Two highly ranked football teams in Texas saw their much ballyhooed Saturday night faceoff spill over into nastiness, with coaches from one team celebrating wildly at the final whistle, drawing the ire of the high-profile coach on the opposing sideline.
The dispute stemmed from the tense, 41-31 Dallas (Texas) Skyline High victory against DeSoto (Texas) High on Saturday, a playoff victory which ended the season of DeSoto, which entered the game ranked No. 34 in the RivalsHigh 100. The win moved Skyline all the way to No. 7 nationally, a leap of 16 spots in the national rankings.
Still, all of that attention has been overshadowed a bit by the actions of Skyline head football coach Reginald Samples, who celebrated his team's victory with his assistants, at least one of whom tossed his headset off in celebration at the final whistle. According to Dallas South News, the coaching staff then jumped into celebratory hip bumps with one another while Skyline's players flapped their arms wildly, an action meant to mock the DeSoto players, whose mascot is the eagle.
The celebrations were the result of pent-up frustration for Skyline, which was blanked 38-0 by DeSoto in the 2010 playoffs. The bad feelings from the prior season's meeting spilled over during the game, with DeSoto earning two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on one second-half drive alone, and Skyline was also flagged at least once for a personal foul.
With all that prior history and a decisive victory under the team's belt, Samples and his staff were not about to hold back. Fittingly, the DeSoto coaching staff was not too thrilled with its counterparts' antics.
"They should show some class," DeSoto coach Claude Mathis (who is pictured above at right) told the Dallas Morning News. "Their coach was firing up his players after the game. He told them to do that. That's a poor example to set."
In fact, it appears hysteria like the kind spread by the Skyline staff is nothing new, at least according to Mathis. Here's what the DeSoto coach told RivalsHigh national analyst Dallas Jackson about the rivalry.
"You need to understand that I will never forget how they acted towards us the first time they beat us," he said. "I called a timeout and called the kids off to look at how they were acting. I will never forget it."
The celebration continued after the game.
"Skyline sent dead wreaths from funeral homes and sympathy cards to us at the school when they beat us," Mathis said.
While Mathis responded calmly to the press, he reportedly was much less calm in the heat of the moment. Dallas South News reported that the two head coaches were screaming at each other as they walked off the field and needed to be separated by their assistants. By that point, police had rushed onto the field to separate the teams and try to keep a full-out brawl from erupting.
Given the attention and relative hysteria the celebrations caused, one might assume that Samples regretted his staff's celebratory antics, yet one would be wrong to assume so.
"That's right, I hyped our crowd up, I hyped my players up," Samples, who is pictured at right, told the Morning News. "That happens. It's just an exciting game."
It was an exciting game, though perhaps it didn't need to be quite as "exciting" as Samples and his cohorts made it after the final whistle.