Playing on the big stage is nothing new for Cameron Adams and Ian Carter.
Only this time the stage in Atlanta on Sunday will be a little bit bigger than the Stubblefield Center in Fort Smith.
Carter (Northside) and Adams (Southside) squared off in the ‘Battle of Rogers Avenue’ in their high school days. Now they suit up for Drury University and will face Metro State in the division II national championship game.
"It’s so great for a chance to play for a national championship,” Adams said. “In high school I didn’t get to play in the state championship game because we lost in the semifinals so it means a lot. I kind of feel like I let down the Southside fans. As I’m playing this and the championship game, I’m thinking of all those fans. I didn’t win that but I know a few of them are still following me and I’m just hoping they can feel some of the same success I can feel from winning this game.”
The two went to different high schools but both played at Howard Elementary and on various travel teams growing up.
Though they are teammates now, Carter isn’t shy about how things went just a few years ago when they were rivals.
“We always talk about how I used to beat him down at UAFS when we played back there,” Carter said. “He knows I was better than him in high school.”
“He got the best of me when we were in high school but now that we are on the same team it is so great,” Adams said. “Instead of being upset with each other’s success we can relish it.”
The pair go toe-to-toe in practice every day and the coaching staff said it’s pretty easy to see there is history between the two.
“You can tell there is a little back ground there with their friendship and maybe some of that old school rivalry from high school days,” Drury assistant Ja Havens said. “Both of them are very athletic. Both of them have a lot of pride so we get some good hook ups in practice and neither one of them like to be out done.”
Be sure to check out Wednesday's story to see how the pair got to the title game.
Editor’s Note: Drury vs Metro State can be seen on Channel 5 Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.