watson. “We’re just about to start our third year. We’ve got a great core of runners coming in and I know Joey’s going to fit right in with the rest of the guys.
“When you build a program, you have to be very strategic about the kinds of runners you bring in, high-character, good values, strong student and they’ve got to love to run as well,” he explained. “Joey really fits that complete profile.”
Colvert reached a personal milestone during last fall’s season with the Hornets, recording a time under 18 minutes, according to Oury. He also was part of the Hornets’ contingent that ran in the prestigious Chile Pepper Cross County festival at the University of Arkansas and in the Class 7A State meet.
“He’s faced some adversity with injuries during his career and he’s always had a positive attitude, which, I think, has really helped him and his rehabilitation,” Oury related. “He’s always been a kid that, I know, his parents are proud of and I’ve been proud of. It’s been a privilege to coach him. I think they’re getting a great young man.”
Colvert said he was also considering the University of Ozarks in Clarksville.
“But they didn’t show as much interest in me as Coach Watson did,” he said. “Originally, I reached out to (Watson) last year just to see if they would even look at me. He got back to me a couple of weeks later and we started talking from there. After this year’s performance, he decided to offer me a scholarship. I took him up on it.”
Beyond the interest from Watson, Colvert explained what appealed to him about the school, saying, “Mostly, the Christian environment, being called to ministry in some form or fashion. And also the fact that it’s a really small college — it’s smaller than our senior class (at Bryant) — and that I’d get to know everybody personally, which seems very nice to do.”
“Joey’s a good all-around runner and I think for Williams Baptist, we have to look at student-athletes that are not only good with cross country but good in the classroom as well,” Watson said. “So I’m really kind of looking for the big picture when it comes to recruiting cross country runners. Joey’s got some speed and I think that, over the next four years, we’ll see him really develop.”