**CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly asserted Tony Fa helped organize a football tournament in California.**
The Beehive Classic, a Sept. 1 event that was supposed to match up several of Utah’s top football teams against out-of-state powers, has fallen through — for at least two of the three.
Contests between Jordan and Long Beach Poly (Calif.), as well as East and Serra (Calif.) were cancelled after event organizers could not fly the visiting teams out to Utah as they had promised in their contracts. Long Beach and Serra were offered bus rides out to the Classic, but declined, and will instead play each other next week.
The Classic was intended to be a measuring stick for some of the top in-state programs against powerhouses from other states. Event organizer Tony Fa, who works with IntelAthletics, said he was “devastated” by the late-breaking developments.
“We’ve really struggled with it, we tried to work together with them,” he said. “But we respect their decision. I feel horrible for [East coach Brandon] Matich, [Jordan coach Eric] Kjar and the kids. It was going to be a special game for all of them.”
East and Jordan have agreed to play each other next Friday at 7 p.m. at East, determined by a coin flip Friday afternoon. The Beetdiggers will host next year as part of a home-and-home agreement between the two schools, East principal Paul Sagers said.
Jordan and East are the No. 1-ranked football teams in 5A and 4A, respectively, by the Tribune.
Bingham will still play Valor Christian (Colo.) which did elect to take the bus to South Jordan. The game will be Saturday, Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Miners coach Dave Peck said. Valor Christian is currently the No. 1-ranked program in Colorado, and if both team win this week, it could still set up a contest between nationally ranked teams.
Still, Peck said he was disappointed to see the all-day event fall through.
“The matchups were great, and I felt like it was going to be the best football high school event in the state,” he said. “What could be better? But we’re glad Valor Christian is still coming to play.”
Fa said he was discouraged by the experience. But he and his partners would continue working on similar events in the future.
“It hasn’t deterred us,” Fa said. “We still have some pieces in place, and we feel it could be an amazing event for the following year.”
Schedule changes after Beehive Classic fallout
• Jordan will play at East on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.
• Bingham will still host Valor Christian (Colo.) Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m.