Two years ago, Kentucky All-Star coach David Jones broke from normal Hatfield-McCoy Bowl tradition.
Instead of limiting his pick of graduated senior football players from Pike, Martin, Johnson and Letcher counties, Jones tapped into the football-steeped hotbeds of Breathitt, Whitley and Bell counties and a few other places.
The scheme paid handsome dividends as Kentucky broke a seven-year losing streak to the West Virginia All-Stars and pummeled the Mountain State boys 30-14 in the final Hatfield-McCoy Bowl to be played at Matewan.
Last year, it went back on an even keel as Kentucky stayed within its usual four-county block and West Virginia drew its players from the usual Mingo, Logan, Wayne, Wyoming, Boone and McDowell counties.
Jones is back to lead the Kentucky All-Stars after a one-year absence.
He was likely to push the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl map westward and southward again.
Joey Fields knew this.
So Fields, came up with a pre-emptive strike.
He was going to expand the map as well.
It should turn out to make for a high-caliber football game as this year’s clash is scheduled to be played on Saturday, Aug. 3 at Mingo Central High School’s Buck Harless Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
Fields returns as the West Virginia coach. Fields, a Mingo Central assistant coach under Senior Bowl founder and game director Yogi Kinder, led the West Virginia All-Stars to last year’s 37-12 victory over Kentucky in the first Hatfield-McCoy Bowl to be played at the new Field-Turfed facility.
“David Jones 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 the last time he coached it in 2011. I just followed that formula this year,” Fields said. “All these players were stars on their own team. It’s exciting to get them all in one jersey.”
The staple of this year’s West Virginia roster still come from the southern six-county area, but Fields has also added some players from the Huntington, Charleston and Beckley municipalities.
Fields has grabbed such players as: Davon Tyson of Capital; Gage Gould of Cabell Midland; Trevon Johnson of George Washington; Dominic Orcutt and Trevond Reese from South Charleston; and Andrew Johnson and Ramon Edwards II of Beckley Woodrow Wilson.
Logan County will be represented by seven players: Austin Watts and Brandon White of Chapmanville Regional; Brant Williams, Chris Marcum, Khaleel Reynolds and Teddy Nelson of Logan; and Marcus Murrell, the lone representative from Man High School.
Five players are from hometown Mingo Central: Garth Simpkins; Israel Reynolds; Joe May; Joe Hall; and Joe Jackson.
Mingo County will also be represented by a pair of Tug Valley players in Aaron Muncy and Issac Parsley.
Practices for the Senior Bowl begin for the West Virginia All-Stars on Monday at 6 p.m. at Buck Harless Stadium. Last year’s inaugural bowl game at the brand new facility was a smashing success as around 4,000 fans were on hand at the game.
“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.”
The Hatfield-McCoy Bowl serves as the unofficial kickoff to the high school football season each summer.
The game takes its name from the infamous family feud along the Tug River in the late 1800s between West Virginia’s Hatfields and Kentucky’s McCoy clan.
The Hatfield and McCoy feud was brought back into the national and worldwide spotlight in 2012 with the History Channel’s highly-rated and critically-acclaimed TV miniseries Hatfields & McCoys starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton. Although the story is set in the West Virginia and Kentucky Appalachian mountains, the miniseries was shot in Romania with the Carpathians standing in for the Appalachians.
The TV series was re-aired over the weekend.
In addition, a 2012 episode of the History Channel’s American Pickers reality show was also centered on the feud and filming was done in the Williamson and Matewan areas.
This coming Thursday at 10 p.m., History is airing a new reality show entitled: Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning.
2013 West Virginia
Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl Roster
Austin Watts Chapmanville
Brandon White Chapmanville
Brant Williams Logan
Chris Marcum Logan
Khaleel Reynolds Logan
Teddy Nelson Logan
Marcus Murrell Man
Davon Tyson Capital
Gage Gould Cabell Midland
Trevon Johnson George Washington
Garth Simpkins Mingo Central
Israel Reynolds Mingo Central
Joe May Mingo Central
Joe Hall Mingo Central
Joe Jackson Mingo Central
Brandon Thomas River View
Dakota Ball Scott
Dominic Orcutt South Charleston
Trevond Reese South Charleston
Aaron Muncy Tug Valley
Issac Parsley Tug Valley
Anthony Bryant Wayne
Austin Pyles Wayne
Brandon Spurlock Wayne
James Egnor Wayne
John Thornsbury Westside
Andrew Johnson Woodrow Wilson
Ramon Edwards II Woodrow Wilson
Head coach: Joey Fields
Assistants: Josh Sammons, Hady Ford, Terence Pruitt, Jacob Staton
Support Staff: Ricky Jackson and Lyle Marcum
Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl Roster
Madison Ghormley Belfry
Eli Huddle Belfry
James May Belfry
Josh Robinson Belfry
Zach Taylor Belfry
Zach Thacker Belfry
Peyton Mullins Belfry
Derrick Jude Belfry
Joseph Bucci Belfry
Tuffy Willis Belfry
Zack Francisco Belfry
Nick Bunch Belfry
Wes Pugh Pike Central
Josh Johnson Pike Central
Brayton Fugate Breathitt County
Richard Trent Breathitt County
Corey Shouse Breathitt County
James Bloomburg Breathitt County
Bryton Williams Prestonsburg
Alex Kidd Prestonsburg
Tyler Hall Shelby Valley
Weston Lyle South Floyd
Derek Little West Jessamine
Braxton Harshaw Ashland
Malik Massey Ashland
Head coach: David Jones