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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The first inductees into the Richmond High School Athletic Hall of Fame were introduced Saturday night in an emotional evening.
The ceremonies, held in the Richmond Middle School commons area, honored Harold “Hank” Burnine, Ken Simmons, Brianna Broderick, Scott Hamilton, Lenvil Elliott and the 1971 Class AAA champion Spartan football team.
Marshall began the night telling of why and how the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame came to be.
“We have a rich tradition of athletics here at Richmond High School,” Marshall said. “We need to find a way to preserve this history of RHS athletics.”
Burnine was the first inductee for the evening. Marshall told the crowd it was “a great honor for me to talk about him.” Burnine was an All-American receiver at the University of Missouri, despite playing for a one-win Don Faurot coached Tiger squad.
“I feel like the most fortunate person in the world,” Burnine said. “I have been blessed to have some great people take care of me as an athlete through the years.”
Burnine added he was also fortunate to have great teammates at Richmond.
“I was overwhelmed by the Richmond Spartan team I played on,” he said. “We had a great team.”
Dan Renfro, a former state champion wrestler, introduced coach Simmons as the next inductee into the Hall. Renfro said he talked to a lot of Simmons’ former wrestlers in getting his remarks ready for the evening.
“The one thing they all had in common was they said coach Simmons prepared them for life after athletics,” Renfro said. “From all of the student athletes I want to say thank you.”
Simmons, RHS wrestling coach from 1982-96, and from 2007-13, led the Spartans to two state titles with 13 individuals winning state championships.
“I can’t accept this for myself,” Simmons said. “It was they guys who put forth the dedication and effort that made me look good.”
The next presenter, Dave Broderick, spoke of his daughter Brianna who fell in love with golf during intramural classes in grade school.
“Her first state tournament, she finished 25th,” Broderick said. “Then she got serious. She was a practice junkie from then on.”
Brianna went on to dominate girls’ golf by winning state titles in 2000-02 and helping the Lady Spartans to one team title. She starred at Michigan and is now the UMKC golf coach.