St. Thomas Aquinas coach refuses post game handshake of Venice
FORT LAUDERDALE - After the State 7A Semifinals football game between the Venice Indians and the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders, an interesting thing happened. Actually, and interesting thing DIDN'T happen, and it was a little disconcerting.
Maybe before the game, and not after, was the issue, but St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Roger Harriot refused the offer of a post–game handshake from Venice's head coach, John Peacock. It was odd, but there was a lot of high emotion on the field, and with both sidelines were yelling the entire game at referees, or about plays. At one point Peacock had to go onto the field to talk to a ref because of some of the seemingly blatant non–calls against Venice. SNN was the only station or news reporting station to realize what had happened, and we talked to both coaches about it.
"I just have a lot of respect for this industry. It's a ministry to me, really," said Roger Harriot, the Raiders head coach about the refusal to shake Peacock's proffered hand. "I don't feel he has a lot of admiration and respect for other coaches and programs."
For his part, Peacock was disillusioned by the fact that he was the one that was snubbed because, in his mind, it was the Raiders who showed a lack of respect for the Indians PRIOR to the game.
"Before the game they were taunting us from outside of our locker room," explains Peacock, the Indians head coach. "They stood outside the locker room(100 players strong), and wouldn't let us leave to get out on the field. Because of that we were late for warm-ups. They are a great program, so they don't need to do (petty) stuff like that."
Harriot did go on to say how much he respected the players on the Indians, and how hard they fought until the end. The Raiders now go on to face Lakeland Friday night in Orlando for the State 7A Championship. A re-match of the 2006 title game that was won by Lakeland in double overtime.