LA JOYA — The La Joya High Coyotes and La Joya Juarez-Lincoln Huskies will not play high school football seasons this fall.

La Joya Juarez-Lincoln athletic coordinator and head football coach Tommy Garcia confirmed to The Monitor that the Huskies will not compete in fall sports due to low participation numbers.

District 31-6A football coaches learned during a district executive committee meeting Wednesday afternoon that Juarez-Lincoln will opt out of fall sports competition across the board, while La Joya High will withdraw from football competition by sticking with cross country and volleyball seasons early.

According to multiple 6A coaches, the Coyotes and Huskies football programs seemed to lack the interest in participation to field full squads, as many student-athletes and parents alike are still skeptical about playing during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Sources from Class 5A and 6A programs across the Rio Grande Valley indicate that all fall sports at La Joya Palmview seem to be a go for now.

La Joya ISD spokesperson Blanca E. Cantu said she couldn’t confirm or deny the latest developments at La Joya High and Juarez-Lincoln tied to football participation but said all of the district’s high schools have the option to participate in varsity cross country, golf, football, team tennis and volleyball competition.

“I don’t know, in terms of participation, how many kids we have in line to participate in those sports,” Cantu said. “Participation is going to be on a voluntary basis, of course. If the kids want to participate and the parents allow it, then the kids are more than welcome. If there are enough kids who are interested, then we’ll be able to play and if there aren’t, then we won’t be able to play.”

Josh Briones passes the ball during football practice at Juarez-Lincoln High School on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019, in La Joya. (Joel Martinez |

The La Joya school district also sent out a fall sports preferences survey to parents and families of student-athletes at La Joya High, Juarez-Lincoln and Palmview last week, citing the early responses as part of the reason the district decided to move forward with resuming on-campus athletic activities.

“I know that when we did the survey, which was focussed on (health and safety) protocols and guidelines which coaches have released and explained to the parents,” Cantu said. “We did some surveying and from the looks of it, it seems like we would have participation among all the sports, but I’m not sure if or how much that has changed within the past week.”

The latest twist in this roller-coaster story comes a day after Progreso ISD decided to call off fall sports competition and a day after La Joya ISD reversed its decision to ban fall sports competition and announced a return to the courts and fields of play for on-campus practices beginning Monday.

La Joya High and Juarez-Lincoln now join Progreso and Rio Hondo as the four high schools that have chosen to sit out the upcoming high school football season in the Rio Grande Valley.

Multiple District 31-6A coaches have told The Monitor that their regular season football schedules are either completed or nearly finished and should be released by the end of the week.

In lieu of the Coyotes and Huskies participation in the 2020 football season, District 31-6A teams will play a six-game, round-robin district schedule.


Twitter: @ByAndyMcCulloch