It had to be St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) School, didn’t it?
In the immediate aftermath of a 38-18 victory against Venice (Fla.) High School, St. Thomas Aquinas football coach Roger Harriott refused to shake the hand of his Venice counterpart, John Peacock.
While the rationale behind the snub was undoubtedly connected to Venice’s controversial actions during recent seasons — according to the Miami Herald, Peacock was connected to liking a racially charged tweet and a scandal where they were turned in by an opposing program — it also serves as a statement from Harriott, who was acting as a self-appointed moral compass for the Florida coaches community, whether he should have been or not.
“I just have a lot of respect for this industry,” Harriott told SNN-6 after Friday’s title victory. “I think think it’s more of a ministry than anything else. I don’t feel he has a lot of admiration and respect for other coaches and programs.”
There’s your shot across the bow for Venice and Peacock’s previous brushes with poor taste and South Florida football diplomacy, including liking a racially insensitive tweet, filling a visiting locker room with diapers and tissues and, perhaps most directly, calling Aquinas a “stacked deck,” alluding to its talent advantage.
Harriott’s handshake refusal was the latest shot across the bow in this budding rivalry, though it almost certainly won’t be the last. Meanwhile, for Harriott’s team, the power move set the stage for another Class 7A state title appearance, Friday against Lakeland (Fla.) High School.