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story.lead_photo.caption MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER Zeke Laird (left), a 2017 Prairie Grove graduate and Army officer in training at West Point, gives some advice to Javan 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.

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 though 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."

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Sports on 06/06/2018

Print Headline: Advice From Rival

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