Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Boca Ciega adding trio to Sports Hall of Fame Friday

A National Football League star, an accomplished coach and a longtime school athletics leader will be inducted into the Boca Ciega High School Sports Hall of Fame Friday evening.

The trio will be honored in the Boca Ciega gymnasium between the varsity and junior varsity basketball games against Pinellas Park. The ceremony is expected to start about 7:30 p.m. Boca Ciega High is at 924 58th St. S.

The inductees:

+ Darren Howard. He is a 1995 Boca Ciega graduate who was named to numerous all-star teams, including the 1994 Times All-Suncoast Team as a linebacker. He went on to an outstanding college career at defensive end for Kansas State University, where he set a school record of 29{ career sacks. He was named to the all-Big 12 Conference teams in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

The New Orleans Saints drafted Howard in the second round of the 2000 draft. As a defensive end, he recorded 11 sacks in the 2000 season, setting a Saints rookie record. The same year, he was named to the NFL's all-rookie team, was third in the rookie of the year balloting and second in the vote for defensive rookie of the year.

+ Harry Elifson. As girls varsity basketball coach from 1989 to 2000, Elifson took the Pirates to three state semifinals in five years, winning back-to-back state titles in 1995 and 1996. His 1996 team ended the season ranked 18th in the nation by USA Today.

He also led Boca Ciega to its first 5A District Championship during the 1992-93 season. He won six more district championships (1994-99), three regional championships (1995, 1997, 1999) and was regional runner-up in 1996 and 1998.

Elifson was named Pinellas County coach of the year on several occasions and in 1997 was a finalist for the High School Coaches Association Region 3 National Girls Coach of the Year award. He is currently at the University of South Florida, where he helps coach the women's team.

+ Allyn Ramker. Ramker is being honored for distinguished service in several roles.

He was head junior varsity football and wrestling coach for three years in the late 1970s. He served as activities director three years in the early 1980s. In 1988, he was named assistant principal, serving 11 years.

In 1993, Ramker served as tournament director when Boca Ciega was host to the first Hooters Holiday Shootout. The tournament helped showcase local, state and out-of-state basketball talent for both boys and girls teams.