The 18th annual Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl will be played again this Saturday and West Virginia head coach Joey Fields hopes to make it two wins in a row for the Mountain State.
Fields, who is a young assistant coach to Yogi Kinder at Mingo Central, is definitely excited about this year’s game. He has lined up an all-star roster for the Mountain State.
“All of these players were stars on their own team,” Fields said.
“It’s exciting to get them all in one jersey. David Jones (the Kentucky coach) did a good job making our game more known across both states by expanding the roster and getting more players outside of the local area last time he coached it in 2011,” Fields said. “I just followed that formula this year. Not knocking any other all-star game, but it’s really something to get to represent your state.”
“Cliffs (Natural Resources) sponsorship has just been tremendous for the game,” Fields added.
“As always, Coach Kinder has done a great job. And growing up in Matewan, and watching him at Belfry and when he went on to U.K., David Jones was someone you looked up to,” Fields said. “So to get to coach against him, it’s pretty cool. I feel from top to bottom of both rosters this is the best talent we’ve had in the game.”
“The game continues to be a success and I’m sure it will be nothing short of that this year,” the West Virginia coach said.
There are a couple of family and friend twists in regards to the coaching staffs with this year’s contest.
Both Fields and Jones have coached in the game before and both won. So something has to give in this contest.
“That has never happened before - two winning coaches facing each other,” Fields said.
Another twist that adds a Hatfield-McCoy family feud angle to the game story is that Derek Rash, who is an assistant coach for Kentucky, is Fields uncle.
Also, Josh Sammons, who is assisting Fields, played for Jones at UPike. Jones started his career at Matewan, where he played middle school and his first couple of years in high school. Then he went on to help lead Belfry to a pair of state championships back in 2003 and 2004.
Then there is the late Eugene Crum’s grandson, Joe Hall, who is playing for West Virginia. Crum was fatally shot down a few weeks ago while serving as sheriff of Mingo County.
Both squads are loaded with talent. There are several all-state and all-region players on the rosters of both teams.
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.)
H & M Bowl Series winners and the scores by the year:
1996 - Ky. – 7-0
1997 - W. Va. – 11-0
1998 - Ky. 22-19
1999 – Ky. – 11-0
2000 – Ky. 6-0
2001 – W.Va. – 14-6
2002 – W.Va. – 14-12
2003 - Ky. – 40-36
2004 – W.Va. – 8-0
2005 – W.Va. – 7-6
2006 – W.Va. 32-19
2007 – W. Va. 22-14
2008 – W. Va. 22-14
2009 – W.Va. 20-0
2011 – Ky. 30-12
2012 – W. Va. – 37-12