By PAUL ADKINS
Heartland News Service
The Hatfields and McCoys once famously feuded over a pig among other things.
They were made famous again this spring with the hit History Channel miniseries “The Hatfields and The McCoys.”
Next weekend, they will be feuding again along the Tug River Valley.
But this time it will be over a pigskin.
That’s when the Hatfields, or the West Virginia All-Stars, will take to the field to battle with the McCoys, or the Kentucky All-Stars, in the Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl which is set for Saturday, July 28 at Mingo Central High School’s James “Buck” Harless Stadium near Red Jacket.
The 17th-annual all-star game pits the top graduated high school football stars from the eastern Kentucky mountains against those from the southern West Virginia coal fields.
This year’s clash begins a new tradition in the history of the game.
For the first time, the game will be played on Field Turf, at the new home of the Mingo Central Miners.
The Hatfield-McCoy Bowl had been played from 1996-2011 on the grass at Matewan High School’s Tiger Stadium. When Matewan closed its doors at the end of the 2010-11 school year and consolidated with Burch, Williamson and Gilbert, the bowl game was moved.
The Hatfield-McCoy Bowl, which was started by former Matewan football coach and current Mingo Central mentor Danny “Yogi” Kinder, began in 1996 and has been held every year since.
The forerunner of the game, the Kiwanis Bowl, used to be played at Williamson’s Lefty Hamilton Park and has its origins back in the 1950s.
Kinder, who still serves as the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl Game Director, reorganized the all-star grid game and moved it to Matewan.
The game allows senior football players one last chance to play with and against their high school rivals and pick up scholarships along the way.
The Senior Bowl was sponsored by Massey Energy from 1996-2010 until Massey merged into Alpha Natural Resources.
The game is now sponsored by Cliffs Natural Resources — another energy corporation.
West Virginia leads the all-time series 10-6.
Here’s a look back at the first 16 years of the bowl game:
2011: Kentucky 30, West Virginia 12
2010: West Virginia 20, Kentucky 0
2009: West Virginia 30, Kentucky 12
2008: West Virginia 20, Kentucky 12
2007: West Virginia 22, Kentucky 14
2006: West Virginia 32, Kentucky 19
2005: West Virginia 7, Kentucky 6
2004: West Virginia 8, Kentucky 0
2003: Kentucky 40, West Virginia 36
2002: West Virginia 14, Kentucky 12
2001: West Virginia 14, Kentucky 6
2000: Kentucky 6, West Virginia 0
1999: Kentucky 18, West Virginia 12 (OT)
1998: Kentucky 22, West Virginia 19
1997: West Virginia 11, Kentucky 0
1996: Kentucky 7, West Virginia 0