The Big Country chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes made the decision on Thursday morning to officially cancel its 2020 All-Star Festival in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is with heavy disappointment due to continued risks and uncertainties associated with the widespread Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that the Big Country Fellowship of Christian Athletes staff has made the difficult decision to cancel the Big Country Chevy Dealers 21st annual FCA All-Star Festival scheduled for the week of June 7-13, 2020,” the organization said in a press release.
There was brief talk of postponing to a later date, but ultimately the organization decided that cancellation was best in the current climate, said FCA Area Director Andy Penney.
“We did have some discussions, but it was just a matter of the uncertainty of the future — even past June,” he said. “Plus there were all the logistical pieces that go into executing an (event) the magnitude of this All-Star Festival. There was also the question of if the class of 2020 would still be interested in playing at a later date.
“We just thought with all the intangibles that were out there that canceling was just the unfortunate best option.”
The festival was set to include boys and girls golf, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball before concluding with the 21st annual Myrle Greathouse All-Star Classic football game.
The 2020 slate was scheduled to include the inaugural golf tournament, which would have been held June 8-9 in Eastland. The baseball and softball games were set to be played on June 12 in San Angelo while the rest of the Festival was going to be held June 13 in multiple locations.
The boys and girls basketball games would have been at the Brownwood Coliseum, volleyball at Wylie High School and football at Shotwell Stadium.
There were 323 student-athletes and 36 coaches that were slated to participate in the event across the eight different sports during the week-long event.
“Contemplating the latest information, we feel canceling the festival is the best decision to protect the health and well-being of (the athletes and coaches), local communities that host and support our games as well as the hundreds of volunteers who serve the festival so well,” the press release said. “We appreciate your understanding and know you share our concern during this difficult period. Thank you for your faithful support.”
The move comes on the heels of the national FCA office making the decision to move or cancel all May events. The national level was set to update local organizations within the next week according to an emailed statement from Joe Beach in the national office.
Penney said the directives coming from the national office helped lead to the decision to cancel the event.
“We were at the direction more of our national FCA,” he said. “From a local level, we would love to have the games and recognize and honor our athletes with the support of our local communities and businesses. This was more of a directive from the national FCA.”