TAMPA, Fla. — Sandlot and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in partnership with Lamar Jackson’s Forever Dreamers Foundation and Abe Elam’s T.E.A.M. Elam Foundation are hosting the inaugural Sandlot 7v7 Pro-Am Challenge on Saturday, March 26. This is a unique youth flag football tournament where each team is coached, mentored or advised by an NFL player. 

The tournament is focused on sportsmanship and helping athletes develop the skills and attitude necessary to thrive in school, on the field and in life. Youth players from Florida and around the country will attend the invitation-only tournament, with divisions from 12 and under to high school varsity and a girl’s high school flag open. Players will learn from professionals, develop their skills and test them against their peers. 

“This is much more than football. Kids are getting a tremendous level of inspiration and mentorship from these players that they’re going to remember for a lifetime,” said Dexter Santos, vice president of player services at the NFLPA. “We’re creating dreams here. That’s what Sandlot is all about.”

Players with teams in the tournament include Odell Beckham Jr., Los Angeles Rams wide receiver and Super Bowl champion, and Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers quarterback and 2015 MVP. At least 16 active and former NFL pros will attend the tournament. These players include Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins quarterback and Florida native, Torrey Smith, two-time Super Bowl champion and veteran eight-season wide receiver, Samari Rolle, veteran 12-season cornerback, Miami native and top defensive player in the league, and Thomas Davis, veteran 15-season linebacker and 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year.

The PRO-AM Challenge is envisioned to be the first in a series of regional Sandlot 7v7 tournaments to engage youth from around the country and connect them with NFL mentors. “It’s a measuring stick for young players, who rarely get to compete against each other, to see where they are,” said Abe Elam, founder of the T.E.A.M. Elam Foundation and veteran seven-season safety. “We’re creating the opportunity for active and former NFL players to come back and have their teams line up against each other.”

As part of a shared mission to support the whole athlete, iD Tech, the world’s leading STEM education camp, has partnered with Sandlot to provide scholarships to 10 underserved players, with winners announced April 1. Through a partnership with AR-51, a next-generation tech developer, the Sandlot Pro-Am Challenge in Tampa will be the first 7v7 tournament filmed using augmented reality. 

This year’s tournament is made possible with the support of our additional sponsors: No Kid Hungry, Xenith, Bang Energy, Seven on Seven Unlimited, Inc., Legit Ballaz 7v7, 2Yards & A Cloud Of Dust, High Point Gamer and the NFL. Team Sandlot will be assisted by volunteers from the Lakewood High School football team, University of Tampa Sports Management Program and members of the Athletic Lifestyle Management Academy (ALMA), a program that prepares high school students for health science careers.

The event will be held at the Tournament SportsPlex of Tampa Bay from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. EDT. Media interested in covering the event should contact Leandra Bernstein ( and Joe Martone ( for credentialing information. 

For more information about the Sandlot 7v7 teams and sponsors visit

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