CHARLOTTE – After completing a high energy three-day minicamp, wide receiver Steve Smith was more than happy to step aside and watch some high school football players compete in the Panthers' 7-on-7 tournament presented by Under Armour on Friday.
"We get to reverse the roles and watch them," Smith said. "That gives them an added incentive, gives them some extra juice and you get to have fun.
"It's great for our organization, for the high school kids to get to play on our practice field. That means a lot to them."
Smith was joined by teammates Armond Smith, Brenton Bersin, James Shaw and Colby Cameron and it was the star wide receiver who delivered some opening remarks to the 12 teams before the tournament began.
"This tournament right here, this is a great opportunity for you young guys to really get together with your teammates, to build that success, that familiarity, that timing," Smith told the players during his pregame speech. "I remember back in the day when I played 7-on-7, it was fun.
"Enjoy your teammates, enjoy your time and ball out while you're here. You might as well, that's what you came here for."
Ultimately, the top-seeded Dorman Cavaliers were the last team standing after they defeated the Mallard Creek Mavericks, 31-28. That victory earns them the right to represent North and South Carolina in the national 7-on-7 competition held in Cleveland.
"It's summer time and this is what summer is about," Smith said. "You come out here and do things that you only dream of."