The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

October 8, 2013

VIDEO | Investigation begins after Windber incidents

WINDBER — The Windber Ramblers and Conemaugh Township Indians are known for a fierce football rivalry, but until Friday night’s game at Windber Stadium, the drama has stayed on the field.

Now both schools, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and Paint Township police are investigating incidents of misconduct stemming from two Indians coaches during and after the game.

“There is an allegation that a coach on the Township side struck a Windber player,” said Windber Athletic Director Todd Bostock. “It’s being investigated by both Township and Windber administrators.”

It was shortly after the game resumed from  lightning delay and a good portion of the bleachers had emptied. According to Bostock, Windber quarterback Devon Tomlinson was tackled late out-of-bounds during one of the final drives of the 35-35 game.

It was then that a Township assistant coach was allegedly involved in a physical confrontation with Tomlinson, according to Bostock. Although it is unclear who instigated the confrontation, Bostock said the coach has been identified by Township officials. He added that people have since reviewed footage on game tape exchange site Hudl.com.

“They say you can see he strikes Devon on the sideline,” he said.

Shortly after, Conemaugh Township head coach Sam Zambanini was ejected for arguing with officials over a defensive pass interference call that allowed Windber a first down with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

By PIAA District 5 regulations, Zambanini will not be allowed to coach this Friday’s homecoming game against Homer-Center.

After the final whistle, and the Ramblers’ 42-35 victory, Paint Township police reportedly arrested a separate Conemaugh Township assistant coach, after he confronted PIAA officials who were being escorted off the field. Claims made on social media and message boards suggest it was a physical struggle and that the assistant coach was tased into submission.

Zambanini said that’s untrue and that many of the rumors swirling around the rivalry game’s fervent ending are unfounded.

“I can definitely tell you there was no physical confrontation with any officials,” he said.

The PIAA District 5 committee will be reviewing the incidents, but is waiting on findings of independent administrative investigations from both schools, according to Virgil Palumbo, PIAA District 5 chairman.

Township Superintendent Gary Buchsen did not comment on specifics, as school district personnel issues are not made public.

“We have conducted an administrative investigation and have met with our coaches,” he said. “We’re going to take the steps necessary that’s in the best interests of our students.”

According to Paint Township police, formal charges have yet to be filed but the investigation won’t be finished until later this week.

Tomlinson’s family stated that Devon does not intend to press charges against the Indians coach. Devon did not return phone calls for comment.

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/JustinDennis.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014