LAND O'LAKES — Derrick Brooks, who knows a bit about stardom, had this advice for the inaugural class of the Land O'Lakes High School Athletics Hall of Fame:
"Don't blow your own horn," said the former Florida State and Tampa Bay Buccaneer standout linebacker at Tuesday night's induction ceremony.
The hall is the brainchild of 1986 Land O'Lakes graduates John Childers and Jerry Brewster, who formed a committee of coaches to come up with the inaugural class.
Noting the significance of establishing a hall, Brooks said, "I think it sets the tone for future generations. To bring these people together, that's special."
One-by-one, inductees Colleen Bentz Sanders, Tim Harvey, Kenneth McCurry, Robert Shirmohammad and Henry Walls spoke of coaches' mentoring, camaraderie among teammates and community support.
"We made an effort to become better people and I think the school had a lot to do with that," said Bentz Sanders, a star in volleyball, basketball and track who graduated in 1987 and is now a special agent for the FBI.
"I think the teachers and coaches really approached things with a great deal of passion," added McCurry, captain of the school's football team at a senior in 1979 and now a renowned heart and lung transplant surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic.
Harvey (Class of 1979) earned a school-record 13 letters in four sports during four years of football, basketball, baseball and track. "Not only did he make the teams, which is an honor in itself, but he was excellent at it," Brewster said.
Harvey, a local builder heavily involved in church mission work, said he felt humbled to be included in the hall.
"I was nobody special,'' he said, "I just loved to play sports."
Shirmohammad (Class of 1988) established school records in placekicking for football, soccer scoring and sprinting in track in just two seasons — he spent his freshman and sophomore years with the U.S. Olympic Development program.
"He was just phenomenal," Childers recalled. "The speed was ridiculous on this guy."
Walls went into the hall as a former principal and athletic director. He held the latter position simultaneously at Land O'Lakes and Pasco.
"What an honor to be up here tonight and following that group of people," he said before pointing to several retired coaches in attendance and adding, "This is why I'm up here."