Several of last year’s top senior football players from southern West Virginia, including five from Mingo Central High School, will suit up for the Mountain State squad in the 18th annual Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl.
Those from Mingo Central include Garth Simpkins, Israel Reynolds, Joe May, Joe Hall and Joe Jackson. Isaac Parsley and Aaron Muncy from Tug Valley will also be on the West Virginia roster. May and Parsley were all-state selections last season.
The head coach for W.Va. is Joey Fields, who released his roster on Thursday. He will be assisted by Josh Sammons, Hady Ford, Terence Pruitt and Jacob Staton. The support staff is Ricky Jackson and Lyle Marcum.
The rest of the 2013 Hatfield & McCoy Senior Bowl roster includes Austin Watts and Brandon White of Chapmanville Regional, Davon Tyson of Capital, Gage Gould of Cabell Midland, Trevon Johnson of George Washington, Brant Williams, Chris Marcum, Teddy Nelson, Khaleel Reynolds of Logan and Marcus Murrell of Man.
Others include Brandon Thomas of Riverview, Dakota Ball of Scott, Dominic Orcutt and Trevond Reese of South Charleston, Anthony Bryant, Austin Pyles, Brandon Spurlock and James Egnor of Wayne, John Thornsbury of Westside, and Andrew Johnson and Ramon Edwards II of Beckley Woodrow Wilson.
Ten of these players participated in the annual North and South all-star game played in Charleston back in June.
Wayne won the Class AA state title last fall and there will be four Pioneers on the team. Spurlock was one of the state’s top running backs.
“I’m anxious and excited to get the week started,” Fields said. “With a team like this, it makes our job as coaches a lot easier. This game has always meant so much to me. I’m very grateful to have played and to have coached in it twice.”
Last year’s Hatfield-McCoy Bowl was the last played on the grass at the old Matewan field as the Kentucky All-Stars broke a seven-game losing streak to beat West Virginia in a 37-12 blowout win.
West Virginia has a commanding 11-6 lead in the all-time series. The West Virginia All-Stars lost the 2003 game in a 40-36 shootout, but won every year until 2011, losing 30-12.
The game was moved to Mingo Central last year on the new Field Turf surface of Harless Stadium. The stadium will sit 5,000 fans and a huge crowd is expected to turn out for this year’s contest.
West Virginia normally gets players from Mingo, Logan, Wayne, McDowell, Wyoming and Boone Counties. They will also get a few players from Kanawha County, and this year, one each from Cabell and Raleigh Counties.
Kentucky all-star players usually come from the eastern mountain counties of Pike, Martin, Floyd, Letcher, Johnson and Lawrence. Former Belfry and Kentucky star David Jones is coaching the Bluegrass stars this year. He coached the squad a couple of seasons ago. In the past, Ky. has also gotten players from Breathitt, Magoffin, Knott and Letcher Counties.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on August 3. Cliff’s Natural Resources will serve as the game’s sponsor. Kinder said the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl is a great event every year.
(Editor’s Note: We will hear more from Fields in Sunday’s edition of the Williamson Daily News. Photos and follow-up stories from both squads will appear throughout the week prior to the game.)