McALLEN — “The Battle for Texas,” an annual state-wide 7-on-7 high school football tournament, has been canceled according to the event organizers.

The Battle for Texas tournament, which was scheduled to take place June 30 through July 3 at Veterans Athletic Park in College Station, was officially called off by the event organizers after a surge in active COVID-19 cases throughout the state and before Gov. Greg Abbot announced the state would temporarily halt its reopening and reinstitute curfews.

This will mark the first summer since the organization, TruXposur LLC’s Championship 7v7, hasn’t hosted the event since its inception in 2017. Championship 7v7 co-founders and directors Jacob Maxwell and Jonathan Mumphrey cited public pushback as the ultimate reason why the event couldn’t be held as scheduled.

“This was a very difficult decision for us and we are disappointed that we cannot move forward with this event. Yet, with the continued push back from the State 7on7 Board to many who were interested in participating from coaches to referees, we have decided to cancel,” Maxwell and Mumphrey wrote in a statement on the organization’s website.

“We sincerely value our relationships with all of the coaches, players, families, referees, City of College Station and media that fully support us and we do not want them to suffer any consequences that would come their way if they participated in the event. We are very disappointed that this opportunity has been taken away from the players who want to compete and high school teams who want to improve for fall. We wish everyone a great summer and an even better fall football season.”

The news also comes on the heels of several Rio Grande Valley school districts either temporarily suspended or postponed summer strength and conditioning programs, including Brownsville CISD, Edinburg CISD, McAllen ISD, PSJA ISD and Weslaco ISD, among others.

“At the end of the day, it kind of sucks that the virus postponed all of this strength and conditioning. The summer is really an opportunity for a lot of our guys, a lot of our athletes, to get stronger and faster and bigger,” third-year Edinburg Vela starting quarterback senior AJ Sotelo said.

“But at the end of the day I feel that our school district made the right decision as far as putting everybody’s health and safety first. I kind of see it as a positive thing because I can kind of focus on some other things, but at the same time it’s kind of a negative things because me and all the other athletes across the Rio Grande Valley, we’re not able to get the work that we’re used to getting in.”

The University Interscholastic League announced that member schools could, but did not have to, begin summer strength and conditioning workouts June 8.

The UIL’s first day of football preseason conditioning and no-contact practice remains scheduled for Aug. 3 with Week 1 of the 2020 high school football season still slated for Aug. 27-29.

amcculloch@themonitor.com