Young agreed his senior season could not have gone much better.
"It was just a really good overall season. I had a lot of fun. And I felt my class helped put Lincoln County back on the map athletically," he said.
Hempel ended his senior year by winning his third straight Class A 800-meter title at the state track and field championships in Louisville, and held the best overall time in the state for much of season. Then, in his final high school race, he anchored the Admirals' 1,600 relay which won a state title for the second straight year and he made all-state for the third straight season.
"The 800 is my main event, so I really wanted to do well in that, and I didn't lose a single event in 800 outdoors," said Hempel, who will run at Kentucky next year. "In the preseason, I ran a pretty fast time (indoors), and I trained harder than I ever have this year. That, coupled with the beginning of year, I figured might have a pretty good year this year."
In the indoor season, Hempel was fourth at the University of Kentucky High School Invitational, and ran at the Nike National Indoor Meet in Andover, Md.
In the fall, he won his fifth straight regional title, and finished ninth at the Class A cross country championships. It was his third straight top-10 finish, and earned Hempel all-state honors for the third consecutive year.
He also helped a veteran Danville team reach the Elite Eight of the state soccer tournament for the second straight season after posting a 15-4-2 record.
"We grew up together. We had 11 seniors on the team, and one of them just joined us this year," he said. "So there were 10 of us since middle school, so we knew each other. We're best friends and hang out, we just had that chemistry.
"We also had talented players too. It just led us to be one of the best soccer teams in school history."
He accomplished his soccer and cross country feats while juggling his time to give each sport the attention it needed.
"It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done balancing the two. I tried to be fast for cross country, and still play soccer," Hempel said. "I went to soccer practice every day because I needed to get the team stuff down.
"I ran cross country every Tuesday and Saturday, and ran the 3.1 miles as hard as I could. It was just difficult, it wears on you physically and mentally."
Young the 12th Region Player of the Year
Young wasn't even born the last time Lincoln won a regional basketball title in 1980. But he led Lincoln to two straight Sweet Sixteen appearances and picked up some good hardware along the way.
Young, the 12th Region Player of the Year in basketball, led the Patriots to a 27-6 record and their second-straight 12th Region crown after averaging 18.4 points, 5.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. He finished his career with 1,482 points, 486 assists and 296 rebounds.
He was also named the Advocate-Messenger Player of the Year, was All-Area for two straight seasons, and got invited to try out for the Kentucky All-Stars.
Young was proud of all his accomplishments, but said getting back to the Sweet Sixteen had to top his list.
"We had the targets on our backs. And we had some uncertainty with other players, and we had a lot of shoes to fill to get back there," he said. "It was a good season for me. I put in a lot of hard work this summer on my game, and I felt it finally flourished the way I wanted it to."
Young played just two years of football - and almost did not play this year to concentrate on basketball. But he made his presence felt and became a huge part of the Pats' successful season.
He had 50 catches for 526 yards and 12 touchdowns, and had 11 interceptions to earn second team Associated Press all-state honors as a defensive back while helping the Patriots to an 11-3 record and the Class AAAAA semifinals.