With Mingo Central’s exit from the Cardinal Conference at the end of the 2019-20 school year that left some league teams scrambling to find a replacement to fill out their 2020 high school football schedule
For four schools — Logan, Chapmanville, Poca and Herbert Hoover — that was easy.
Keep the Miners on the schedule.
That’s what those four schools did, although the game will now be a non-conference affair.
Mingo Central is scheduled to host Logan on September 11 at 7 p.m. before traveling to Poca the following week.
The Miners then head to the Elk River area on October 23 at Herbert Hoover in a matchup pitting new Huskies’ head coach Joey Fields against his old Mingo team.
Mingo Central hosts Chapmanville on October 30 at 7 p.m
Instead of a a 10-team conference and nine league games, the Cardinal Conference will be a 9-team league with eight conference games for each school.
The Miners, now a Class AA independent, added six new opponents to their schedule, beginning with a long-awaited game at Belfry (Ky.) on August 28 in the Pike County Bowl. That game, however, is likely canceled after the SSAC ruled on Friday to begin the season the following week due to COVID-19 concerns.
Mingo Central plays at Wyoming East on September 4, heads to Greenbrier East on October 2, hosts Shady Spring on October 16 and finished out the season on November 6 at home against Bluefield.
Mingo Central was voted out of the Cardinal Conference by a 7-2 vote with only Logan and Chapmanville electing to keep the Miners in.
Logan and Chapmanville finished out its non-conference slated by retaining their games against county rival Man, which is heading down to the Class A level this fall.
Logan and Man were slated to play its traditional season opener on August 27 at Logan but that game is also in doubt after the SSAC’s ruling. Chapmanville plays at Man on November 6 in the Week 11 finale.
Poca’s second non-conference game is set for September 11 at home against Class AAA Greenbrier East. The Dots, led by All-State senior running back and Kennedy Award winner Ethan Payne, are the reigning Cardinal Conference champions.
Payne broke a 41-year-old state scoring record and just missed another mark this past season, piling up yards and touchdowns in astonishing bunches while helping Poca regain its status as a Class AA power.
The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Payne finished the 2019 season with 2,845 yards and 49 touchdowns on the ground, averaging more than 13 yards per carry and 237 yards per game. In the regular season, he scored 46 touchdowns for 276 points, breaking the former state record of 263 regular-season points set by Pineville’s Curt Warner in 1978.
Payne has helped the Dots turn around. Once a three-time state champion in the early 2000s, the Dots fell on hard times. From 2004-17, the Dots went 36-106, posting losing records 12 times in 14 seasons, with three straight 0-10 finishes from 2014-16.
Poca did a 180 in 2017 and have enjoyed three straight winning seasons. The Dots were10-0 during the regular season last year, beating North Marion 42-27 in the first round of the playoffs before falling 25-20 to Oak Glen.
Other than the Mingo Central game, Herbert Hoover’s other non-conference contest is set September 18 with a game at Clay County.
Wayne kept is non-league game against county rival Tolsia, set for August 28 in the season opener on the road at Glenhayes but that game is also in question since games are not allowed to be played until the following week. The Pioneers added a home game on October 2 against Liberty Raleigh to replace the Miners.
Scott also added Liberty Raleigh to its schedule as the two teams meet on October 16 in Raleigh County. Scott’s second non-conference game is September 18 at Boone Cou https://hdmedia.slack.com/archives/CCVE12S6T nty rival Sherman.
Nitro is replacing Mingo Central with Clay County in an October 9 road game. The Wildcats are keeping their other non-league game against Class AAA rival St. Albans in the “Battle for the Bridge,” set for September 4 at Nitro.
Nitro High School’s Underwood Field is getting Field Turf for the 2020 season and will join Scott, Logan, Chapmanville and Sissonville as schools that will have an artificial playing surface. The Indians are also getting a Field Turf for the first time ever this fall.
The Sissonville Indians host North Marion on October 9 and travel to Roane County on November 6 in its two non-conference games this season.
Winfield was originally slated to play Class AAA Hurricane in the season opener on August 28. For its second non-league game, the Generals have added a November 6 game at Point Pleasant in the finale.