Plainview's James Bowker and Kingston's Jared Hayes have played against each other before, most recently, this past spring.
Tonight, in the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State baseball game, they'll play against each other one last time before joining forces at Murray State in the fall.
Bowker will pitch for the Large West team and Hayes will play infield for the Large East team, scheduled for a 7 p.m. first pitch at Oral Roberts in Tulsa.
It's an opportunity that many likely won't experience and these two are taking advantage of it.
"It's a great experience," Hayes said. "Just being able to meet new guys, who are all great players and be able to play baseball, the game I love, is just an awesome experience."
Hayes batted .447 and totaled 33 RBIs at the plate, while also compiling a 1.97 ERA on the mound to lead the Redskins to the school's first state tournament appearance in 25 years.
"So far it's been a neat experience," Bowker said. "No ones worried about overthrowing or anything like that. I think we're all just excited for the game and are ready to go have fun out there."
The 2013 All-Ardmoreite Pitcher of the Year, Bowker finished his senior campaign 12-1 with a 0.21 ERA and 107 strikeouts, one of the best seasons in school history that led Plainview to the Class 4A state championship game.
Tonight's game won't be the first for these two this summer, as both have been honing their skills at well-known summer league teams, preparing for the fall. Bowker played for the Burkburnett (Texas) Black Sox and Hayes competed for the local American Legion Ardmore Cardinals.
"It really kept my arm in shape," said Bowker, who will likely be in middle relief for the Large West team. "We got beat out in the World Series last weekend but overall, it was a good experience."
"Playing with Ardmore this summer helped me a lot. I'm able to go out and hit good pitching, field ground balls from good hitters and just get out there and play," Hayes said. "It's been fun to meet new guys and I've made a lot of new friends from the counties around the area."
And as is usual about the All-State week, a lot is about just having fun and making new friends.
"My roommate is from Vian and he's a really cool guy. We've been hanging out over the past few days and I've enjoyed getting to know him," said Hayes, who is slated to start at second base for the Large East squad.
"I know some guys from when I played in the Heartland Classic," Bowker said. "Tre Edwards (Southmoore) is my roommate. He and I have become pretty good friends."
But after things are done in Tulsa, the focus shifts to the next level, and helping Murray State stay on top.
"I just want to continue to increase my arm strength and then mainly, go repeat as national champs. That's the main goal," Bowker said.
"A lot of my teammates from the legion team are either going there or played there last year," Hayes said. "It'll be fun to play with them again and also, to join a program that just won the Junior College national championship."
Follow Carter on Twitter: @wcarterARD