There were those who predicted that the Blue Ridge vs. Show Low football game played Friday evening in Lakeside would be a heated affair that could contain tinges of ugliness.
That’s why a refereeing crew from the Valley was brought in to replace a Northern Arizona crew that frequently works East Region games.
Apparently, officials didn’t want there to be any accusations of “homering” either team once the much-anticipated showdown was over.
Extra security was also added to keep the expected crowd of almost 10,000 in check and pastors from White Mountain churches called for calm among players and fans.
But what occurred after the game was an incident almost no one expected.
Details are sketchy and school officials are reluctant to talk as they continue to sort through the incident. But, reports indicate Show Low coach Randy Ricedorff “went after” Blue Ridge star linebacker Alex Stibbens during the traditional post-game handshakes accusing him of cheap shots.
Reportedly some of the shots were on quarterback Rathan Ricedorff, the coach’s son.
Somehow Blue Ridge assistant Danny Hawkins, a former head coach at Show Low, got into the mix exchanging unpleasantries with Ricedorff.
Some allege Ricedorff threw an elbow at Hawkins.
Some at the game say the two were about to go to blows before other coaches, including a BRHS assistant, separated them.
One fan said, “I’ve never seen anything like it in 15 years I’ve been watching this rivalry.”
Most reports indicated Ricedorff apologized for his actions in a post-game radio interview.
It’s unclear if the Arizona Interscholastic Association will get involved in the scrum, mostly because the hostilities occurred after the game.
If they had happened during the game, coaches and players involved could be suspended for next week’s game.
For Show Low, that would mean against Payson on Oct. 29.
As a former coach at Show Low High School, I know well the rivalry that exists between the two schools, but I’ve never heard of such a disappointing display among coaches.
I suspected before the game, players would be jawing at one another, especially in light of the allegations of recruiting that occurred between the two schools. But I would have never guessed two coaches would participate in any scraps.
Food for thought
A bit of food for thought for school and AIA officials is that the two rivals will probably meet again in the upcoming state tournament.
If such a meeting should occur, what actions should be taken to ensure such a disappointing display does not again happen?
The post-game incident can be viewed at: http://www.azfamily.com/ sports/high-sch ... 77343.html
No butts about it
An article I read a month ago in the New York Daily News tells of a similar incident to what happened Friday in Lakeside — but with a really unique ending.
It read, “A wild melee at a high school football game in Queens ended ugly Saturday when an assistant coach dropped his drawers and mooned the opposing team’s spectators.
“The Boys and Girls High School volunteer assistant bared his backside to fans of the home team, Campus Magnet, minutes after a shoving match erupted on the field between coaches and school safety officers.
“‘His fellow coaches were holding him back and he turned around and pulled down his shorts,’ said David Sumter, 40, a Campus Magnet parent. ‘All I saw was his big [rear end’].”