Brouhaha at McLeod Park following Langley Rams playoff victory
Ugliness marred the end of the Langley Rams semifinal playoff victory.
A near-brawl broke out at the conclusion of the Rams junior football game on Saturday night at McLeod Park.
After the Rams 33-0 victory over Victoria's Westshore Rebels in B.C. Football Conference playoff action, Langley coach Jeff Alamolhoda elected to have his players stay on the sideline and forego the traditional post-game handshake.
This resulted in players, coaches and team officials from both sides clashing directly in front of the McLeod Park bleachers.
There was pushing and shoving as well as yelling and profanity.
"There was no way we were going to shake hands," Alamolhoda said.
"As soon as they saw we sent our guys off the field, they charged us."
Alamolhoda said he chose that because of threats the Rebels players and coaches had made during the latter stages of the game.
There were also several chippy plays, especially in the second half when Langley put the game out of reach.
One player from each side was ejected in the fourth quarter.
"As a coach, you have a sense and I just had that sense that they were going to try and do something," Alamolhoda said.
"It is what it is. If we had gone out for a handshake, a brawl would have broke out. It was clear one way or another, they were going to try and fight us."
When contacted on Monday morning, Rebels coach John Cardilicchia did not want to get too far into what had happened less than 48 hours earlier.
"I was just livid that they left the field without shaking hands," he said.
"It was never my intention for our teams to come together and clash like that. I am embarrassed by it."
"We were prepared to shake hands like gentlemen; when we looked across, they were leaving the field and I just couldn't believe it," Cardilicchia added.
"In my 22 years of coaching, I have never ever seen that; I have always shaken hands, we have never had a problem.
"My record speaks for itself."
Last week, Cardillicchia was named the BCFC coach of the year.
Cardillicchia also denied making any threats.
"There was no way I would threaten a kid, I was shocked to hear that," the coach said.
He did admit to yelling at Rams quarterback Greg Bowcott to "buckle up your chin strap real tight because we are coming."
Langley RCMP did respond to the scene on Saturday after fielding several calls about the incident.
Const. Craig Van Herk said by the time police arrived, the situation was mostly under control by the league's officials.
The officers remained on the scene while the Rebels packed up their equipment and boarded the bus back to Victoria.
Van Herk said there were no charges or arrests.
With the victory, the Rams advance to their second straight Cullen Cup as they will play the Vancouver Island Raiders for the league championship on Oct. 27 in Nanaimo.