NEWTOWN – Mingo Central will play host to Herbert Hoover in their final home football game of the season Friday night.
It will be the last time the seniors will lace up their helmets for the Miners at Buck Harless Stadium. These players started their careers at other schools – Matewan, Gilbert, Burch and Williamson – before the school was consolidated last year to form Mingo Central.
Joe May and Garth Simpkins, two senior co-captains, were teammates at Matewan before playing at Mingo Central.
They both were sentimental heading into the game tonight.
“First of all I wanna say it’s been a wild ride. Football throughout my life had been truly amazing and unforgettable,” May said. “It’s taught me more life values than anything ever could. This team at Mingo Central has my heart. I’m so close with all the boys. I’m going to miss them.”
“Me, Garth and Davey have done our best to teach them how to be the best. They are young, but if they listen to what we said, they will be the first Mingo Central power- house.”
“It just doesn’t seem real. It seems like yesterday I was suiting up in that Matewan Tiger jersey every Friday night,” Simpkins said. “And now two years later, I’ve met so many amazing people through football and the consolidation. I’m blessed to have been healthy for four years and I will always take the life lessons and friendships I’ve made through football with me my entire life.”
“Don’t count us out just yet this year. We can still get in,” an optimistic May said. “I’m so excited to play my last home game ever at this stadium. It will be very emotional,”
“I’ve been playing since I was 9-years old. I’ll never forget it. It is going to be bittersweet running out of the locker room one last time and taking that one last toss of the football. It will live forever in my heart - just as football will be.”
May has 936 yards rushing so far this season, so he is just 64 yards shy of 1,000. The speedy tailback has scored 14 touchdowns this year. Most of the scores have been by rushing for the all-purpose back, but some have been via the pass and some on special teams.
Simpkins is one of the Miner’s top linemen on both sides of the football.
Several other seniors will be playing their last game at Buck Harless Stadium. They include Matt Lester, Joe Canterbury, Israel Reynolds, Davey Ward, Mason Conley, Quinten Yates, Joe Jackson and Chris Hammond.
Herbert Hoover comes into the game with a 1-8 record. The Huskies were open last week. It’s been a long season for HHHS. Their lone win came against Poca.
Herbert Hoover was a Class AAA school, but now plays in AA.
Mingo Central has an outside shot at making it into the playoffs, but it will be tough. They need a lot of help from other schools.
Kickoff time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight.