Three Carterville football players, Brooks Barden, T.L. Ford and Kobie Whitfield, participated this year as all-stars in the Cam Newton 7 on 7 tournament held last weekend in Bradenton, Fla.
Their team went 4-4 against some excellent competition. A year ago, Cartersville qualified for the game as a team and won the tournament.
This year it was unable to do so, but had three players selected to an all-star team to compete in the same tournament, which is still impressive. The squad was a selection of 20 players out of the Atlanta area.
“It was a great experience,” Barden said. “Last year we want as a team and kind of got a feel for it. It’s top notch competition. There are guys that are top in the country at every position.”
The players competed in a skills competition on Friday and then games on Saturday and Sunday.
“They did well. We actually beat Team Tampa in pool play, which was the team that won it,” Carterville’s head coach Frank Barden said. “It was a good weekend and a great experience for these kids.”
The coach believes competing in the tournament will help his team this season.
“Last year we participated in a lot of 7 on 7s and it helped our team during the year,” Barden said. “Any 7 on 7, especially a one like this where they play a high level of competition, the experience in the summertime does nothing but help the players a lot.”
“It’s just a great opportunity to go down there and compete with the best players in the country,” The Canes’ quarterback said. “With your teammates, it helps with being on the same page and their routes and timing. Being able to throw to your guys builds chemistry. It really helps to gel together.”
The event is in its second year in support of the Cam Newton Foundation, which is committed to enhancing the lives of young people by addressing their socioeconomic, educational and physical and emotional needs.
“It’s just a great opportunity to be on the field with some great athletes and represent Georgia and the Cam Newton Foundation,” Barden said. “It was a lot of fun.”