Cam Newton brings 7-on-7 tournament to Shelby County

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – For two days, the BlackWatch Sports Complex off U.S. 280 became a focal point for 14 local and out-of-state high school football teams as they competed in the annual Cam Newton Foundation 7-on-7 tournament series.

For many of the teams, players and coaches, this was a chance to compete against top competition just a few weeks before real varsity action kicks off, as a first-place donation of $2,500 was on the line for the top performing team.

In addition to competing against top teams, players had the opportunity to interact and learn from a three-time Pro Bowler, an NFL MVP, a Super Bowl appearing quarterback, a Heisman Trophy winner and a BCS National Championship winning quarterback in Newton.

This was the first time the tournament made its way to Shelby County as Newton was his usual self on June 29-30 by bringing high energy and applauding players who made big plays by giving shout outs on a microphone. Newton made jokes, provided instruction and fed off a DJ providing tunes throughout the camp.

As for the tournament itself, pool play was completed on Friday, June 29, to determine seeding. Once the bracket was set, a double-elimination format was used on Saturday, June 30, to crown a champion.

The lone team from Shelby County competing in the 7-on-7 tournament was Montevallo, who had a tough day on June 29 finishing 1-5 in pool play, but the Bulldogs bounced back on day two.

After earning the 13-seed following pool play, Montevallo had an uphill battle to start bracket play.

In a round-one matchup with 4-seed Minor, Montevallo went on to upset the Tigers 18-9 to move to the winner’s bracket.

From there, the Bulldogs dropped a game to Deshler, defeated Fairfield 24-7, narrowly defeated 8-seed Grissom 22-21 in an elimination game and then fell to 3-seed Sidney Lanier 25-8. After finishing 1-5 on day one, Montevallo bounced back to impress on day two to finish 3-2 as all three wins were upsets.

In the end, it was Rickards High School of Tallahassee, Florida who came away as champions of the Cam Newton Foundation 7-on-7. Rickards was awarded the $2,500 donation, Wenonah received a second-place donation of $1,500 and Sidney Lanier received a $1,000 donation for third place. Each donation will help the schools attain new football gear.

All of the excitement of the event was put on by the Cam Newton Foundation, which was started in 2014 as a way to support young people with all different backgrounds to give them hope for the future both on and off the field.

For more information on the Cam Newton Foundation, visit Cam1newton.com.