LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing Catholic Cougars are in their first football state championship game in six years, and their opponent is in that game for the first time in school history.
But not without a controversial semi-final game that ended earlier than it should have.
The Almont Raiders beat Detroit Denby 36-8 last weekend but their milestone victory was overshadowed by an altercation with their opponent.
"The officials after a series of penalties decided that it was time to call the game, so it was called with five minutes left," said Geoff Kimmerly of the MHSAA.
After that, a fight broke out between the two teams.
Almont Superintendent Bill Kalmar saying said his staff mishandled the situation.
"The people that we would have expected to deescalate the situation were instead taunting the student athletes from Denby," Kalmar said.
"Thankfully it's rare to have something like this happen at this level,” said Kimmerly. “We know some disturbing things took place, and we don't want to say who did what or try to pin anything on anyone at this point."
Kimmerly says the incident has been shared by multiple people on social media; both he and Kalmar say it's clouding the investigation.
"I think a lot of that has become hyperbole and exaggeration,” said kalmar. “And a lot of society’s ills have been heaped onto this thing in a big hurry."
The MHSAA is helping with the investigation but ultimately, whatever consequences result from the fight will be handled by the school.
"They know their community people they know their fans and athletes, they know who was doing what and we're going to support them on that,” said Kimmerly.
He said neither school nor the MHSAA expects there to be any problems when LCHS takes on Almont for a state title Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
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