gchs_uk9's Avatar
A few years back I ran an article breaking down the top 50 programs in Kentucky football history. On that list were numerous state champions but also a handful of schools that have been right at the doorstep on multiple occasions but haven't been able to break through and win it all.

For years the title was held by Somerset but the Jumpers left for good with a last second Class 2A championship win over Mayfield. Now let's take a look at who is still on that list and when/if we expect them to leave any time soon.

10. Lafayette
Stats: 14 district championships, 23 playoff wins, 4 state championship losses

When: The Generals were the cream of the Lexington crop for a few years with Walker Wood and Landon Young, among others. But as quickly as they came, they went. And with 6A dominated by the big three in Louisville, a state championship seems like nothing more than a dream.

9. Warren Central
Stats: 12 district championships, 37 playoff wins, 2 state championship losses

When: Mired in an almost unfathomable 46 game losing streak, the Dragons - long a western Kentucky contender - seem forever away from competitiveness, much less championships. With the opening of South Warren, it seems the best hopes for the Dragons went south.

8. Raceland
Stats: 19 district championships, 31 playoff wins, 1 state championship loss

When: After years of almost, Raceland broke through to the finals in 2017 where they were summarily routed by Beechwood. It seems like the Rams are always a play or two short in the postseason, but the plus side is they are always in the hunt. Eastern Kentucky Class 1A football is always good, but so is Raceland. There's no reason to think the Rams won't win a title eventually.

7. Meade County
Stats: 16 district championships, 36 playoff wins, 2 state championship losses

When: Much like Lafayette, winning in 6A is just so difficult. Meade has proven time and again capable of making deep postseason runs and just missed coming off this list after a controversial loss to Scott County in 2013. The Green Wave can be good but will good ever be enough?

6. Prestonsburg
Stats: 18 district championships, 42 playoff wins, 2 state championship losses

When: Medium-sized independent school districts in eastern Kentucky have slowly faded away over the last quarter century and Prestonsburg seems to be bearing the brunt of that. Championship losses in 1993 and 2001 hurt, but this was long a consistent program, playing in seven regional finals from 2004-14. The wheels have come off of late and with talented players now finding their way to programs like Johnson Central, the Blackcats might have already reached their peak.

5. Henderson County
Stats: 23 district championships, 37 playoff wins, 1 state championship loss

When: Perhaps this is a technicality as Henderson County does have a Class 4A At-Large title from 1976, but the Colonels lost to Trinity the next week for the overall crown. Since then it has always been a what if program. Like Meade County, winning 6A as a county school is probably a pipe dream. Henderson County, with 934 boys the ninth largest school in the state, has struggled to move ahead of district mate McCracken County, much less the best Louisville has to offer.

4. Paintsville
Stats: 18 district championships, 41 playoff wins, 3 state championship losses

When: Probably sooner than later. Paintsville has rebounded beautifully under coach Joe Chirico from nearly shuttering the program to annually contending in Class 1A. This year's club made it all the way to the finals before running into a generationally talented Pikeville club. The margin should close next year and the Tigers could wear the crown.

3. Boone County
Stats: 20 district championships, 49 playoff wins, 4 state championship losses

When: As a child of the '80s and '90s, I struggle to comprehend the losses at Boone County. But the opening of Ryle and then Cooper diluted the talent pool and land area of Boone County High, making titles difficult. The plus side is a recent move down to Class 5A gets the Rebels out of the largest class and they now have a coach who's had a good deal of success at other places. However, it seems like the days of Shaun Alexander scoring five touchdowns every Friday might be long gone.

2. Owensboro Catholic
Stats: 22 district championships, 51 playoff wins, 4 state championship losses

When: For years it seemed more like when than if for Owensboro Catholic. The Aces annually ranked among the best in their class and lost three titles they absolutely could have won. Now in Class 2A, they are still a top ten program but the numbers game has hurt as enrollment dipped. Mayfield has been a 2A thorn in the flesh but if O-Cath could ever clear that hurdle they might just win it all.

1. Glasgow
Stats: 31 district championships, 50 playoff wins, 4 state championship losses

When: Far and away the leader in the Never Won It All clubhouse now that Somerset has a title, the Scotties always seem just on the edge of greatness. This year's club, moving to Class 3A, finished first in regular season district play and likely had the talent to make it to the finals, but they fell in an effort to beat Taylor County for a second time. The talent is seemingly always present and Class 3A is very good, but also very balanced. Maybe it will happen one day.

Best Closed Schools to Never Win it All

1. Harrodsburg
12 district championships, 28 playoff wins, 3 state championship losses

2. Cumberland
8 district championships, 21 playoff wins, 3 state championship losses

3. Madison
7 district championships, 7 playoff wins, 3 state championship losses

4. Lone Oak
5 district championships, 15 playoff wins, 2 state championship losses