Ad­vice From Ri­val

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS WEEK - By Mark Humphrey

SPRING­DALE — For­mer high school ri­vals, Zeke Laird, Prairie Grove Class of 2017; and Ja­van Jowers, Farm­ing­ton Class of 2018; met in a neu­tral set­ting far from the foot­ball grid­iron.

Laird is an Army of­fi­cer in train­ing, who will en­ter his sopho­more year at­tend­ing the U.S. Mil­i­tary Academy, at West Point, N.Y. this fall, while Jowers will at­tend the U.S. Air Force Academy, at Colorado Springs, Colo. Each re­ceived their ap­point­ment from Con­gress­man Steve Wo­mack, of Rogers, who hosted a send­off for ser­vice academy ap­pointees on Satur­day at Spring­dale Har-Ber High School cafe­te­ria.

The two ath­letes com­peted against each other in high school

as part of the sto­ried Farm­ing­ton ver­sus Prairie Grove ri­valry. Laird was on hand to give some ad­vice to Jowers.

“Ob­vi­ously, the two academies have dif­fer­ences, but they also have sim­i­lar­i­ties,” Laird said, ex­plain­ing he tried to give Jowers ad­vice that would per­tain to both based on what Laird has ex­pe­ri­enced.

Laird told Jowers, ‘Ba­si­cally, the first year is tough. You’re the low­est class there. They treat you like you’re the low­est class there. There’s all the ex­tra rules for the fresh­men to kind of ac­cept you into the academy.”

Laird pre­sented in­for­ma­tion he thought would help Jowers, ex­hort­ing him, “Em­brace your role (as a fresh­man), put your head down, get through it, it’s go­ing to be tough, but that’s what makes it spe­cial, it’s tough, and it’ll be over be­fore you know it.”

MARK HUMPHREY EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

Zeke Laird (left), a 2017 Prairie Grove grad­u­ate and Army of­fi­cer in train­ing at West Point, gives some ad­vice to Jowers, a 2018 Farm­ing­ton grad­u­ate who will at­tend the U.S. Air Force Academy. The two ath­letes com­peted against each other in high school as part of the sto­ried Farm­ing­ton vs. Prairie Grove ri­valry.

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