QB in helmet attack at center of second investigation for launching football at teammate on coach’s order

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A Pennsylvania quarterback who could be the subject of criminal assault charges for an in-game fight using a helmet as a weapon may be in serious trouble again, and this time his coach is involved.

As reported by NBC Philadelphia among other Pennsylvania outlets, Hamburg High (Hamburg, Pa.) senior quarterback Joey Cominsky is under investigation after a video emerged showing him throwing a football at full speed directly at a teammate who was pinned to a wall behind a school table. Cominsky hit his fellow teen in the chest with his pass, leaving the teen to crumple in pain.

Perhaps even more troubling that the pass itself is that the entire act was reportedly orchestrated by Hamburg head coach Joe Sinkovich. The video was reportedly first uncovered by Allentown-area news network WFMV, and the original clip shows Sinkovich actively encouraging Cominsky to throw at his unnamed teammate. Lebanon County attorneys told news outlets that they were actively reviewing the footage.

The gym floor scandal follows on the heels of one of the more disturbing in-game fights in recent years, where Cominsky pulled the helmet off an opposing lineman and struck him in the head with it multiple times as he lay on the ground. The helmet-wielding attack led to a further flare up between Cominsky and Annville-Cleona High (Annville-Cleona, Pa.) player Josh Hartman, with both players receiving ejections from the game.

Incredibly, while Cominsky sat out his team's game on Friday due to a mandatory one-game suspension connected with his ejection, he has returned to practice and is technically eligible to play this week.

According to Hamburg principal Chris Spohn, who spoke with the Reading Eagle, the school was conforming to standard penalties for the attack and that Cominsky's status for the school's game on Friday remains uncertain.

With multiple investigations ongoing, Cominsky, Sinkovich and the school's athletic director, Aaron Menapace, have been directly instructed not to speak with the media by Spohn. Meanwhile, the principal intimated that Cominsky's needs should be considered because of the investigation into the helmet attack underway by Lebanon County authorities.

"The kid who is most at risk here is Joe Cominsky, because of what the Lebanon County District Attorney has chosen to do," Spohn told the Eagle. "We are confident that our community believes we are doing what's best for our kids, and that's who we're beholden to. We have a responsibility to our community. As for all of the stupid emails and rude comments I've received from people across the country, I owe them nothing."

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