Bengals win Justin Bethel’s 7-on-7 tourney

Justin Bethel, squatting center in white, presents the $4,000 tournament prize to Blythewood. | Photos: Thomas Grant Jr.

BLYTHEWOOD – Former Blythewood High School standout and current Miami Dolphins cornerback Justin Bethel returned to Blythewood in June to host his annual Beating All Odds youth football camp and 7-on-7 high school tournament.

The tournament features high school teams from around South Carolina, competing in the double–elimination tournament for bragging rights and a $4,000 prize from Bethel.

Blythewood had two teams compete in this year’s tournament. The Bengals’ team of seniors won the day and $4,000 pot.

Blythewood’s senior team played six games, beating Lower Richland 26-9 to advance to the final against AC Flora. They took down Flora by a narrow 18-16 margin.

The Bengals underclassmen team did not reach the semifinal, but received playing time that could be valuable during the season, said second-year head coach James Martin.

AC Flora received a $1,000 prize from Bethel for their second place finish. The Falcons are coached by Ken Floyd, a former assistant at Fairfield Central High School.

Fairfield Central was able to see how its offense will run this year after the loss to starter Cameron McMillon, who is now at Rock Hill.

Head coach Demetrius Davis said his son, Ford, and Kaden Diggs are competing to replace McMillon.

Bethel speaks to Blythewood’s team following their tournament win.

Beating All Odds Youth Camp

While in town, Bethel also held his annual youth camp, open to 8-14, is free for the first 100 campers that register.

Bethel’s website,, says goals for the camp are for each camper to learn the safe and proper techniques for each football position, learn life skills, learn new skills that will help improve their game, learn the importance of sportsmanship, and have fun.

The camp and 7-on-7 tournament are a part of Bethel’s community outreach.

Bethel is a 2008 graduate of Blythewood High School and followed his former head coach Jeff Scott to Presbyterian College, where he had a breakout season and caught the eye of NFL scouts. He was invited to attend the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, where his vertical leap of 39.5 inches was the highest of any defensive player.

Bethel is set to begin his 13th year in the NFL this season, his third with the Miami Dolphins. He was inducted into Blythewood’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2021.

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