Event Date & Time

Tuesday May 23rd, 2017

Event Location

Robarts Arena
3000 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34237
Get Directions

About Best of HT Preps

Join the Herald-Tribune as we salute the accomplishments of the 2016-2017 all-star high school student athletes at the second annual Best of HT Preps Awards. This celebration honors the hundreds of outstanding prep athletes and coaches whose stories of performance, drive and passion have been shared in the Herald-Tribune.

Presented by the Herald-Tribune, Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System and community partners Sarasota Ford and SCF (State College of Florida), the event honors the top performers from Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties in 21 sports. Awards will be presented to the Player of the Year in each sport as well as the Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year. Best of HT Preps athletes are invited to attend for free. A limited number of tickets are also available for athlete's to purchase for guests for dinner as well as bleacher tickets for other guests to watch the awards ceremony and Derrick Brooks' presentation.

Featured at the event will be Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks, linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida State Seminoles. Brooks led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl Championship in 2003 and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year that same season. Since retiring from play, Brooks works as an analyst for ESPN, is co-owner of the Arena Football League franchise Tampa Bay Storm and serves as an ambassador for children's charities that advocate the importance of education.

Student athletes will receive a written invitation for a free invitation through their school along with an opportunity to purchase two tickets. Seats are limited. Details will be included in student letters.

The event begins at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5:45 p.m. for student athletes and their guests who have a purchased ticket.

General admission tickets, which allow seating during the awards ceremony, may also be purchased for $10 each. Seating for GA ticket holders begins at 6:45 p.m. and is first come, first serve. Deadline to purchase tickets is May 19 unless the event sells out prior.

With questions, please call 941-361-4557. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Debbi Reynolds at 941-361-4005.

Best of HT Preps is presented by the Herald-Tribune, Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System and community partners Sarasota Ford and SCF (State College of Florida).

Special Guest

Derrick Brooks

Football Legend
Derrick Brooks, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida State Seminoles linebacker and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will be the featured guest at this year's Best of HT Preps.

Derrick Brooks was drafted in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played his entire fourteen-season professional career. He is widely considered one of the best linebackers in NFL history.

In 2014, Derrick was inducted in Canton to the Hall of Fame as well as the Capitol One Academic All America Hall of Fame and was also enshrined into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Ring of Honor. That honor ensures that his jersey number - 55 - will never be worn by another Buccaneer player.

An eleven-time Pro Bowl selection and nine-time All-Pro, Derrick was named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Derrick earned both his master's and bachelor's degree in business communications from Florida State University. He earned his doctorate in humane letters from St. Leo's University in 2006.

At FSU, Derrick was a three-time first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, two-time first team All-American and a member of the 1993 Seminoles National Championship team. In 2010, FSU inducted him into the Florida State Hall of Fame and retired his Seminole jersey number (10).

Recognized as often for his hard work in the community as he was for his hard hits on the football field, Derrick has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2000 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year award, the 2003 Bart Starr Award, the 2004 Bryon "Whizzer" White Award and the 2008 JB Award through the NFL Players association. Each recognizes an NFL player annually for their commitment to the communities in which they live.

Derrick also has received numerous community awards for his work and dedication to the Tampa community such as: 2007 Citizen of the Year from the Tampa Sports Club; 2014 Lee Roy Selmon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tampa Sports Commission; 2014 Community Hero Award from the Tampa Bay Lightning; and, the 2014 Community Champion Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs.

In 2003, Derrick was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida State University board of trustees where he served until 2011. He has also worked on the boards of the Florida Department of Education Foundation, St. Leo's University and Brooks-DeBartolo Charities, Inc. Today, he actively serves on several other boards in his community.

In 2007, he was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist as the Chairman for the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness where he worked to help fight the problem of childhood obesity throughout Florida.

By partnering with the DeBartolo Family, Derrick was able to realize a lifelong dream with the opening of the very first traditional charter high school in the Tampa Bay area, the Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School.

About Our Sponsors


Everything from gorgeous townhomes to luxury custom estates, where families become neighbors,
neighbors become family and everyone enjoys a sense of community.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, an 819-bed regional medical center, is the among the largest public health systems in Florida. About 5,000 staff, over 800 physicians and 1,000 volunteers contribute to the mission of providing health care services that excel in caring, quality and innovation.


Experience a dealership that will WOW you with an incredible customer experience! We offer a cafe, movie theatre and relaxation room w/ massage chairs!

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) is the region's first and largest public college, serving approximately 27,000 college credit students annually at campuses in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice, and online. Another 14,000 participants annually attend professional development and personal enrichment classes. The College has graduated 41,000 students since 1960


Best of HT Preps athletes are invited to attend for free and the event is open to family, friends and the public.

$50.00 - This ticket type is available for HT Preps athletes and their guests only (limit 2). Dinner Ticket includes three-course meal, awards ceremony, and presentation by Derrick Brooks. Entry time is 5:45 p.m.

$10.00 - This ticket type is available for anyone. General Admission Ticket includes awards ceremony and presentation by Derrick Brooks (dinner not included). Entry time is 6:45 p.m.


Dinner Menu*
Garden Salad
Chicken with Cream Sauce**
Orzo Pilaf
Grilled Asparagus
Flourless Chocolate Torte

*menu subject to change
**vegetarian option available

Directions & Parking

Get directions
Parking is free and located between Fruitville Road and Ringling Boulevard, across from the stadium