The best of the best in Kentucky sports in 2012:
Trinity High School. The Catholic school in St. Matthews achieved something no other school has ever done, a state championship in basketball last March and a football title in December.
The Shamrocks’ championship coaches are Mike Szabo in basketball and Bob Beatty in football.
Trinity also had the state’s most outstanding athlete, James Quick, a star sprinter in track, a starter on the basketball team and a “can’t catch me” receiver in football. His future is on the gridiron, probably at the University of Louisville, but he can pick his school.
The University of Kentucky and coach John Calipari ruled college basketball, thanks mainly to Anthony Davis, who went on to be No. 1 in the NBA draft and to win a Gold Medal as a member of the USA Olympic champions.
Louisville Central High School and coach Ty Scroggins gave the city another Class 3A state football championship.
It was a tremendous achievement that coach Charlie Strong and his University of Louisville football team accomplished, a berth in a BCS bowl, the Sugar.
The Cardinals’ only appearances in any of the bowls that are now BCS members came in the Orange under Bobby Petrino (24-13 over Wake Forest) and under Howard Schnellenberger in the Fiesta (34-7 over Alabama).
The Cardinals’ star of stars is quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who just completed his sophomore season. If he continues to improve, he will be making Heisman Trophy headlines next season.
The Cardinals’ greatest laurels could come from Rick Pitino’s basketball team. They reached the Final Four last season and will be primed to go all the way this season.
Lexington’s Tom Hammond is the media member who stood tallest, shining once more as one of NBC’s brightest play-by-play stars in Olympic track and field, and also in something else dear to the hearts of Kentuckians, the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont. He is the best of the best.
It was also good to see his former partner on a few Southeastern Conference basketball broadcasts, Larry Conley. If only the Southeastern Conference would flex its muscles so we could see the Hammond-Conley team once more for an entire season.