NEWTOWN – Head coach Yogi Kinder and the Mingo Central High School football team will kick off the regular season this Friday against the Wyoming East Warriors at the Miners’ Buck Harless Stadium.
The Miners had an impressive season last year where they won their first ever playoff game against the Sissonville Indians. The Miners lost their second playoff game to the Wayne Pioneers but are hoping to bounce back from last year and go all the way.
The Miners went 10-2 last season and have a lot of players returning, they lost veteran running backs Chance Lester and Chase Justice but have numerous players ready to fill the void. The Miners do have first team, all-state, senior quarterback Steven Hammond returning this year. Hammond rushed for 926 yards and had 863 passing yards and 18 touchdowns during his junior season for the Miners.
Mingo Central has been battling with consolidation issues since the school was founded, this year will be the first year where that is no longer a problem for Coach Kinder.
“This is the first group that has started together and has played together the entire time,” Kinder said.
After losing Lester and Justice to graduation the Miners’ running game will be in the hands of senior Deonte Joplin. Last season, Joplin produced 439 rushing yards with limited playing time. The Miners have moved some key players around to better fit their “fast paced” offense.
Mingo Central had a tough preseason due to injuries. The Miners lost their first scrimmage against Sissonville when they had five starters absent from the contest.
Wyoming East finished 7-4 last year and lost a lot of skill players to graduation. They have a brand new coach and are building their team around the veteran lineman that they have. Donald Jewell took over as coach for the Warriors this year.
“Our Line is really going to be the strength of our team,” Jewell said.
The Warriors are planning on running a double wing offense this year.
They want to utilize their running game as much as they can so that they can ease their new quarterback into the offensive system.
Junior quarterback Hunter Hall started twice last season when senior quarterback Aaron Griffith was injured.
The Warriors have a few starting positions left to fill early in the season, due to the loss of their big time producers there is a lot of competition on the roster for the starting positions.
The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)