Mingo Central is in a must win game this week as they hit the road traveling to Nicholas County on Friday night.
The Miners are ranked in a tie for No. 17 this week. They need to win this week and next week at home against Herbert Hoover to have the chance to make the post season for the first time in school history.
Both head coach Yogi Kinder and all-state tailback Joe May know that it will be a tough game this week, but they believe that Mingo Central can prevail.
“We have to go up there and give it our all,” May said. “We really want to make the playoffs.”
Kinder, looking up and down the Nicholas County roster, couldn’t help but notice the size of their linemen. “Look at this,” Kinder said. “They go 295, 285, 280 and 250 pounds. And they can move too.”
The Miners staff has seen film of the Grizzlies and they were also impressed with their skill players.
“The quarterback is good (Tyler Sagraves) and they have several good backs and a big fullback,” Kinder said. “But, we have played good teams all year. Logan was big and we were able to play with them.”
The Grizzlies come into the game ranked No. 9 and have a record of 5-3. Mingo Central is now 4-4 and is currently ranked just outside the top 16 in Class 2A. The top 16 teams in each class make the playoffs in the Mountain State.
Nicholas County owns wins over Poca, East Fairmont, Clay County, Lincoln County and River View. They lost a close game to open the season with Greenbrier West 24-22. The only bad losses on their slate are a 40-0 loss to Oak Hill and a 31-7 loss to R.C. Byrd.
Mingo Central lost a tough game last week against Class 3A Logan. The early season 19-16 loss to Wyoming East could come back to haunt the Miners in their hunt for the playoffs.
Still, Kinder said that when he started practice back in August with his young squad, he knew it could be a tough season. “If we can make the playoffs – my staff deserves a lot of credit. We’re not very big, but we have a lot of heart.”
Kinder thinks that a 6-4 mark will get the Miners into the top 16. So the game this week at Summersville is one of the most important in the young history of the school.
The Miners are currently on a 2-game losing streak with back to back losses to Wheeling Central and Logan. They own wins over River View (a common opponent with Nicholas County), Westside, Man and Tolsia.
Matt Lester will get the nod at quarterback, with May, Chance Lester and Joseph Hall in the backfield. Alex Lee will see action at split end, but can also get some carries. Israel Reynolds will be at tight end.
The defense has been consistently led by Garth Simpkins and Drew Kirk. Simpkins has been hampered by a bum ankle, but continues to play with the injury.