Mineral City, Ohio - The Trojans will battle it out against rival Sandy Valley this Friday without Head Football Coach George Zagales, who has been relieved of his duties with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

According to a relief of duty letter written by Superintendent Mark Murphy and dated September 4, the investigation stems from an incident that is said to have occurred on August 31. Murphy states in the letter that Zagales has been accused of verbally addressing student-athletes “in a completely inappropriate and unprofessional manner” in the locker room immediately following the football game at Fairless High School. 

Murphy goes on to inform Zagales that he is being relieved of his duties as head coach and dean of students for Tusky Valley Middle and High schools effectively immediately and until further notice. 

Zagales was also relieved of his duties related to a supplemental position for conditioning and prohibited from being on school property and from interacting with district students and employees until further notice from the superintendent. 

In an emailed statement released to local media outlets on Wednesday, Murphy states that he, Athletic Director Steve Franks and Principal Jason Phillips met with players and encouraged them to “continue working hard, follow the direction of the coaching staff, and make the best of the situation.”

The team will take on the Sandy Valley Cardinals in Magnolia this Friday. The district has not yet announced who will be assuming the role of head coach is Zagales’ absence.  

Zagales has been employed by the district since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, serving the entire time as head football coach and dean of students.

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