The 10th Blast Tournament will have to wait another year.
Organizer Chris Pryor said the annual high school soccer tournament has been canceled because of a winter storm that has blanketed South Mississippi.
Many of the schools traveling from central Mississippi began pulling out Thursday night because of the weather, and on Friday afternoon, Pryor made the decision to cancel the 60-plus team tournament.
The tournament was to be played Friday and Saturday.
“I want everyone to be safe,”Pryor said. “It’s disappointing because it was going to be our biggest event yet and a lot of schools, parents and players would have been able to see our Sportsplex and our facilities at Gulfport as well.
“We’ll just have to come back next year and do it bigger and better.”
The tournament was spread across six venues, including the Gulfport Sportsplex, the field at the Gulfport High track, Milner Stadium, Herbert Wilson Field, West Harrison and St. Patrick.
“After checking field conditions, virtually every field is unplayable,” Gulfport athletic director Bryan Caldwell said in a text.
The loss of the tournament is disappointing as the event has become one of the state’s premier soccer showcases. Many teams planned to use the tournament as a final tuneup before district play and the playoffs. Now, Pryor said, some teams may plan to square off, but they’ll have to do so independently of the event.
This marks the second time in 12 years the event — which started with just six teams — has been canceled due to weather.