SPRINGDALE -- Opposites attract, just ask former Farmington cornerback Javan Jowers, who played football; and his girlfriend, Sarah James Stone, a former center for the Prairie Grove girls basketball team.
Due to gender differences there was no head-to-head competition, yet the school spirit which permeates both sides involved in the rivalry was present when one watched the other compete in the rivalry.
Jowers received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, at Colorado Springs, Colo., from Congressmen Steve Womack. Accompanied by Stone, he recently attended a sendoff hosted by Congressman Steve Womack for appointees to various military academies which included Jowers, and former Gravette wide receiver Daniel Huntsman. The Enterprise-Leader interviewed them separately at that event held at Har-Ber High School cafeteria in Springdale on June 2, 2018.
Javan Jowers Interview
WCEL: "All right, Javan, as a Farmington Cardinal you've had an opportunity to develop a relationship with one of your key rivals and she's female so you did not compete head-to-head against Sarah James Stone, but you had an opportunity to watch her compete head-to-head against your hometown, the Farmington Cardinals, and can you give a little bit of a perspective on that?"
JJ: "One thing I admire about Sarah James is just her determination, and she was also a senior on their basketball team. So she really rallied up the troops. They had about 10 people. They didn't expect to have that good of a year with how few seniors they had and just the limited numbers, but you could just tell, you could see her determination. I know Coach (Kevin) Froud works them hard. He's got a good reputation for that, but you could just see how determined she got everybody else. Not only her, but she rallied the troops and they advanced to their Regional tournament. It was just really special to see someone I'd gotten to know get a team and really just see them transform over the season that was largely due to her."
WCEL: "Although she wasn't always Farmington's opponent, like in the district tournament she's not. Farmington was not in that league last year, but in rare cases some teams I've known have given their opponent a standing ovation. We're not talking about that specifically here, but just in general, did you get to the point to where you were admiring the characteristics an opponent brought to the court?"
JJ: "I think that's one thing that I've had to work on going through high school is that, 'Yes, I am competing against this person, and whether they're from Prairie Grove or they could be from Maumelle, Morrilton, or Harrison; but realizing they put in hard work just like I have all year. And so, although whether they beat me or I beat them, just having respect for your opponent I think is important because that's where you have good, sportsmanlike games. You don't have to worry about any dirty stuff happening when you tend to respect your opponent and the fans and everybody around you. I think it makes for a lot better sports atmosphere."
Sarah James Stone Interview
WCEL: "Let me ask you a question about this young man, Javan Jowers, who is going to the Air Force Academy. He is from your rival, Farmington."
SJ: "Yes, he is."
WCEL: "You being a girl, him being a boy, there was not head-to-head competition, but you've got school spirit and were there things you saw him do on the football field that made you say, 'I admire that young man, the way that he competes even though you obviously were rooting for the Tigers.'"
SJ: "I admire his hard work and dedication. He's always going to the early morning lifts, going to practice, and ... "I love his attitude. He's uplifting and he's always encouraging his team when they're down, and he's an awesome football player, too. That's great. He contributes a lot."
According to Farmington coach Mike Adams, Jowers was the Cardinals' best cover guy which dictated a move from safety as a junior to cornerback for his senior season in 2017. Assuming primary responsibilities in coverage didn't diminish Jowers' willingness to track down the football. He earned All-Conference honors as a senior making 71 total tackles, the majority on his own. Jowers had 54 solo tackles, 17 assisted tackles, and 2 interceptions which he returned for 29 yards.
This month Jowers goes to Colorado Springs, Colo. to begin four years of college-level courses along with military training and will graduate as as a second lieutenant.Sports on 07/11/2018
Print Headline: Romantic Chapter Among Rivalry