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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.”

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Bayside Wins 11th Straight Volleyball Title, Joins 

Madison Co., Providence Christian, Huntsville, Hartselle, Donoho As Champs

 

    Bayside Academy captured its 11th consecutive state volleyball championship, its 21st overall, while Class 4A Madison County claimed its first state volleyball championship, Providence Christian its second straight 2A title and Huntsville its fourth straight Class 6A crown in the AHSAA Elite Eight state tournament at the Birmingham Crossplex. Earlier, Hartselle swept defending 5A state champion St. Paul’s for its first championship and Class 1A Donoho took its 10th overall state title.

 

Bayside Academy Wins In 3A For 11th Consecutive Title

    Bayside Academy (64-2) extended its state-record state championship streak with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-12 win over Cottage Hill Christian (37-12).
    Seniors Gabby Deshotel and Virginia Pittman closed out their five years together with the Lady Admirals as co-MVPs. Pittman had 16 kills and five blocks and Deshotel had 11 kills and three blocks. Pittman also had three service aces.
    Jhalen Caffey also had eight kills and six digs, and Sydney Chandler had 38 assists at setter.
    Coach Ann Schilling’s squad finished the season with 61 match wins in a row. The state title was a state-record 21st for Bayside.
                                                  Class 3A All-Tourney Team
    Gabby Deshotel and Virginia Pittman, Bayside Academy (Co-MVPs); Sydney Chandler, Bayside Academy; Hannah Wentland, Cottage Hill; Rachel Howell, Cottage Hill; Taylor Gill, Madison Academy; Montana Clark, Plainview.


Madison County Grabs Class 4A State Tournament Title

    Madison County defeated Jacksonville 25-18, 25-14, 25-7 for the school’s first state volleyball championship.
    The victory was the 42nd in a row this season for the Tigers (72-5). Syretha Pride had 20 kills, two blocks and four digs to earn MVP honors for Coach Dena Clemons’ team. Hannah Nichols also had 16 kills, four blocks and nine digs, Turi Marchant added five blocks and setter Riley Carter finished with 32 assists for Madison County, which finished second in Class 5A last season.
    Jacksonville (38-18) was led by Katie Neisler’s 11 kills and five digs. Setter Courtney Bowden had 18 assists.
                                                  Class 4A All-Tourney Team
    
Syretha Pride, Madison County (MVP); Riley Carter, Madison County; Hannah Nichols, Madison County; Katie Neisler, Jacksonville; Alex  Gamble, Guntersville; Kathryn Anderson, Guntersville; Lauren Van Peursem, Randolph.

 

Providence Christian Sweeps To 2nd Straight 2A Crown
    Providence Christian of Dothan swept Lexington 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-23) to capture the Eagles’ second straight Class 2A state championship.
    Elizabeth Dowd’s 17 kills and 19 digs sparked Coach Bill Oldfield’s team to their 41st match win in a row to close the season. The last loss was to Class 1A state champion Donoho at the MAC Attack tournament Sept. 1.
    Setter Emma Cary had 34 assists and four service aces, including an ace for the final point of the hard-fought third game.  Mary Palm and Lauren Hutto added eight and seven kills, respectively. Brooke Segler had 14 digs.
    Lexington (43-9) was led by Sydney Corum and Addie McGee, who had nine and eight kills each.  Setter Savannah Stults dished out 24 assists.
                                                        Class 2A All-Tournament Team
    Elizabeth Dowd, Providence Christian (MVP); Mary Palm, Providence Christian; Emma Cary, Providence Christian; Addie McGee, Lexington; Sydney Corum, Lexington; Morgan Cleveland, West End; Victoria Crumpton, Hatton.


Huntsville Captures 4th Straight 6A Championship
    Huntsville downed Vestavia Hills 3-0 to capture the Class 6A state volleyball title for the fourth year in a row.
    The Panthers (56-10) won 25-14, 25-17, 25-13 with strong play inside and superb defense anchored by middle hitter Jessica Lewis, who was named the 6A state tourney MVP. Lewis had 18 kills, three blocks, nine digs, three assists and five service aces.
    Sara Gwin Moore added 30 assists and 10 digs at setter and Briana Sandifer contributed seven kills, three blocks, seven assists, 13 digs and three aces for Coach Melanie Donahoo’s Panthers.
     Vestavia Hills (32-19), coached by Mandy Burgess, was led by Kate Trankina’s eight kills and setter Paige Phillips’ 17 assists. Cayman Crowder added 11 digs.
     Huntsville also defeated Vestavia 3-1 in the North Super Regional finals last week.
     Donahoo, completing her 11th season as Huntsville head coach, has guided the Panthers to 10 state championships and one runner-up finish in her incredible coaching tenure. Her teams won 5A state titles in 2002-2005 and 6A crowns in 2006, 2007 and 2009-12.
                                                Class 6A All-Tournament Team
     
Jessica Lewis, Huntsville; Sara Gwin Moore, Huntsville; Briana Sandifer, Huntsville; Paige Phillips, Vestavia Hills; Danielle Harbin, McGill-Toolen; Kristy Bohan, Grissom; Tajawana Russell, Carver-Montgomery.

 

Hartselle Sweeps St. Paul’s For 5A Crown
     Hartselle (48-18) swept St. Paul’s 25-21, 25-23, 25-21 for the title.
     Outside hitter Taylor Dellinger had 14 kills, five blocks and 19 digs for Coach Tanya Lybarger’s squad to earn MVP honors. Hartselle teammates Taylor Lybarger and Haley Jared added 10 and five kills respectively. Lybarger, the daughter of the head coach, also had three blocks and 16 digs.
     Jared had a game-high nine blocks. Setter Melissa Paul Hill handed out 24 assists and served four aces. Sarah Ellen Battles also had 19 digs.
     St. Paul’ setter MacKensie Mosley had 28 assists, Shelley Spires had 12 kills and Lindsey Kendall had five for the Saints (48-19). St. Paul’s had won five of the last six Class 5A state championships.
                                                     Class 5A All-Tournament Team
Taylor Dellinger, Hartselle (MVP); Taylor Lybarger, Hartselle; MacKensie Mosley, St. Paul’s; Shelley Spires, St. Paul’s; Amber Treace, Spanish Fort; Adrien Coffey, Lawrence County; Riley Northway, Brewer.

Donoho Captures 10th Overall State 1A Title

     Donoho’s Falcons beat Addison 3-1 in the Class 1A finals, notching the school’s 10th state championship and second in a row.
     The Falcons (54-5) of Coach Janice Slay dropped the first game 25-19, then clawed back to win 27-25, 25-22, 25-21.
     Senior middle hitter Corey Phillis had 22 kills, 11 digs and a service ace to earn MVP honors. Peyton van Ekris added 11 kills, four blocks and 19 digs, and Adele Fine had eight kills and 21 digs. Setter Rylee Segrest turned in 28 assists and 18 digs. Jordan Ray served four service aces.
     Addison (56-5) got a big game on net from Jessy Taylor, who had 20 kills and 13 blocks. Chelsee Posey also had 10 kills and 23 digs, setter Holly Posey had 32 assists and Stora Gilliland had 21 digs.

                                                          Class 1A All-Tournament Team

     Corey Phillis, Donoho (MVP); Peyton van Ekris, Donoho; Adele Fink, Donoho; Jessy Taylor, Addison; Chelsea Posey, Addison; Blessing Dunn, Sacred Heart; Jackee Dodd, Lynn.