Logan County football players were often times the backbone of the West Virginia All-Star team in the annual Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl.
Now that the most recent Hatfield-McCoy feud is over with the end of the all-star game after 18 years, area gridders are donning the green and white of the West All-Star team for the inaugural East-West All-Star Classic, set for Saturday, Aug. 2 at Mingo Central’s Buck Harless Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the home of the Mingo Central Miners.
Just like Senior Bowls of the past, the West All-Stars will definitely have a Logan County flavor.
Out of the 35 total players on the roster, 13 hail from the county.
On the West team are: Clayton Marcum, Worm Street, Josh Rein, Tyler Vernatter, Tyler Workman, Ty Yeager and Daniel Hanks of Logan High School; Brady Cox, Gabe Maynard and Matt Chapman of Chapmanville Regional High School; and Tracy Jones, Cayce Mullins and Jeremiah Beavers of Man High School.
Cox and Maynard played in the North-South All-Star Game back in June, while Logan’s Rein and Street were surprisingly passed over.
They hope to make a big impression in the first-ever East-West, pitting some of the top graduated seniors from West Virginia against each other.
The West All-Star coach is Logan 11th-year mentor Gary Mullins.
Mullins said it’s exciting to be able to coach his old Wildcat players one more time and have a chance at coaching the players from rival Man and Chapmanville as well as the gridders from the half dozen or so other schools from the western part of the state.
“That’s definitely one of the exciting parts in coaching this game. You get to coach these guys one last time,” Mullins said.
For Logan County’s football players, it’s a unique and rare chance for the Logan Wildcats, the Man Hillbillies and the Chapmanville Tigers to unite on the same team.
As a show of unity, players often traded helmet decals during the weeklong practices leading up to the Senior Bowl. They will do the same in the East-West.
Two years ago at the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl, Logan’s Joe Street, Worm Street’s older brother, donned a Chapmanville block “C” on his helmet along with the script Man logo.
The trading of decals in a longstanding tradition in college all-star games dating back to the old Blue-Gray College All-Star Game which used to be held on Christmas Day.
Coach Mullins said the players like to team up, even if it is just one time.
“I think they like it every year,” Mullins said. “I’ve talked to the players and they always come back and say that they always like to play on the same team with some of the guys from the other teams that they have been playing against the last six or seven years.”
Marcum was a Class AAA all-state honorable mention pick for 7-4 Logan last season and helped lead the Wildcats to the playoffs for the fifth time under Coach Mullins.
Street, who is headed to play collegiate football at Division II Glenville State, was a special honorable mention all-state pick last year as well as Rein.
Last season for the Wildcats, Street rushed for 1,444 yards on 167 carries and scored 14 touchdowns.
Rein caught 38 passes for 603 yards and seven touchdowns last season for Logan. He also played quarterback some, rushing for 220 more yards and passing for 132.
Vernatter, Logan’s starting fullback last year, ran 77 times for 435 yards and eight touchdowns. He was key on the defensive side of the ball along with Street.
Marcum was one of Logan’s leading tacklers last year. Workman led the Cats with five interceptions.
Man High School’s Cayce Mullins and Jones formed a potent one-two threat at wide receiver last fall for Coach Harvey Arms’ Hillibillies, which went 9-2 and advanced to the Class A state playoffs. Beavers was a top lineman.
Jones had 41 catches for 697 yards and scored nine touchdowns last season for Man. Mullins had 50 grabs for 569 yards and five scores. Mullins also played catcher on Man High School’s 2014 Class A state championship baseball team. He’s headed to WVU Tech to play collegiate baseball.
Cox was Chapmanville’s top receiver last season and a Class AA all-state pick. The 6-5 Cox is headed to play at Division II West Virginia State.
Maynard, like Street, is also headed to play at Glenville State.
Cox played on both sides of the ball for Coach George Barker’s Tigers but was better known for his pass-catching ability either as a tight end or deployed out wide as a wide receiver. Last season, Cox had 48 catches for 746 yards — an average of 15.5 yards per grab. He also scored eight touchdows. On the defensive side of the ball last year as a safety, Cox made 64 total tackles with two interceptions.
Maynard is a 6-4, 270-pound lineman. Last season on defense, he had 12 total tackles. The bulk of his snaps came on Chapmanville’s offensive line.
Dingess, a middle linebacker, was Chapmanville’s leading tackler a year ago with 59 solos and 22 assisted stops.
Mingo County will be represented on the West All-Star team by four players: Alex Lee, Dakweon Willis and Brandon Blankenship of Mingo Central; and Thomas Baisden of Tug Valley. Lee was the Miners’ top receiver last season and was also an outstanding basketball player.
In addition, there are 12 players from Charleston area schools Capital, Hurricane, St. Albans and George Washington on the roster.
Four more players are from Class AA state runner-up Wayne.
“We have a lot of skilled position guys also from Wayne, Hurricane and Capital, too,” Coach Mullins said.
2014 Cliffs West All-Star
James Walton, Capital
Edmund Harvey, Capital
Jonathon Pittman, Capital
Jaissob Dyer, Capital
James Richmond, Capital
Jesse Barker, Hurricane
Jon Francis, Hurricane
Jeremy Francis, Hurricane
Eric McDaniel, St. Albans
Taylor Clark, St. Albans
Alex Lee, Mingo Central
Dakweon Willis, Mingo Central
Brandon Blankenship, Mingo Central
Gabe Maynard, Chapmanville
Brady Cox, Chapmanville
Matt Chapman, Chapmanville
Tracy Jones, Man
Jeremiah Beavers, Man
Cayce Mullins, Man
Brynden Street, Logan
Tyler Vernatter, Logan
Josh Rein, Logan
Clayton Marcum, Logan
Tyler Workman, Logan
Ty Yeager, Logan
Daniel Hanks, Logan
J.C. Maynard, Wayne
Nick Harmon, Wayne
Kurt Arthur, Wayne
Taylor Maynard, Wayne
Adam Huffman, GW
Jon Alexander, GW
Thomas Baisden, Tug Valley
Head Coach: Gary Mullins
Assistant Coaches: Josh Fry, Jason Davis, David Toney, Rob Dial, Gary Mullins Sr.