The Mingo Central Miners will have a new look this season when they take the field against Point Pleasant in their home opener. Gone are Joey Fields, the former head wizard who orchestrated a 12-1 mark in 2017. Mingo Central was one win shy of returning to the state championship after falling to Fairmont Senior. Also gone is Kennedy Award winner Jeremy Dillon, who traded his shoulder pads for basketball sneakers and is on campus at Marshall University. The Miners are also without dynamite running back Dawson Elia, a Kennedy Award nominee and All-Stater, to carry the pigskin.
All of this might put some head coaches in a panic. However, on Miner Mountain, the Miners will be in good hands. Even with those losses, new head coach Josh Sammons and Mingo Central return First Team All-State wide receiver Drew Hatfield. Hatfield was a force in the receiving corps last season. As a sophomore, he was Dillon’s primary target and he caught 67 passes for 1,058 yards with 12 touchdowns a year ago. He averaged 15.8 yards per catch to go along with an 81.4 yards per game average.
Drew Hatfield comes from an athletic family. His father, former Mingo Central basketball coach Kevin Hatfield, was a star basketball player at Burch High School, where he helped the Bulldogs to a state title. After playing college basketball at Fairmont State, he returned to Burch High as head coach, eventually making the trip up to Miner Mountain to coach Mingo Central, and also his son Drew.
Drew Hatfield will also get to play this season with younger brother Devan Hatfield, who will be a nincoming freshman on this season’s team. Drew Hatfield will no doubt be able to mentor his sibling on his quickness and his ability to catch the football as long as it’s thrown in his vicinity. Devan Hatfield is also a wide receiver for the Miners. Look for Drew Hatfield to only improve on his numbers this season that, led to a First-Team All-State selection as a sophomore. The Miners have a bright future having Hatfield for two more seasons. He will also be back as a leader for the Miner basketball team, which also lost Dillon to graduation. Hatfield and Dillon were a potent one-two punch for Mingo Central last season, where the Miners finished 20-7, only to fall to David Early, and the Logan Wildcats in the state semifinals at Chapmanville. He will return as the point guard and major three point threat for the Miners once football season has concluded.