PRAIRIE GROVE (KFSM)--Over the course of one season, Zeke Laird has blossomed as Prairie Grove's quarterback. The senior had the experience of starting on defense last season, when the Tigers finished state runner up to Nashville.
"Last year on defense I would get the calls from the sidelines and call it out. So that kind of helped, I think the team trusted me a little more going into this season knowing I had been on the field last year," Laid said.
Head coach Danny Abshier echoes that sentiment. "It's not like we're getting anything we didn't expect out of him. He's surprising in that he's handled everything so well."
Like any human, Laird was antsy before his first start. "Beginning of the year I was kind of tentative. Didn't want to come in and mess up trying to fill [graduated quarterback] Sam Dodd's shoes cause he did a great job last year. I wanted to live up to the expectations so I was kind of nervous, but I really think I've gotten confidence as the season has gone along," Laird said.
"He's got tons more confidence, you can see him making throws. He first came out maybe a little timid but he got really comfortable with it and is making big plays for us," said fellow senior wide receiver Isaac Disney. "He's definitely our leader for sure. He can tell all other ten guys out there what they need to do on that play if they have any questions to ask."
Laird models his game after an older quarterback who also hails from the south. "I look up to Brett Favre, the way he carried himself on the field, the way he always made plays, the way he made things happen I always looked up to him. That's why I'm number four on the field," Laid said.
Prairie Grove hosts Central Arkansas Christian at 7pm on Friday in the second round of the class 4A playoffs.