Herbert Brooks

Halifax County High School track and field standout Herbert Brooks (seated center) has signed a national Letter of Intent to continue his athletic career at Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Seated with Brooks are his father, William T. Brooks (left) and his mother, Iris M. Brooks (right). Standing from the left are Comets assistant track coach Robert Thaxton, Halifax County High School athletic director Allen Lawter, Comets head track coach Mary Douglas and Halifax County High School associate principal Kelvin Davis Jr.

Halifax County High School track and field standout Herbert Brooks has signed with Virginia Military Institute (VMI) to continue his track career and education.

The Comets senior participated in track and field at Halifax County Middle School and competed on the high school track team throughout his four-year high school career.

“I am ready for the challenge,” Brooks remarked.

“I think high school has prepared me. I have competed in football and track and balanced my schoolwork too. I’m going in confident.”

In addition to being a standout on the Comets track team competing in the discus, Brooks played key roles on the Comets football team as a running back and linebacker. He says he has his eyes on football at VMI as well.

“This is primarily for track,” Brooks said of his opportunity to continue his athletic career at VMI, “but I want to play football too. I will be seeing about playing football as well.”

Ironically, track was not Brooks’ primary sport.

“Football was the first sport I played,” Brooks pointed out.

“I always thought football would be the one that would take me to college. Track, over the years, became my best sport. I’m really thankful. If it wasn’t for football, then I wouldn’t have been able to participate in track. Competing in track keeps me in shape for football, and football season gets me in shape for track season. It works both ways.”

Brooks said he plans to try a couple of new field events when he begins his track and field career at VMI.

“I plan on specializing in the discus and the weight throw,” he explained.

“I also want to try to improve on my skills in the shot put. I might experiment with some javelin and the hammer throw as well.

“I have not tried those things before,” continued Brooks, “but I’m excited to start learning new things and new techniques and how they combine with each other. If I learn the weight throw, maybe it will help me improve my technique in discus.”

Brooks plans to major in psychology and get into the ROTC program at VMI.

“I’m definitely going to be involved in the military,” Brooks said.

“I’m required to take an ROTC program there, and more than likely I will go into the Army ROTC. I will apply for an ARMY ROTC scholarship at the end of my first semester of college, and hopefully they will give me some money that will help me throughout college. I am majoring in psychology, and I will do psychology work in civilian life, and every weekend of the month I will go to Army training as a reserve.”

Halifax County High School head track coach Mary Douglas calls Brooks “kind of one in a million. Being proud of him is an understatement. I’m so excited for him. He has accomplished a lot, and I am excited to see him going forward.”

Douglas says Brooks has a lot of fine qualities.

“Every meet he is gunning to try to improve,” Douglas pointed out.

“He sets goals for himself. He is a self-directed learner. He’s always working to tweak and get better.

“The thing I like about Herbert is he is always working to help other people too,” added Douglas.

“He takes the younger kids under his wing, and they see him not just modeling what he does with the discus. but modeling his behavior and things like that as well. It has been an honor to work with Herbert.”

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com