“Alternate” state championship

“We will always put the safety and health of kids first.” — Foster head coach

Shaun McDowell

The Texas State 7-on-7 Organization isn’t connected to the UIL and doesn’t have to follow the Texas governing body’s edicts on competition during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevertheless, the 7-on-7 board, made up primarily of high school football coaches, followed the UIL lead in prioritizing health and safety of their student-athletes by canceling the 2020 championship.

The organization put out a press release on Thursday to censure a separate group attempting to hold an “alternate” state championship on the same date and location as the traditional Texas 7-on-7 State Championship at Veteran’s Athletic Complex in College Station.

“The State 7-on-7 Executive board,” read the press release, “takes the position that participation in the ‘Texas High School 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament’ is not warranted at this time.

“We feel that by taking a more measured approach and following the lead of our governing bodies we will protect our athletes and communities.

“We fully believe that 7-on-7, as we have known it for the last 20 years, will return next year and that we can safely resume state qualifying tournaments and the state tournament in an environment that is conducive for both participants and spectators.”

TruXposur LLC and Champoinship7v7 had announced plans to host the “The Battle For Texas” state championship held on June 30-July 3.

Foster head coach Shaun McDowell, who is a member of the Texas State 7-on-7 Organization board and host of an annual state qualifying tournament, stood in lock-step with the rest of the board against the new tournament.

“We will always put the safety and health of kids first,” McDowell said on Twitter Thursday evening.

The Texas State 7-on-7 Organization’s statement was made public three hours after the “Battle for Texas” press release appeared.

“The State 7-on-7 Board made the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s 7-on-7 season out of an abundance of caution and to protect the health of our students.

“This decision was not made lightly but was and is in alignment with the directives of the governing bodies charged with protecting our students.”

The statement would question the standards the alternate tournament would be held to.

“The Texas State 7-on-7 Association is made up of active and retired Texas high school coaches. We take our lead from the UIL and the THSCA and adhere to their policies as much as we can.

“The organization that has stepped in to offer its version of a 7-on-7 championship is not affiliated with Texas State 7-on-7. The organizers of this year’s version of the state tournament are not high school coaches and are not compelled to follow any of our by-laws or policies that are in alignment with the UIL and the THSCA.”

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