Red Bay's Roberts Notches 800th Career Victory


                                                           By KEITH LETBETTER
                                              Red Bay News (Special to the AHSAA)

    Red Bay High School girls coach Donnie Roberts notched the 800th win of his long prep basketball coaching career Jan. 25 as the Lady Tigers beat Colbert Heights 64-37. The Lady Tigers improved to 22-2 this season with the win.
    Roberts, who has compiled an 800-346 overall record in his 41-year coaching career, is now the state’s career wins leader for girls basketball and the first in state history to win 800 games.  He will be inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame in March as a member of the Class of 2014.

   “It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about how fortunate my career has been at Red Bay and the 10 years Icoached at Tremont (Ms.). All I can do is thank the kids that played for me. They had a lot more to do with it than Idid.

   After earning a Master’s Degree from Mississippi State University, he returned to his alma mater, Tremont High School just across the state line from Red Bay and compiled a 142-127 record in the next 10 seasons. Roberts moved to Red Bay in 1983 and began working on the goal of making that first trip to Birmingham for the state playoffs.
    “I came here and took over a team that was 9-11 the year before. We had a real good year that first year and we went 19-5,” Roberts said.

    Roberts, who owns a 658-219 girls coaching record at Red Bay, led the Lady Tigers to state championships in 1987, 1993, 2001 and most recently directed Red Bay to the 2012 Class 2A state finals, a 54-49 loss to Section. Last year Roberts’ team won the Northwest Regional again and lost in the Final 48 semifinals.
     “It takes a combination of things to have a state championship program. It does take coaching, but it also takes pride in our program from our girls.”

      Roberts said that it also takes the involvement of the community.

“Everybody here is involved in it,”said Roberts. They back us and support us. The community likes to see us do well.

      Roberts said that over the years some of the best memories he has is that of having the opportunity to coach both of his daughters, Laura Beth and Leah.

“I think it’s rare to have coached two daughters and to have those two daughters on two different teams win state championships. I can tell you it’s a great experience.”


Perennial Powers Set Pace In State Cross Country Meet

     MOULTON--Several perennial powers emerged as state champions again to highlight the 2012 state cross country championships here Saturday at the Oakville Museum and Indian Mounds Course.

GIRLS: Scottsboro, Mountain Brook, UMS-Wright, Montgomery Academy Set Pace 
     Scottsboro won its 12th straight Class 5A championship and 13th in the last 14 years, Mountain Brook its 10th consecutive Class 6A title and an AHSAA-record 20th overall, UMS-Wright its fourth straight 4A crown, and Montgomery Academy its fourth in a row with the Class 1A-2A title following three straight in Class 3A.

Montgomery Academy Drops To 1A-2A And Wins

    Montgomery Academy’s girls, who won three of the last four Class 3A championships, dropped to Class 2A this school year, but the results were much the same, however. The Lady Eagles totaled 41 points to capture the Class 1A-2A title, its fifth girls state crown overall.
    Taylor Gerard, a junior, finished third to lead the Eagles. Her time of 19:54.78 was 12 seconds behind individual winner Amy McKelvey of Shoals Christian. McKelvey, a junior, won with a time of 19:42.50. Ayleana Mami of St. Bernard finished second (19:46.66) to help her team capture second place overall with 57 points. Westminster of Oak Mountain was third with 88 points.

T.R. Miller’s Karisa Nelson Cops 4th Straight 3A Crown, Bayside Wins Team Title

    Junior Karisa Nelson clocked 18:47.42 to win the Class 3A individual state championship.
    With a chance to become just the third girls runner to win five titles in state history next year, Nelson cruised to the win by finishing 32 seconds ahead of her nearest challenger Kaitlin York of American Christian.  Bayside Academy’s Mary Catherine Branyon was third, helping the Lady Admirals win the 3A team championship.
    Bayside had 66 points to edge out Nelson and her T.R. Miller teammates, who had 71 points.

Kathryn Lazarchick Sparks UMS-Wright To 4A Win

    Senior Kathryn Lazarchick of UMS-Wright won her second straight Class 4A individual title and sparked the Bulldogs to their fourth consecutive team title in the process.
   Lazarchick recorded a winning time of 18:52.29 to win easily in the individual competition. Teammates Claire Kennedy and Ellie Carter finished third and fourth, respectively. Beauregard’s Kalynn Simpson was second with a time of 20:10.16.
    UMS-Wright, coached by Pat Galle, finished with a meet low 26 points. Randolph  was second with 67.

Scottsboro Rolls Again In 5A
     Senior Alana Babington of Mobile’s Saint Paul’s Episcopal clocked 19:08.49 to claim the individual Class 5A title.
    Scottsboro runners placed second through sixth, however, to total 20 points and capture the Wildcats’ 19th state title since winning their first championship in 1992.  It was also Scottsboro’s 12th  championship in a row and 13th in the last 14 years.
    Senior Savannah Roland finished second behind Babington to lead the Scottsboro contingent. She ran the 5,000-meter distance in 10:30.37.   Sophomore Alicia Atilano was third for the Wildcats, followed by teammates Olivia Thompson, Hailey Altonji and Jamey Delay.
   Homewood was second with 97 points and Briarwood third with 114.

McGill-Toolen’s Carmen Carlos Sets Course Record In 6A, Mountain Brook Wins Again

    Senior Carmen Carlos became just the second Class 6A girls runner to claim four AHSAA individual championships..
    In the process, Carlos set a new girls state meet course record with a winning time of 17:20.34. Sophomore Jessica Molloy of Mountain Brook also broke the previous state meet course record with a time of 17:29.59 and helped the Spartans claim their 20th state championship – a new AHSAA state record – and their 10th 6A title in a row.
    Coach Greg Echols’ Spartans finished with 28 points and runner-up Hoover had 84. McGill-Toolen was third with 127.
    Carlos broke the record set by Jennifer Dunn of Austin in 2007. Magaret Robinson of Huntsville was the first 6A girls runner to win four titles from 1989-92.


BOYS: Randolph, Hatton And Mountain Brook Lead The Charge
     Randolph captured its eighth straight Class 3A championship, Hatton won its fourth 1A-2A crown in five years and Vestavia Hills snapped Mountain Brook's streak in 6A.

Hatton Wins 1A-2A Crown

    Hatton scored 58 points Saturday to claim the Class 1A-2A Boys state championship.  It was the Hornets’ fourth state title in five years and fifth overall.
     Senior Reid Harrison was Hatton’s top finisher with a time of 18:04.14. He was 10th to cross the finish line.  The individual champion was Alex Enns, a Holy Spirit Catholic junior who clocked the course in 16:51.66. Montgomery Academy’s Jack Barganier was second at 17:12.76.
    St. Bernard of Cullman was runner-up in the team competition with 77 points.

Montgomery Catholic Claims First-Ever Title In 3A

    Montgomery runners Wesley Curles of Trinity Presbyterian and Jarrett Mason of Catholic finished one-two in the Class 3A championship race.
    Curles, a junior, clocked 16:41.21 to win the individual championship while Mason, a senior, was close behind at 16:53.84 and propelled his team to the school’s first ever boys state cross country title.
    Montgomery Catholic totaled 54 points and runner-up Westminster Christian of Huntsville had 68.  Cottage Hill Christian was third and Trinity finished fourth.

Randolph Wins 4A Championship

    Randolph School of Huntsville placed four runners in the top nine finishers to total 41 points on the way to capturing the Class 4A championship. It was Randolph’s eighth straight state title.
    Sophomore Grant Ginsburg led the strong contingent of Randolph runners with a third-place finish behind individual champion Alex Gilliland of Oneonta and Robert Hope of UMS-Wright.  Gilliland clocked 16:23.98 to capture his second straight individual title. He beat his 2011 time by three seconds. Hope crossed the finish at 16:29.39 and Ginsburg at 16:36.09.
    Loveless Academic Magnet School (LAMP) of Montgomery was second with 59 points and UMS-Wright third with 93.


Homewood Grabs First 5A Title

    Homewood runners Alex Ngei, Mike Rhody and Logan Sadler were among the top seven finishers in Class 5A to spark the Patriots to the school’s first boys state title with 49 points.
   John Carroll Catholic senior Griffin Lee ran the 5,000-meter distance in 16:18.37 to win his second straight 5A individual state crown. Cavaliers teammate John Gardner, a junior,  was second (16:29.77). Athens’ Tate Carden was third (16:31.05) and Ngei fourth with a 16:32.08 clocking.
    Lawrence County finished second overall with 67 points. Senior Justus Montgomery  led the Red Devils with a sixth-place finish.

Vestavia Hills Gets First 6A Crown In 25 Years

    Vestavia Hills edged  runner-up Mountain Brook 67 points to 77 to capture the Class 6A  title.
    Junior Mac Macoy led the Rebels with his first-place finish. His winning time of 15:37.30 beat runner-up Payton Ballard, a Mountain Brook senior, by seven seconds.
    The Spartans won the previous four 6A boys titles (2008-2011). It marked  Vestavia Hills's first state crown in 25 years – the last coming in 1987.
   Senior Reid McClenny of Smiths Station was third. The Panthers also finished third in the team standings with 85 points.