According to multiple sources close to the matter, La Joya Independent School District’s three high schools will not compete in fall sports this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its prevalence in the Rio Grande Valley.
This means La Joya High and La Joya Juarez-Lincoln, two UIL Class 6A schools, and La Joya Palmview, Class 5A, will not play football, volleyball or cross country this fall. The move is expected to be announced this upcoming week when the three La Joya high schools make the official notification to their respective District Executive Committees.
On Thursday, La Joya ISD’s School Board of Trustees announced it collectively approved a recommendation to delay in-person instruction until Nov. 2, citing significant numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in Hidalgo County. La Joya ISD, like other school districts in the RGV, have remained aligned with no athletics until in-person instruction is allowed.
“The health, safety, and well-being of our employees, students, and community remains the highest priority for La Joya ISD. Thank you for your understanding and continued support of this precautionary step we have taken to safeguard the safety and health of our community,” La Joya ISD Superintendent Gisela Saenz said in a statement Thursday.
With Nov. 2 being the earliest date La Joya ISD athletics are allowed to return, that would leave the football teams with just one week to play before the district certification deadline set by the UIL. Meanwhile, district certification deadlines will have already passed for La Joya ISD cross country and volleyball teams.
La Joya High, Juarez-Lincoln and Palmview would join Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco as second, third and fourth UIL Texas high schools to not play football this fall. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s Matt Stepp was the first to report the news Saturday morning.
The move from La Joya ISD impacts two football districts — District 31-6A and District 16-5A DI.
Without La Joya High and Juarez-Lincoln, District 31-6A will shift to a seven-team district with the remaining members being Edinburg Economedes, Edinburg High, Edinburg North, Edinburg Vela, Mission High, PSJA High and PSJA North.
Without La Joya Palmview, the 10-team District 16-5A DI moves to a nine-team district featuring Brownsville Lopez, Brownsville Pace, Brownsville Porter, Brownsville Veterans, Donna High, McAllen High, McAllen Memorial, McAllen Rowe and Weslaco East.
As of Friday, Aug. 21, there have been 1,071 deaths due to complications related to COVID-19 and 23,993 confirmed cases in Hidalgo County, according to the latest news release issued by the county. There are also 414 currently hospitalized in Hidalgo County with coronavirus. In Cameron County, there have been 495 deaths and a total number of 19,001 reported cases. Meanwhile, Starr County has reported 100 deaths as of Friday.