Hawks to play Atlanta’s Westlake High in Cam Newton Classic

Trip to Georgia will be fourth out-of-state game in program history


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Viera High defensive lineman Jamari Lyons and the rest of the Hawks will travel to Atlanta next season to play Westlake High School in the Cam Newton Classic.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Viera High football team will be hitting the road again next season.

And there’s a pretty famous name attached to their destination, too.

Viera High coach Derek Smith confirmed the Hawks will travel to Georgia to play the Westlake Lions on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Lakewood Stadium, a 10,000-seat facility located in southeast Atlanta.

The game will be part of the third annual Cam Newton Classic, which is scheduled to take place Sept. 3-5.

Newton, now a star quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, is a Westlake High School graduate. His foundation, The Cam Newton Foundation, sponsors the tournament which had previously featured matchups between schools from Georgia and Alabama.

Smith said he accepted the game after receiving a call from Westlake coach Bobby May.

“It’s kind of like an ambassador program between the states, to have a good time and play good football,” Smith said. “(Coach May) asked us if we wanted to be part of it and of course it was an absolute yes.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to play a great football program.”

The game will mark the fourth time Viera has traveled out of state. The Hawks played at nationally-ranked Allen, Texas in 2015 (the same year Viera played in the Class 7A state championship game).

That was followed by 2017 trip to Washington D.C. to play Gonzaga and a 2018 visit to South Carolina to face Fort Dorchester.

By playing in Atlanta, Smith believes his team will not only benefit from playing a strong opponent, but the game won’t be so far away that Viera fans can’t make the trip.

“Georgia football is superior football, just like Texas and Florida is,” Smith said. “On top of that, it’s not an extremely far away game to where the community can still travel. If they choose to fly into Atlanta, they can, but if not, it’s close enough to drive where we can bring a large population of people up there and just really have a good football atmosphere.”

The Hawks are hoping to make it a big weekend for their players.

In addition to watching the Thursday night game at the Cam Newton Classic, the team is looking into attending an Atlanta Falcons practice and possibly going to a Falcons home game. The NFL schedule is expected to be released mid-April so the team won’t know where Atlanta will be playing until then.

The College Football Hall of Fame is also located in Atlanta.

“I think that will all be exciting,” Smith said.

Viera and the rest of Brevard County will open spring practice on April 27.

The Hawks will host West Orange High School in its spring game on May 29 at 7 p.m.