NEWTOWN — Mingo Central High School is looking into appealing the Cardinal Conference’s decision to kick the Miners out of the Class AA conference, according to MCHS Principal Daniel Dean.
News broke last month that members of the Cardinal Conference voted 7-2 to remove the Miners from the athletic conference effective for the 2020-21 school term following six years in the league, citing several reasons but travel to MCHS being the main concern.
“We’re looking into doing an appeal,” Dean said in an interview with the Williamson Daily News. “The only reason you can be dismissed from the conference is for flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct from one school to another school. And the three instances they gave, which one of them wasn’t even true, did not rise to that under anyone’s definition...so we’re looking into the next steps that we take legally. If we want to leave the conference it should be of our own accord following the policies correctly, and we should not be asked to leave the conference for reasons that do not exist.”
Mingo Central Athletic Director Dr. Ted Kinder was in attendance at the regular fall scheduling meeting in November, at which he said several Principal’s from the schools unusually attended, and gave some insight as to what took place and led up to the Miners eventually being removed from the conference.
“At that meeting their was a motion made out of the blue from Nitro’s Principal to dismiss Mingo Central from the conference,” Kinder said. “Herbert Hoover seconded the motion and then there was a very brief discussion and Nitro cited two or three minor things that occurred, and one of the three things was their fault, totally their fault.
“So we felt as if it was something that was not related to anything we had done or any real travel issues, I think that it goes much deeper and broader than that. These Principals had conspired with other members of the conference because they all knew this was coming, so this talk and discussion had been going on for a while. Of course we weren’t confronted with any issues or informed that their may be any consideration of us no longer being a member, it just came out of nowhere... For a group of professionals to operate the way they did it was very cowardly and underhanded, to put it frank.”
Other than travel, Kinder said that Nitro cited Mingo Central taking longer than the allotted 20 minutes for halftime during their 56-34 win over the Wildcats on Oct. 11, which was homecoming night for Mingo Central.
The other reason given was that Nitro said the Mingo Central soccer team did not show up for a scheduled game this past season, but Kinder says that he has copies of the text messages from coach to coach to prove that the oversight was on Nitro’s part.
Kinder said that not only were he along with Principal Dean given no warning of the decision, they were then not able to argue their case at the meeting, as the decision had already been seemingly made.
“Chapmanville and Logan both said that they would prefer the issue was tabled for a while to at least give us an opportunity to address anything that was wrong,” Kinder said. “There was just no justification, other than them just wanting us out for personal reasons, whether they don’t want to play us in football or they just don’t like traveling to Mingo County.”
“It was very unprofessional and unsportsmanlike, I would never have a meeting with something as serious as removing a school from a conference without calling the Principal or the AD,” Principal Dean said. “If anybody was unsportsmanlike in this instance it was Nitro by the very act of how they did this; back-channeling, calling around, and keeping Dr. Kinder and I in the dark. It’s hurtful, but we are going to move forward in the proper way and not a reactionary way.”
The Mingo Central football team has seen more success than any other team in the conference over the past six seasons going 46-6 in league games over than span and claiming three conference titles and a state championship. They were 8-1 in conference games this past season and beat their opponents by an average score of 46-15.
Kinder said that one of the main reason’s for them looking into filing an appeal was to try and make the conference members honor the schedules for the next season, in particular for football.
With them losing nine games by being booted from the conference and it occurring so late in the year, most teams already have contracts set in place for next season and it would be tough for the Miners to schedule a 10-game season for next year.
“We feel that it would only be fair and professional to them to maintain the schedule for the forthcoming year,” Kinder said. “It is impossible to replace as many games as we would have to...we think we have solid ground to hold the to, not just keeping us in the conference whether or not we will do that, but at least maintaining our schedule for next year.”
The other members in the Cardinal Conference aside from the teams already mentioned are Sissonville, Scott, Wayne, Winfield, and Poca. All schools aside from Chapmanville and Logan voted to have the Miners removed from the conference.