YES THEY CAM!: Red Devils go 6-0 on the first day of Newton 7v7s

Cody Dalton
Sports Editor

In all of his years in football, Matt Beam had never coached a team that had went undefeated during the first day of the Cam Newton 7v7 tournament.

That was until Friday.

The Red Devils went 3-0 in both sessions of pool play during the first day of the two-day event, earning a top seed for Saturday’s double-elimination tournament.

“We’ve played really good,” said Newton-Conover head football coach Matt Beam, who has coached the Red Devils at the event the past four years and also took Burns to the tournament twice. “A couple of times, we stopped ourselves, but that’s about it. In this game, the name of it is to score. It’s seven on seven. It’s hard to stop people. We got some stops on defense that I’m proud of. We made some plays on defense and haven’t given up very many touchdowns. We’re going to keep playing and see what happens.”

Newton-Conover marched to a 3-0 record during the morning session of the tournament, beating Kingstree Senior (S.C.), Anson and Harding University high schools.

The Red Devils followed suit in the afternoon session, earning victories against R.J. Reynolds, Nations Ford (S.C.) and Freedom high schools.

Getting a chance at some new competition is something Beam said will benefit his players heading into this season.

“There aren’t very many 2A teams out here,” he said. “I like to play some bigger schools and see where our skill translates compared to them and see how effective we can be. This is just gaming for us and coming out and competing a little bit. That’s what we like to do.”

Beam was especially pleased with rising junior quarterback Shamar Baker — who is expected to be the team’s starter this fall — as well as Baker’s key offensive weapons.

“Shamar threw it great and put it on the money,” Beam said. “Myles (Baker) and Ky’juan (McClain) caught the ball, and with Jah [Jaheim Mullen] and Ernie (Squarles) — there are a lot of people that can catch it. We’ve also gotten so much better on defense. We are strong and physical.”

Beam is also proud of his team’s unselfish nature.

“We all knew that this was a good group of kids, and they knew how to play,” he said. “They like each other. There is no animosity. We care about who wins, but we don’t care how it gets done. Different players are scoring touchdowns.”

Beam expects his team will earn a one-, two- or three-seed for Saturday’s double elimination tournament, which features 22 teams.

Whomever the Red Devils draw, Beam believes his squad will be ready.

“They can win it. They can absolutely win it,” Beam said of his team’s chances at the Cam Newton 7v7s. “It’s going to be close. We’ve got to take care of the ball and do things right, but we can win it. We’re athletic and fast.”