Serving Kentucky's Schools and Student Athletes Since 1917

05/29/19 – Triple Threat, Academic All-State Honorees Finalized for 2018-19

May 29, 2019 2018-2019 News Releases



The Kentucky High School Athletic Association today announced final counts for its “Triple Threat Award” and “Academic All-State” recognition programs for the 2018-19 academic year. In its second year of existence, the Triple Threat Award was presented to a total of 1,878 student-athletes for 2018-19, while 151 KHSAA member schools recognized a total of 10,046 students as First Team Academic All-State and 5,772 students as Academic All-State Honorable Mention.

“We are very pleased with the participation level of our membership with the Triple Threat and Academic All-State programs,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “Both of those processes have been automated to help our membership and make the recognition more readily available to our great student-athletes.”

Created by the Commissioner’s office in May of 2018 as a way to continue the national emphasis and the KHSAA’s own efforts to de-emphasize sports specialization in the athletic culture, the Triple Threat Award recognizes those students who participate in high school athletics (sport or sport-activity) at the varsity level year round (fall/winter/spring).

“In these days where some people erroneously believe that a student needs to participate in only one activity year round to succeed, the Triple Threat Award allows us to counter that myth with nearly 1,900 great examples of kids that represent their school all year long as multi-sport student-athletes,” added Tackett. “Every study published continues to prove that much more damage is done by sport specialization than benefit is gained, and we will continue to emphasize that point.”

A closer look at the breakdown of honorees for the 2018-19 academic year revealed that:
• 269 of the 280 member schools have at least one honoree, up from 266 in the program’s first year;
• Eleven schools feature at least 16 honorees;
• Villa Madonna has the most of the member school honorees with 23, followed by Prestonsburg with 22, Belfry, Johnson Central and Metcalfe County with 18 each, Pikeville and Scott High with 17, and Frankfort, Kentucky Country Day, Phelps and St. Patrick with 16 apiece;
• By class, 509 seniors, 482 juniors, 453 sophomores, 363 freshmen, 53 eighth graders and 18 seventh graders were honored;
• By gender, 843 females and 1,035 males qualified for the award;
• By sport, basketball had 1,132 honorees (647 boys and 485 girls), Track and Field had 1,077 (594 boys and 483 girls), Cross Country has 527 (258 boys and 269 girls), football had 522 and soccer 452 (189 boys and 263 girls).

Further details on the breakdown of Triple Threat Award recipients can be found at:

Initiated in 1985, the KHSAA annually awards “Academic All-State” recognition to student-athletes in conjunction with a corporate partner. The awards, in the form of certificates, are presented to students who have maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25 on a four-point scale. Those students are awarded “Honorable Mention” recognition. Students maintaining a 3.75 cumulative average on a four-point scale are designated “First Team.” The awards are based on cumulative grade point averages from the time of enrollment in ninth grade, are given only to varsity participants, and only to participants who are enrolled in grades nine through twelve.

“We are also pleased that our long-standing Academic All-State program continues to flourish with more than 10,000 documented awards being given at our schools for students that achieved extremely good grades while balancing their academic and athletic workloads. It’s also very likely that even more awards are being presented locally that are not documented in our system,” said Tackett. “Athletics and activities are great partners for the classroom, and this program continues to recognize those that value the partnership.”

The count of participating schools and award recipients is based solely on the participation of the member schools, with the award certificates generated by each school as a function of the member school login site provided by the Association. It is possible a school has chosen recognition at the local level as an alternative, so the listing should not be assumed to be exhaustive. Due to privacy laws and restrictions, the KHSAA does not maintain for publication the names of student-athletes receiving this recognition or the specific grade point averages.

Further details on the breakdown of award recipients can be found at:

The KHSAA staff and Board of Control are proud to issue these awards and look forward to continuing the program in the future to emphasize the values of athletics, academics, participation and the now-documented likely negative aspects of sports specialization.


About the Kentucky High School Athletic Association
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 280 member schools both public and private. The KHSAA sanctions 44 state championships in 13 sports and 5 sport-activities, licenses and trains over 4,000 officials, provides catastrophic insurance for its more than 70,000 member school student-athletes, as well as overseeing coaching education and sports safety programs.


icon-angle icon-bars icon-times