North Cobb will host the Cam Newton 7-on-7 football tournament Friday and Saturday, with games set to start around 9:30 a.m.
Mount Paran Christian and Whitefield Academy will join North Cobb and other schools from across metro Atlanta in the 22-team event.
Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and current quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, will attend the tournament bearing his name and interact with the players.
The first day of the tournament will consist of round-robin play, where each team will play about five to seven games. The round-robin results will determine the rankings in Saturday’s bracketed tournament.
The Cam Newton Foundation, which funds the tournament, will donate $2,500 for equipment to the winning team, with $1,500 and $1,000 going to the second- and third-place teams, respectively.
North Cobb coach Shane Queen said the quality competition is one of his favorite parts of the 7-on-7 tournament, which will give the team’s two quarterbacks plenty of reps.
“They aren't my favorite part of football. That’s the contact camps that I like,” Queen said. “But it’s a necessary thing we must do to get our quarterbacks and receivers ready.”
Marietta hosted the tournament the last two years. The Blue Devils finished as the runner-up two years ago and as the champion last season.
Marietta will not defend its title, though runner-up Westlake -- Newton's alma mater -- will return. Other teams scheduled to participate include Cedar Grove, Hapeville, Mays, Jonesboro and Riverwood.
Newton’s presence makes this tournament special for the teams involved, Queen said.
“Cam does a good job of getting out there with the kids,” Queen said. “That’s always great for our players.”
Kim Beal, the director at the Cam Newton Foundation, said it means a lot that Newton actually makes the trip to the tournament.
“He’s there in front of their faces -- not just seeing him on the TV,” Beal said. “I think that’s important for the kids to see him in person, give him a high-five (and) get an autograph or picture.”
The tournament isn’t exclusive to the Cobb County area. The Cam Newton Foundation will also host similar competitions in Savannah, Birmingham, Alabama, and Rock Hill, South Carolina, throughout June.
Queen said he has known Newton since he was 14. The tournament’s itinerary proves to Queen that Newton has not changed since he was young.
“Some of these stars are doing their own thing on the weekends,” Queen said. “Cam is traveling all over the country doing 7-on-7s, giving back to the kids. That’s what my favorite part about it is. It’s cool to see him give back.”