School board investigating abuse complaints against football coach


Conflict came to a head at the Wetzel County Board of Education meeting on Monday.

Several parents addressed the board regarding an incident that allegedly took place at Friday night's Magnolia High School football game.

Only a few players showed up to football practice on Monday night, as players say they've lost interest after being bullied by their coach. Meanwhile, the board says they are aware and are investigating the incident.

“In the center was the coach in a fit of rage down in the boy's faces yelling at them, ‘I hope this hurts you.’ He kept yelling that and pointed in their faces,” one parent said. “At that point was when we noticed him grab one of the football players, pick him up and shove him."

According to Magnolia High School parents and students, that's what happened after Friday night's football game.

Several addressed the board angry and concerned.

“Some of them are losing their love for the sport and don't want to continue to play because they don't want to continue to play with the animosity around them,” a parent said.

“When somebody starts putting their hands on kids while they are kneeling in a huddle, a person who is decades older” they continued.

“If these things are happening, it's unacceptable and it needs to be stopped immediately."

Parents went on to say that there is a lot of feuding between the coaches and it's affecting the players.

A majority of the seniors and captains decided not to attend Monday's practice. The board of education sympathized.

“I’d like to say to each and every one of you that's sitting here that plays football for Magnolia, I'm sorry this has happened to you, because that's not what football is about,” board member William Jones said.

He asked that the players trust the system and finish out the season. The board also stated they are conducting interviews and are in the middle of an investigation.

“We are in the process of looking into this and that's pretty much all I can tell you," board member Warren Grace Jr. said.

“When we get done to making a decision, whether it's this way or that way, what's best for the child,” Jones said.

Stay with NEWS9 for continuing coverage.

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