Assault Charge Dismissed Against Centennial Assistant Football Coach

The charge stemmed from an on-field fight during a rivalry game on Sept. 21.

Howard County District Court. Patch file photo.
Howard County District Court. Patch file photo.

The Howard County State's Attorney's office declined to prosecute an assault case involving a Centennial High School assistant football coach that stemmed from an on-field fight during a Sept. 21 football game against Mt. Hebron.

Matthew Winger, the assistant coach, was accused by Shane Snyder, the father of Mt. Hebron quarterback Jake Snyder, of pushing Jake down during a fight that broke out on the field in the first quarter of the football game. Snyder claimed the push caused Jake to break his wrist, an injury that ended his 2013 season.

On Tuesday, prosecutors determined there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute Winger and dismissed the case at Howard County District Court, according to Winger's attorney Michael G. DeHaven.

"I would like to thank the Office of the State's Attorney for its thorough investigation and obviously for the conclusion that Mr. Winger did not commit a crime," stated DeHaven.

Winger told the Howard County Times shortly after the incident he never intended to harm any of the players, just break up the fight.

This entire situation is very unfortunate, and it saddens me," said Winger, according to the report. "My intentions of coming on the field were to break up a fight among players to assure all kids were safe."

JaySmith December 04, 2013 at 08:36 AM
Dad Snyder sounds like a complete "baby", to accuse a coach of a "crime" -- of pushing his son down on the ground and breaking his wrist. Boo-hoo Snyder -- it's football. Maybe you shouldn't have let your boy play FOOTBALL. It's not 'ballet'. There are many ways to get injured....and injuries are part of the game, including on-field 'pushing'
Donna December 04, 2013 at 12:23 PM
You're joking, right? All my boys played football, some at a high level. If an opposing coach at any level ever put his hands on my minor son causing injury he would not only face criminal charges but he would have to defend a civil suit before a jury.
21043H December 05, 2013 at 09:13 AM
Donna is completely right. Perhaps JaySmith has not been following the story - but any fist-fight breaking out in a football game, at any level, is not just football, and it's not just pushing. Dad Snyder is a football coach and has been involved in sports both himself and through his children for many years - there's no rosy view of what high school sports is and is not. Lots of fancy terms come to mind like unsportsmanly conduct, which would all bring not just in-game penalties but financial fines, suspensions and yes, criminal prosecutions in the 'real world' of football. When HCPSS and high schools in general profess to provide a safe, respectful arena to grow in a sport - this entire game was a tragedy! HCPSS' high standards in management of this matter are a joke. The number of actual witnesses ready to to stand up and be involved in the case, knowing that what happened was absolutely wrong, is testament to the reality of the situation - this was not just football. Congratulations to HCPSS and HoCoPo for clearing this one up.
JaySmith December 06, 2013 at 05:22 AM
WELL evidently the camera evidence showed the Centennial assistant coach did NOT assault the Mt Hebron quarterback. QED, so Game Over,....Donna and 21043H......and message to 21043: Your statement doesn't make sense.....you go on and on saying what? That the CHS assistant coach was the aggressor? Then you say "Congrats to HCPSS and HoCoPo for clearing it up......they ended up believing that the CHS asst coach did NOT do anything wrong......which I believe too. So what is your point ? You don't make sense


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