Harrison Bailey

Marietta’s Harrison Bailey and his teammates are looking to defend last year’s Corky Kell 7-on-7 tournament.

The Corky Kell 7-on-7 Invitational will take place on Friday in Roswell beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Marietta, Kell, Walton and Cherokee will be among the 35 teams from across Georgia competing in the event.

The teams, divided into seven pods of five teams each, will play a round-robin format. Results from the pool play will determine the seeding of the single elimination tournament in the afternoon.

The championship is scheduled to start around 4 p.m. at Roswell Area Park. Alpharetta High School, Blessed Trinity and Centennial High School will host pool play games in the morning.

At last year’s event, Marietta defeated North Gwinnett 36-35 to win the championship. Both teams will compete again this season.

“We had a good run last year,” Marietta coach Richard Morgan said. “And we did it in an unorthodox way … We had some guys step up.”

Morgan said the team persisted through three injuries, players on vacations and the challenges of a long, hot day.

“If it wasn’t 100 degrees, it was close to it,” Morgan said.

Luckily, the weather is expected to be a little bit cooler than last year. But the competition will not be any easier, Morgan said. Marietta will compete in Pod E with Pinecrest Academy, Denmark, Mays and Mill Creek.

“As far as 7-on-7 goes, this is the highest level of competition gathered in the state,” Morgan said.

Two defending state champions — Blessed Trinity from Class AAAA and Lee Country from Class AAAAAA — will also participate in the tournament.

Walton coach Daniel Brunner also said that the Corky Kell 7-on-7 offers fierce competition.

“We think it’s one of the best 7-on 7 tournaments in the southeast,” Brunner said. “That’s why we play in it”

The Raiders will compete in Pod A at Alpharetta alongside Alpharetta, East Coweta, Peachtree Ridge and St. Francis. Brunner said Walton is unproven, but he is looking for players like receiver Keegan Bierra to step up.

Kell will play at Roswell Area Park in Pod F against Carver, North Atlanta, Lee County and Archer.

Cherokee will begin the day at Blessed Trinity, competing in Pod C with North Gwinnett, Creekside, West Forsyth and Tucker.

Admission to the event is free.

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