GOODY, Ky. – It is very challenging to be perfect in the world of sports. In football there are always going to be missed tackles, failed blocks or dropped passes.
However, in the world of academics, it could be even more difficult to get a perfect score.
But Belfry senior defensive lineman Zack Thompson did just that. He has scored a perfect 36 on the ACT (American College Testing).
The modest Thompson simply said, “I tried my best.”
Thompson did a little more than tried his best. He did something that is unique. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2012, only 781 of more than 1.66 million students earned a composite score of 36.
According to the one Internet site, the ACT consists of four different test sections: 1) English; 2) Math; 3) Reading; and 4) Science. The English Test consists of 75 questions, the Math test 60 questions, and 40 questions each for the Reading and Science tests.
A perfect ACT score is 36, and in other words, a perfect ACT score is a 36 in all four sections of the test to get the composite score of 36.
Thompson has found the balance of academics and athletics. He has been playing football since the 4th grade.
“It is just a lot of hard work and not a lot of free time,” Thompson said of his academic prowess.
His favorite subject is Chemistry and he likes Science classes, but his least favorite is English.
Thompson plans to major in Bio Chemistry when he starts college next autumn. He has aspirations of becoming an Anesthesiologist. He has not decided on a university yet, but he has narrowed it down to the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky or Ohio State.
Thompson has not yet been offered any academic scholarships, but they should come as his senior season winds down.
His father and mother are Joe and Angela Thompson, who both work at Appalachian Regional Hospital in South Williamson, Ky.
Thompson said his father has instilled in him an ethic of hard work and to put 110 percent into anything he does.
Dr. Charles “Chuck” Johnson, who is a Belfry grad and serves as team doctor for the Pirates, says that Thompson is the first student ever from BHS to make a perfect score on the ACT.
As for football, Thompson said he and his teammates work hard in practice each day to try to get better.
So far the Pirates are also perfect this season with a record of 7-0. Thompson is pleased to be a part of that success.
He is an outstanding young man,” Belfry coach Philip Haywood said of Thompson.
“I just work my tail off in practice to try to make everybody else on the team better,” the humble Thompson said. “I just try to push everyone else.”
Thompson said he doesn’t worry about playing time, but he has 33 tackles this season, 12 of those have been unassisted.
“He is not only a good student, but a good player and he just does things well,” Haywood added. “That is the kind of person you like to have on your team.”
Haywood said he and his staff like to emphasize academics as-well-as athletics and Thompson is a perfect example of that kind of student athlete.