The month of June means many things — summer vacations, gardening and boating — but for Tri-County athletes, it’s time for the annual Trispy Awards.
The third annual Trispy Awards will take place at the London Community Center on Tuesday, June 18. The awards are co-hosted by The Times-Tribune, The Sentinel-Echo and Union College, and honor the top athletes in the Tri-County.
The idea for the event came from another newspaper in the Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. and since sports are so big in southern Kentucky, especially Knox, Whitley and Laurel counties, an event like the Trispy Awards only made sense.
This year’s biggest change is the venue.
“The Arena in Corbin has been a great site the past two years to host the awards,” said Sports Reporter Les Dixon. “We decided to give venues across the Sentinel-Echo’s and Times-Tribune’s coverage area an opportunity to host the event, and we are happy to be able to have the third annual Trispy Awards event at the London Community Center this year.”
Bubby’s BBQ and Shep’s Place are providing light refreshments for guests starting at 6 p.m., and the program officially begins at 7 p.m.
Dixon said he may be a tad bit partial but he feels like the student-athletes, and coaches, in the Tri-County are the best in the state.
“We’re fortunate at The Sentinel-Echo and The Times-Tribune to have the opportunity to cover the best of the best in the Tri-County.”
This is part of what makes the Trispys so great.
“We feel that it’s important to promote the student-athletes and coaches across the Tri-County, and the Trispys are a great way to do it,” said Dixon. “The student-athletes across the Tri-County give their all throughout the school year, and the Trispys are another avenue to showcase, and award the best of the best in The Sentinel-Echo’s and Times-Tribune’s coverage area."
Mark Walker, general manager for The Times-Tribune and Sentinel-Echo, agreed, saying he thinks the Trispys are great for the community because it is an opportunity to recognize all the hard work and effort these student athletes have put in.
“There are some great teams in the Tri-County and they definitely deserve a night that puts them in the spotlight,” said Walker.
This year’s Trispys will be much different for Sports Reporter Emily Adams who spent her first Tripsys as an intern. Adams has spent the last six months covering sports.
"Working the event the last two years, I didn’t know anything about the players who were being honored at the Trispys, other than their names, but this year I’ve had the opportunity to form relationships with several of the players and coaches," said Adams. "I’ve seen the work they’ve put in and why they deserve to be honored and I think that’s definitely given me a new perspective on the event."
A committee goes over the accomplishments and statistics of the respective student-athletes in the Tri-County, and once they do that, they narrow things down to nominees, and eventually a winner.
Dixon said he hopes things continue to progress like they have the two past years.
“I would have loved to have an event like this take place while I attended high school,” Dixon added. “Of course, everyone would like to win, but being nominated is huge. We want everyone that attends the event to have an excellent time. This event is for, and about, the coaches and student-athletes of the Tri-County.”
Walker hopes the community continues to see the value of recognizing local student-athletes and in turn grows this annual event.
“As young athletes in middle and grade school see how fun this can be, maybe it will motivate and encourage them to strive to be future Trispy winners,” said Walker of the Trispy Awards.
Walker said he thinks things should be even better this year with Bubby’s BBQ and Shep’s Place providing refreshments.
“We are also going to have a photo booth area, that should be fun,” Walker added. “I think our Facebook video stream will be vastly improved over years past too.”
Adams likes the venue rotation.
"I think that the venue change helps to keep the Trispys fresh and shows that we are working to change and grow the event each year," said Adams. "We’re learning new things each year that we do this event, ways to make the event better, and I think this year’s Trispys will really showcase that."
While this might be the last time for many students-athletes to be recognized, as some of them may not go on to the college or professional level, this helps them build a good foundation to move on in whatever their future holds.
Adams said the Trispy Awards allow student-athletes from all the different Tri-County schools to come together for one night and celebrate one another’s accomplishments.
"I think it says a lot about our community that we can put our rivalries aside for one night and come together as one," Adams said, adding she's looking forward to her role in this year's event.
Sponsors for the event include Union College, Shane Romines-Attorney at Law, Grace Health, Don Franklin Ford, Southeastern Farm, Sav-Rite Home Care, First National Bank of London, Sonic Drive-In, L & N Federal Credit Union, George Humfleet Homes, Robinsons Meats, Laurel County Schools and Kemper Home Furnishings.