By Paul Adkins
July 28, 2013
The Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl might not have the statewide notoriety of the North-South All-Star Classic but it generally outdraws the Charleston game and serves as the kickoff to the new grid season each and every summer.
The 18th-annual Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl, pitting the top graduated high school football stars from eastern Kentucky against those from southern West Virginia, is scheduled to be played on Saturday, Aug. 3 at Mingo Central’s Buck Harless Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m.
The Hatfield-McCoy Bowl, which was started by former Matewan football coach and current Mingo Central mentor Danny “Yogi” Kinder, began in 1996 and has been held every year since.
The forerunner of the game, the Kiwanis Bowl, used to be played at Williamson’s Lefty Hamilton Park and has its origins back in the 1950s.
Kinder, who still serves as the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl Game Director, reorganized the all-star grid game and moved it to Matewan. The Senior Bowl has since moved to Mingo Central’s new stadium and was played on the Harless Stadium FieldTurf last summer for the very first time.
The game allows senior football players one last chance to play with and against their high school rivals and pick up scholarships along the way. The Senior Bowl was sponsored by Massey Energy from 1996-2010 until Massey merged into Alpha Natural Resources.
The Senior Bowl is now sponsored by Cliffs Natural Resources.
Here’s a look back at the first 17 years of the bowl game (West Virginia leads 11-6 in the all-time series):
2012: West Virginia 37,
Joe Street had college football coaches and scouts in attendance at the 2012 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl licking their chops.
He’s already taken.
Street, a 5-foot-11, 230-pound graduated senior running back from Logan High School, scored a bowl record four touchdowns to help lead the West Virginia All-Stars to a 37-12 win over Kentucky at Mingo Central’s James H. Buck Harless Stadium in Newtown.
Street, a University of Charleston signee, scored on runs of 1, 2, 5 and 4 and led the West Virginia All-Stars on the ground with 14 rushes for 66 yards.
Street, wearing a Chapmanville “C” decal on the side of his all-star helmet, picked up right where he left off in the high school season last fall and in the all-star season. During the 2011 prep season, he rushed for more than 1,200 yards and led Logan to a 8-3 record and its first Class AAA home playoff game since 1990. A month before at the North-South Football Classic at Charleston, Street was the South’s MVP as he rushed for 73 yards and scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner in a 36-28 overtime victory over the North.
West Virginia was coached by Mingo Central assistant Joey Fields.
Thanks to dominant line play, West Virginia was able to control the game down in the trenches and wear down the Kentucky All-Stars, which dressed only 22 players. Seven linemen who played a major part in the victory were Chapmanville Regional’s John Toler, Caleb Belcher, Thomas Belcher and Michael Watts and Logan’s Matt Southers, Marc Morris and Tyler Nelson.
West Virginia improved to 11-6 over Kentucky in the all-time series and erased last year’s disappointment when it was hammered 30-14 by the boys from the Bluegrass State in a game that wasn’t even that close.
Saturday night’s Senior Bowl was the first played at Mingo Central and the first to be sponsored by Cliffs Natural Resourses. The game had previously been played at the old Matewan field since the inaugural bowl in 1996.
The stands, both on the home and visitor’s side were nearly packed. The field turfed stadium has a capacity of 5,000. Attendance was believed to be somewhere around 4,000.
Led by Street, West Virginia rolled up 204 yards rushing on 41 carries. West Virginia quarterbacks Ashton Cline and Jacob Staton — both from hometown Mingo Central — were a combined 8-for-14 for 128 yards. Cline was 7-for-11 for 97 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Staton, who started the game at QB, was 1-for-3 for 31 yards.
West Virginia outgained Kentucky 332-177 in total offense.
Kentucky had 110 yards rushing on 32 carries. In the air, Kentucky’s Randy Maynard of Pikeville (Ky.) High School was 6-for-11 for 67 yards with a TD and an interception.
West Virginia also got a good game from Allen Bryant (Wayne) who rushed 10 times for 62 yards. Josh Bailey (River View) added another 46 yards on nine totes.
Clay Haddix (Wayne) was given the John Fry Award for the game’s best lineman. The new award is named after Fry, a Mingo Central assistant coach and former Hatfield-McCoy Bowl head coach, who passed away in June at the age of 27 after complications from surgery.
West Virginia’s Bryant and Kentucky’s Gary Runyon (Belfry) were the game’s Defensive MVP’s.
Savannah Cline of Mingo Central was crowned at halftime as the Cliffs Miss Hatfield-McCoy Bowl queen.
West Virginia All-Star players R.J. Collins and Austin Reed of Mingo Central honored the late Coach Fry during the game by having “Fry” shaved into their heads.
Fry was honored before the game with a moment of silence. He coached W.Va. to wins in the 2008 and 2009 Hatfield-McCoy bowls.
2011: Kentucky 30,
West Virginia 14
In the last Hatfield-McCoy Bowl game to be played at Matewan High School’s Tiger Stadium, the Kentucky All-Stars, led by head coach David Jones, rolled over West Virginia 30-14.
The game was like a plot from a Greek Tragedy.
If you were a West Virginia All-Star fan or a football insider you must have seen the writing on the wall.
Kentucky All-Star coach David Jones went all out in his preparations for the all-star game, expanding the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl map westward and southward and tapping into the tradition-rich pipeline of Bell County, Ky., and also into Harlan, Hazard, Morehead, Clay County and Madison, Ky.
Jones then grabbed athletic quarterback J.K. Hall of Johnson Central High School, stayed local by snatching speedy running back Jeffree Pruitt from Belfry and piecing together a couple of dominant offensive and defensive lines.
It spelled doom for West Virginia.
Then, when a West Virginia player unwisely predicted a 47-0 win over Kentucky to the media, the boys from the Bluegrass only seemed to gain another measure of motivation.
West Virginia’s fate was sealed. Kentucky took advantage of four lost fumbles by West Virginia — all on poor center-to-quarterback snap exchanges.
It was a problem West Virginia had all night long.
Two other bad snaps on punt attempts ended up being disasters, too.
West Virginia quarterback Josh Easterling, a Chapmanville Regional High School graduate, was pressured all night long by Kentucky’s defensive line. Easterling, running out of the shotgun for much of the night, seemed to be hounded and chased as soon as he touched the ball. He was 11-for-25 passing for 160 yards and a touchdown on the night.
West Virginia was coached by Gehrig Justice, a Riverview High School assistant.
Kentucky outgained West Virginia 271-237 in total offense. Kentucky had 33 rushes for 184 yards and was 8-for-12 passing for 87 yards.
Hall was 7-for-11 passing for 48 yards and an interception — thrown to Logan High School’s Jason Spurlock, who made several vicious hits on defense.
The athletic Hall leaped high into the air three times, jumping over would-be defenders, including one for a score.
West Virginia had some highlights, however.
Chapmanville grad and Harts native Zach Maynard had an electrifying 21-yard catch-and-run when it looked like he would get brought down in the backfield. Then, most surprisingly, Maynard, a three-sport star for Chapmanville and the smallest man on the field at only 5-foot-6, ran West Virginia’s offense late in the game from the quarterback position out of the wildcat formation. He took a direct snap with 1:03 left in the game and raced all across the field and eventually in for a 38-yard touchdown run. Maynard passed incomplete on the two-point conversion to leave the score at 30-14. He celebrated the touchdown by firing the ball into the Tiger Stadium stands.
Justin Bradford of Matewan had three grabs for 29 yards, including a 15-yard TD catch. On the ground, West Virginia was held to 24 rushes for 77 yards. Maynard led the way with two carries for 41 yards.
Belfry High School’s Alexis Howard was named as the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl queen. For the second straight year, former World Heavyweight boxing champion Buster Douglas was a guest at the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl.
2010: West Virginia 20,
Man High School lineman Tyler Dunigon was right on the money.
In the leadup to the 2010 Hatfield-McCoy Bowl, Dunigon predicted another West Virginia victory, its seventh straight over the Kentucky All-Stars.
Said Dunigon, “West Virginia will definitely be 7-0. That’s a guarantee … I’m going to be right this year. West Virginia will be 7-0, no doubt.”
Dunigon was quite correct as the West Virginia All-Stars beat Kentucky 20-0 in the Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl.
On hand at the game were such dignitaries as former heavyweight boxing champion Buster Douglas, his Red Jacket manager John Johnson and Miss West Virginia Cali Young.
The three were treated to a show by the West Virginia All-Stars, which improved to 10-5 in its series with Kentucky and won for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
West Virginia scored two first-quarter touchdowns, added another score in the third quarter and kept a pass-happy Kentucky offense off the board.
The Kentucky All-Stars could never really get on track as several snaps in the shotgun formation were poor. The team was also flagged numerous times by penalties and turned the ball over three times.
On West Virginia’s 22-man roster were four former Logan County players — all from Man — including Dunigon, Ryan Crum, Andrew Hale and Derrick Earnest.
The four, which helped lead the Man Hillbilllies to the Super Six Class A state championship game in December 2009 in Wheeling, all played well for the Mountain State team.
Crum was West Virginia’s starting quarterback and completed 4-of-7 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. He also played well in the West Virginia secondary on defense.
Earnest had two catches for 66 yards from his tight end post, including a 24-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter. Earnest also kicked two PAT’s, booted one kickoff into the end zone for a touchback and made several stops on defense.
Hale, a former Man running back, rushed six times for 29 yards.
Dunigon was one of West Virginia’s key linemen.
West Virginia outgained Kentucky 281-126 in total offense. West Virginia rushed with the ball 39 times for 155 yards and was 5-of-12 for 126 yards in the air. The Bluegrass State team was held in negative yardage on the ground with 23 rushes for minus-17 yards.
Kentucky quarterbacks were 13-for-26 passing for 143 yards.
West Virginia was coached by former Tolsia mentor Matt Stanley, who is the school’s principal.
Kentucky was coached by Betsy Layne High School head coach Jonathan Parsons. Earnest was named as West Virginia’s Offensive MVP. B.J. Roberts of Shelby Valley took the honors for Kentucky. The Defensive MVP awards went to Harless (W.Va.) and McKinney (Ky.).
Audrey Allen of Phelps High School (Ky.) was crowned at halftime as the 2010 Massey Energy Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl Queen.
2009: West Virginia 30,
Led by 14 Logan County players, the West Virginia All-Stars beat Kentucky 30-12 to win the 2009 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl for the sixth year in a row.
West Virginia led Kentucky 21-6 at the half and never looked back. The Mountain State team expanded the lead to 27-6 at the 9:55 mark of the third quarter as Matewan High School’s Roger Slone ran in from 19 yards out.
Josh Wilson of Logan High School then booted a 23-yard field goal at the 2:45 mark to make it a 30-6 ballgame.
Kentucky’s Dennis Dillon scored a late fourth quarter TD to set the final score.
West Virginia quarterback Josh Sammons of Matewan scored on a 1-yard TD plunge to make it 7-0. Then, following an interception by Chapmanville Regional High School’s Zach Belcher, West Virginia made it 14-0 on Slone’s 13-yard TD run.
Chapmanville tailback David Wiley also helped set up the score with a 22-yard run. Sammons hit Matewan teammate Max Whitt on a 51-yard TD strike to up the lead to 21-6.
John Fry, an assistant coach at Matewan, was the West Virginia All-Stars coach. Jesse Peck of Phelps High School (Ky.) was the head coach of the Kentucky team.
Slone was named as the West Virginia Offensive MVP. Logan’s Sammy Pansera was the Defensive MVP.
Tug Valley High School’s Katelynn Colegrove was named at halftime as the Massey Energy Hatfield-McCoy Bowl Queen.
2008: West Virginia 20,
The West Virginia All-Stars jumped out to a 20-12 lead at halftime and ended up beating Kentucky by the same score to win its fifth straight Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl.
West Virginia looked like it would win by a wider margin but had a touchdown called back in the second half and were unable to score on three different red zone chances.
The game was marred by numerous penalties and turnovers.
Kentucky, coached by Butch Joplin, only dressed 19 players for the game — 11 short of the maximum of 30 which are allowed.
West Virginia, coached by Matewan assistant John Fry, was led by Offensive MVP Chris Johnson of Tolsia High School, who caught two touchdown passes of 44 and 9 yards on gadget plays from Wayne running back Rodney Endicott.
Williamson’s James Endicott was West Virginia’s Defensive MVP.
Pikeville High School quarterback Tim Honaker and Jimbo Stanley of Belfry, were Kentucky’s MVP’s.
West Virginia outgained Kentucky 270-178 in total yards.
Chapmanville Regional High School’s Matt Collins had a 10-yard sack during the game.
Kirsten Stratton of Phelps (Ky.) High School was named as the H-M Bowl Queen at halftime.
2007: West Virginia 22,
The West Virginia All-Stars continued its winning ways with a 22-14 victory over Kentucky in the 2007 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl.
Gilbert High School’s Jeremy Brown passed for 113 yards and fired two first half touchdowns while Matewan’s Paul McCoy returned a punt 69 yards for another score.
West Virginia was coached by Matewan assistant Tim Dixon, while Kentucky’s head mentor was Butch Joplin.
Belfry High School’s Corey Chapman rushed for 128 yards for Kentucky.
Brown was the Offensive MVP for West Virginia, while Wayne’s Todd Mays was the Defensive MVP. Chapman and Sheldon Clark High School’s Danny Hinkle were the MVP’s for the Kentucky All-Stars.
Matewan’s Katie Adkins was crowned as the H-M Bowl Queen.
2006: West Virginia 32,
Led by skilled position players from Logan County, the West Virginia All-Stars exploded for a 32-19 win over Kentucky in the 2006 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl.
Man High School’s Andrew McDonald, West Virginia’s Offensive MVP, ran all over the field as he rushed for 205 yards on just 12 carries and scored three touchdowns. McDonald had led Man to an 8-4 record and playoff victory the previous fall.
Red Jacket community neighbors Melvin Cunningham and Butch Joplin coached the West Virginia and Kentucky all-star teams, respectively.
Kentucky was held to just 97 yards rushing on 26 carries for the game. Kentucky, however, completed eight passes for 224 yards.
Logan High School’s Cornelius Godfrey was the Defensive MVP for West Virginia. Steve Thacker of East Ridge (Ky.) High School and Prestonsburg (Ky.) High School’s David Shafer were the MVP’s for the Kentucky All-Stars.
Logan’s Anitra Kelly was the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl Queen.
2005: West Virginia 7,
The West Virginia All-Stars tied the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl series 5-5 with a 7-6 win over Kentucky in the 2005 game.
Man High School’s Justin Fekete opened up the scoring for West Virginia with a 7-yard touchdown run. He then booted the extra point to make it 7-0.
Kentucky got on the board when Joe Blackburn of Prestonsburg scored on a 60-yard touchdown run. The PAT was no good and that’s the way the score stayed.
The MVP’s for the game were Josh Holt and Fekete for West Virginia and Blackburn and Pikeville’s Josh Sullivan for Kentucky.
West Virginia’s coach was Gordon Carter of Gilbert, while Kentucky was led by Greg Varney of Belfry.
Burch High School’s Kayla Brown was crowned as the H-M Bowl Queen at halftime.
2004: West Virginia 8,
An 8-0 victory by the West Virginia All-Stars in the 2004 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl closed the series gap to 5-4 in favor of Kentucky.
Tom Posey from Mason County, Ky., coached the Bluegrass State team, while Matewan assistant Terry Joe Harrison led the West Virginia All-Stars.
MVP’s for West Virginia were Terrence Pruitt from Matewan and Brandon Browning of Logan. Kentucky’s MVP’s were Tyler Bostic of Belfry and Andre Turner of Mason County.
Ashley Tussey from Belfry was named queen.
2003: Kentucky 40,
West Virginia 36
In the highest scoring Hatfield-McCoy Bowl game to date it was Kentucky which won a 40-36 shootout in 2003.
West Virginia was led by head coach George Barker of Logan, while Butch Joplin coached Kentucky.
The game had a number of standout performers.
West Virginia was led by Scott’s Will Hatfield, Williamson’s G. Gregory, Matewan’s Todd Adkins and Iaeger’s Nathan Newberry.
Kentucky was led by Pikeville’s Paul Sullivan, Prestonsburg’s Joey Willis, Pike Central’s Justin McCurry, Paintsville’s Ryan Jarrell and Sheldon Clark’s Xavier Manning and Anthony Potter.
Gregory and Hatfield were named co-MVP’s on offense for West Virginia. Andrew Linville was the Defensive MVP. For Kentucky, Sullivan and Ryan Brown were the MVPs.
Jennifer Redman of Logan High School was named as the Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl Queen.
2002: West Virginia 14,
The West Virginia All-Stars rallied from a 6-0 deficit to beat Kentucky, 14-12, in the 2002 Hatfield-Bowl Senior Bowl.
Iaeger’s Eddie Bailey scored on a 1-yard TD run for West Virginia. Ryan Bailey, also of Iaeger, was named as the bowl game MVP. He dashed in for a 75-yard touchdown on an interception return.
West Virginia cut the all-time series margin to 4-3 with the win.
Burch’s Belinda Blankenship was crowned as the bowl’s queen.
2001: West Virginia 14,
Defense was again king in the 2001 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl as West Virginia scored a 14-6 victory over the Kentucky All-Stars, cutting the series margin to 4-2.
The victory snapped a three-game winning streak by Kentucky.
Gilbert’s Gordon Carter coached the West Virginia All-Stars, while Paul May of Belfry led the Bluegrass State squad.
Matewan’s F.D. Horton received Offensive MVP honors for West Virginia. Horton’s cousin, Curtis Childress of Belfry, was the Offensive MVP for Kentucky. Pikeville’s Mark Jacobson and Gilbert’s Brandon Mounts were the defensive MVP’s.
Tia Fletcher of Belfry High School was crowned as the bowl queen at halftime.
2000: Kentucky 6,
West Virginia 0
It was an offensive struggle in the 2000 Hatfield-McCoy Bowl as Kentucky outlasted West Virginia and the elements to score a 6-0 victory.
A torrential downpour and thunderstorm left the field a muddy mess but Kentucky was able to score a touchdown as Shelby Valley High School running back Dusty Hall, an unlikely hero in the bowl, scored the only points of the game.
Kentucky jumped to a 4-1 all-time series lead with the win.
Paul May coached Kentucky, while Matewan assistant coach Danny Perkins led the West Virginia squad.
Phelps High School’s Devin Stiltner was named as the H-M Bowl Queen.
1999: Kentucky 18,
West Virginia 12 (OT)
Kentucky needed overtime to beat the West Virginia All-Stars, 18-12, in the 1999 version of the Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl.
The victory gave Kentucky a 3-1 all-time series lead.
Tied 12-12 after regulation, Kentucky scored on its first overtime possession with a pass from Sheldon Clark’s Harley Hammond to Belfry’s Matt Little.
West Virginia was dropped back to the 12-yard line on its OT possession and failed to score.
Matewan coach Danny “Yogi” Kinder led the West Virginia team, while David Clusky of Phelps was the Kentucky head coach.
Man High School’s Tim Boykins was named as the Offensive MVP and Man classmate Chad Lusk was given the defensive honors. For Kentucky, John Ortega of Prestonsburg, took home the offensive honors while Joey Stepp of Sheldon Clark was the Defensive MVP. Stepp would later start on the offensive line at Marshall University.
Belfry’s Bobbi Taylor was crowned queen at halftime.
1998: Kentucky 22,
West Virginia 19
Kentucky retook a 2-1 series lead in the Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl with a 22-19 victory over Coach Tony Clusky’s West Virginia team.
West Virginia trailed throughout the contest but Williamson High School’s Jason Brown connected on a 3-yard TD pass to Chris Southers to pull the Hatfields to within three points at 22-19 with only 1:27 left in the contest.
Kentucky coach Paul May’s squad then fumbled on its next possession to give West Virginia one last shot. Brown, though, threw an interception with just 11 seconds remaining in the game.
Kentucky quarterback B.J. Daniels of Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, was named as the bowl MVP. Gilbert’s Daniel Carter was the Star of Stars for West Virginia. South Floyd (Ky.) High School running back Katrin Mays rushed for 81 yards to lead the Bluegrass State team, including a 68-yard jaunt.
Williamson High School’s Christina Anderson was crowned at halftime as the H-M Bowl Queen.
1997: West Virginia 11,
The West Virginia All-Stars tied the series 1-1 with an 11-0 victory over Kentucky in the second-ever Hatfield-McCoy Bowl in 1997.
Burch coach Doug Ward led the victorious West Virginia All-Star team, while Sheldon Clark’s Jim Matney was the head mentor for Kentucky.
The game’s lone touchdown came on a 68-yard fumble recovery by Tug Valley High School’s Roger Davis. West Virginia also scored on the two-point conversion and later booted a field goal to account for the 11 points.
Tolsia High School’s Jim Pertee was named as the West Virginia Star of Stars, while Pikeville running back Brent Coleman picked up the honors for the Kentucky All-Stars.
Logan High School’s Michael “Kool-Aid” Owens, a future star in the Marshall University secondary in the late 1990s and early 2000s, played for the West Virginia All-Stars in the game.
Pikeville’s Stacy Rose was named as the bowl queen.
1996: Kentucky 7,
West Virginia 0
In the inaugural Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl game in 1996, Kentucky beat its neighbor West Virginia, 7-0, at Matewan High School’s Tiger Stadium.
Belfry High School’s Adam Eastwood scored on a 2-yard touchdown run for the only points of the game.
Former Pikeville High School head coach Hillard Howard was the mentor of the winning Kentucky team. Gilbert coach Gordon Carter led the West Virginia All-Stars.
Matewan’s Jennifer Whitt was crowned as the first Hatfield-McCoy Bowl Queen during halftime festivities.