Nation Ford High School became the center of the football world in the Carolinas over the weekend as it hosted the Cam Newton Foundation 7-on-7 Championship football tournament.
Starting Panthers’ quarterback Newton was on hand at Nation Ford Friday and Saturday for the event which featured a dozen high school teams from the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.
Newton said he liked the facilities at Nation Ford.
“This is great,” he said. “What a wonderful place to have this event. We hope to continue to build on it and have more representation next year. And have the quality be better each and every year.”
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Newton added: “I see a lot of hungry players. I see so much of myself in these kids who are hungry to make a name for themselves.”
Locally, host Nation Ford as well as Northwestern and South Pointe high schools were involved. The Falcons were one of the last local teams to advance in the tournament after finishing the tournament 7-3-1.
“We knew it was going to be a great event,” said Falcons’ head coach Michael Allen. “It brings notoriety to Nation Ford High and the Fort Mill community. It’s a win-win.”
Nation Ford went 6-1-1 on the first day, winning its first five games coming out of pool play. Each 7-on-7 game is 20 minutes long. The Falcons beat both Northwestern and South Pointe on the opening day.
On the second day, as part of bracket play, Nation Ford didn’t fare as well, going 1-2 in the double elimination tournament, losing to Mays High School out of Atlanta and Grady High, also in Georgia.
Grady features Newton’s younger brother, Caylin Newton, as quarterback. Mays went on to win the tournament.
Allen said he was happy with how his team performed on the opening day, but he said they still have a way to go.
“We are young, but they have been in the system and are progressing well,” he said. “It is pleasing to see them play with the amount of effort they are playing with.”