Eight Midlands teams will compete in the inaugural Justin Bethel 7-on-7 Gridiron Classic on Saturday at Blythewood High.
Richland Northeast, Fairfield Central, C.A. Johnson, A.C. Flora, Spring Valley, Westwood, Swansea and host Blythewood are playing in the double-elimination event, which starts at 11 a.m.
The event is being sponsored by Bethel’s Beating All Odds Foundation. The winning team will be awarded $5,000 for its high school program. Bethel, a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals and member of Blythewood’s 2006 state title game, gave his alma mater a $100,000 check to go toward its educational foundation in April.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection recorded 46 tackles and picked off two passes and had a touchdown this year in helping the Cardinals to a division title and trip to the NFC championship game before losing to the Carolina Panthers.
NFL players will be serving as honorary coaches for the high school teams. Those players include Mike Adams, Rashad Johnson, Jerraud Powers, Jamell Flemming, Tony Jefferson, Frostee Rucker, Michael Floyd and Jaron Brown.
In addition to the tournament, autographed memorabilia will be raffled off, with all proceeds benefitting the foundation.