The cover of the game program for the first Orange County All-Star football game.

Organizers cancel Brea Lions All-Star Football Game for 2017


The Brea Lions Orange County All-Star Game, a longtime summer showcase for high school football, won’t kickoff in June as hoped.

The charity football game, which has featured county stars such as John Huarte and Tony Gonzalez, announced Friday that it has postponed its 58th edition until next summer because of trouble securing a stadium and date for the game.

The game has been mostly played at Orange Coast College for at least the past 30 years.

“Circumstances have prohibited us from procuring a suitable venue and date for the game in a timely manner,” game chairman Walt Tees said in a press release.

“We therefore made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s game and re-double our efforts to bring back the game next year.”

Longtime game coordinator Phil Anton said the game explored bookings at large, centrally located stadiums such as Orange Coast College, Santa Ana Stadium and El Modena High.

Anton said the game also struggled to secure a major sponsor.

“We couldn’t get a sponsor for the game without having a date and a field,” he said. “It’s a costly game.”

The game benefits Western Youth Services and the Orange County Youth Foundation.

Anton, who once represented Anaheim as a player in the game, expressed disappointment that the North-South rivalry won’t continue this summer.

“I really feel for the kids and the coaches,” Anton said. “The coaches for the recognition they deserve for the great season, and the kids who deserve to play in it.”

The game earlier announced Brethren Christian’s Pat McInally, also an alumnus of the game, and Santa Ana’s Charlie TeGantvoort as coaches. The game also asked coaches throughout Orange County to nominate seniors willing to play in the contest.

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