MIKE BATTLES Graduated from Sylacauga High School and the University of Southern Mississippi. Beginning his football coaching career as an assistant coach in 1970, he became a head coach in 1973. His teams have compiled a 277-161-2 record (through 2013) in coaching stops at Pell City, Irwin County (Ga.), Walter Wellborn, Hueytown, Pascagoula (Miss.), Gautier (Miss.), Biloxi (Miss.) and Handley. He led Irwin County (Ga.) to a 13-0 record and the Georgia Class 1A state championship in 1975 and directed Handley to a perfect 15-0 record in 2011 to win the AHSAA Class 3A state title. His Wellborn teams had back-to-back 10-win seasons in 1988-89. The winningest coach in school history at Walter Wellborn and Handley, he led his Handley teams from a 1-9 mark in 2006 to 11-2, 10-3, 13-1 and 15-0 records the next four years.


RICHARD ‘DICKIE’ BROWN - Graduated from Smiths Station High School and Jacksonville State University. He holds a master’s degree in administration from Troy University and an education specialist degree from Auburn University. Brown began his education career at Cleburne County High School in 1969 where he was head baseball coach for two seasons. He moved to Beauregard High School in 1972 and coached the baseball team to a 66-25 record, the boys’ basketball team to an 84-42 mark and the football team to a 35-15 record. Serving as principal at Beauregard since 1978, he was named Alabama Principal of the Year in 2006. He has served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and was the Class 4A Making A Difference Award winner in 2013.He was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and the football stadium and athletic complex were named in his honor.


JIM GARNER - Graduated from Pleasant Home High School and Troy State College. He started his career as a teacher and boys’ basketball coach in 1964 with stints at T.R. Miller, New Hebron (Miss.) and New Brockton before becoming head coach at L.B. Wallace Community College from 1971-84. He then moved to his alma mater, Pleasant Home, and served as principal and athletic director from 1984-2008. Garner oversaw expansion of the athletic program to include softball, volleyball and football. The boys’ basketball program won back-to-back Class 1A state titles in 2001 and 2002. Vast improvements were made in the school’s facilities, including a new field house, new football field and renovation and expansion of the gymnasium. He served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and District 2 Board from 1997-2010. Garner is currently the mayor of the town of Carolina.


MAJOR LANE - Graduated from Montgomery’s Robert E. High School and Alabama State University. He earned his masters and doctorate at Troy University and a second masters in Theology from the Birmingham Theological Seminary. He began his teaching and coaching career in 1982 at Pike County High School as the junior varsity basketball coach where his team went 14-1. He moved to Ariton High School from 1984-87 before returning to Pike County as head boys coach from 1987-93. He also served as the defensive coordinator in football as the Bulldogs won state championships in 1988 and 1989. He became the head basketball coach at Goshen High School in 1993 where his teams compiled a 187-46 record through 2002. He went into administration in 1997 as assistant principal and continues in that role today. Lane currently serves as pastor of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.


ALVIN MOORE - Graduated from Birmingham’s Carver High School and Alcorn State University. He also earned a master’s degree from Alabama State University. He was the longest tenured coach in the Birmingham City Schools, serving as head basketball coach at Phillips High School and later Carver from 1974-2013. Moore’s teams won more than 600 games and made four appearances in the Final 48. Hundreds of student-athletes he coached received scholarships in basketball, football and track. He coached in the Alabama North-South All-Star Game twice (1975 and 2003) and was named Class 5A Coach of the Year in 1993. He was the Birmingham City Coach of the Year in 1982 and received the Coca-Cola Outstanding Service Award. An All-Conference offensive tackle, he was Inducted into the Alcorn State Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and also was named USA Man of the Year by the National Baptist Convention in 2011.


LARRY MORRIS - Graduated from Scottsboro High School and Jacksonville State University. Spending his entire teaching and coaching career in Scottsboro, he served as an assistant football coach from 1974-1991 and became head coach from 1991-2004–the longest tenure in school history. His teams compiled a 90-66 overall record and won five area or region titles. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi football game in 2001 and in the AHSAA North-South game in 1998. He was also head track coach for eight years and assistant wrestling coach for 10. He served as athletic director from 2005 until his retirement in 2012 and was named AHSAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2012. Scottsboro teams captured 17 state titles under his watch. He also served on the AHSAA District 8 Board from 1999-2012 and the Central Board of Control from 2007-12. Scottsboro named its new football field house in his honor in 2013.

DONNIE ROBERTS - Graduated from Tremont High School (Miss.) and Delta State University (Miss). The Mississippi native spent his first 11 years at Tremont, and then moved to Red Bay (Ala.) High School where he has been the girls’ head coach since 1983. His Red Bay teams have posted a 664-224 mark and his overall coaching record is 806-351 (through 2013). Under Roberts, Red Bay won the Class 3A state championship in 1993 and Class 2A titles in 1997 and 2001. He also coached Red Bay to the Class 2A girls’ state track title in 2001 and has coached softball since 1983. He has also served as a football assistant coach. He coached the Alabama team in the 2001 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Game and was named Class 2A Coach of the Year in 1987, 1993, 2000 and 2001. He is a member of the Franklin County Sports Hall of Fame

DR. JAMES ROBINSON - A native of New Orleans and a 1985 graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Dr. Robinson has been an integral part of the AHSAA’s Medical Advisory Board since 2003. He has played an important role in the AHSAA’s medical health and safety policies and helped write the current concussion law that now governs all athletic events in Alabama. A family practice physician in Tuscaloosa, he serves as the University of Alabama football team physician and provides the same service for many high schools in the Tuscaloosa area. Dr. Robinson also developed the AHSAA pre-participation physical exam form used by all student-athletes since 1993. He has been a leader in developing health and safety practices for Alabama high schools and is an annual clinician at the AHSAA Summer Conference.  He supervises athletic trainers for DCH Health System and has been its Medical Director for Sports Medicine since 1989.

NANCY SHOQUIST - Graduated from Fairhope High School and Troy State University and also holds a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama. She is one of a handful of state volleyball coaches whose teams have won more than 1,000 matches with a career record of 1,067-386 (through 2013). Shoquist served as volleyball coach at St. Paul’s Episcopal School from 1982-2003 before moving to Murphy High School where she continues to coach. Her St. Paul’s teams won volleyball state titles in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 and 1995 and were runners-up in 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1998. Her Murphy teams have reached the state semi-finals once and the quarter-finals four times. She also coached five St. Paul’s tennis teams to state titles and seven others finished second. She was the first female to be inducted into the Fairhope High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990 and has received numerous coaching awards for volleyball and tennis.


MIKE SMITH - Graduated from Hueytown High School and Jacksonville State University and also holds a master’s degree. He started the girls’ basketball program at Decatur High School and remained for 28 seasons. His teams compiled a 624-225 record with five state championships (1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2000) and three runner-up finishes (1987, 1996 and 2001). Smith’s 1992 team was ranked No. 2 in the nation and the 2000 squad finished 34-0. He had three other teams that won 30-plus games and retired as the winningest girls’ basketball coach in AHSAA history. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Game three times (1992, 1995, and 2000) and also coached volleyball for six years and softball for nine. An outstanding classroom teacher, he taught advanced placement government and politics for more than 20 years. He is a member of the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame. 

TONY STALLWORTH - Graduated from J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice and Huntingdon College. He also attended Lomax-Hannon Junior College in Greenville. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Lomax-Hannon and then at Monroe Senior High School. He moved to Brantley High School in 1988 and was the boys’ head basketball coach from 1990-2005 where his teams compiled a 298-47 record and won three straight state championships (1993, 1994 and 1995). He was named 1A Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and 2A Coach of the Year in 1995. He also coached Brantley’s Junior High team to a perfect 48-0 record from 1988-90. Stallworth served Brantley High School as its principal from 2005-08 and later worked in various roles with the Crenshaw County School System before becoming the Associate Executive Director of the AHSAA in 2011. He was inducted into the Huntingdon College Hall of Fame in 2013. 

EUGENE WEATHERLY - After serving in the Army in World War II, Eugene Weatherly returned to Gadsden’s Carver High School and captained the football and basketball teams before graduating in 1948. He graduated from Alabama State in 1952 and earned a master’s degree from Georgia State. He began his teaching and coaching career at Hatcher High School in Cherokee County in 1953. He was the first coach in school history and was the only coach the school ever had. He was named Coach of the Year by the Northeastern Interscholastic Athletic Association twice (1961 and 1968). His 1961 boys’ basketball team was unbeaten until losing in the state finals and his football teams won district titles in 1961 and 1967. He coached Anniston’s Cobb Avenue High School basketball team from 1971-74 and ended his coaching career with 21 years at the Georgia School for the Deaf. His 1990 team won the Mason-Dixon basketball tournament. 

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                                                                      Saturday night crowd at the Final 48 played at the BJCC Arena in Birningham. (Photo by Gary McGriff)

Mountain Brook Boys, Hoover Girls Capture 6A Titles;

Madison Co., Oneonta, Madison Academy, Lauderdale Co. Also Win


     Mountain Brook boys and Hoover girls took home the Class 6A crowns while the Madison County boys, Oneonta girls, Madison Academy boys and Lauderdale County girls earned state titles on the final day of the AHSAA Final 48 Basketball Championships Saturday at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham.


Mountain Brook 74, Sparkman 53
     Mountain Brook limited Sparkman to no field goals and just four points in the second quarter to build a 19-point lead by intermission, then fought off the Senators in the second half to claim a 74-53 win for the Spartans first state basketball championship in school history.
     Malek Grant scored 22 points and cleared 11 rebounds to grab MVP honors. He was 10-of-18 from the field and 2-of-3 at the foul line. Jeremy Berman chipped in 16 points, Malek’s younger brother Tawarren Grant and Reagan Alexander each added eight points for Coach Bucky McMillan’s team (31-6).
     Sparkman (29-8), coached by Jamie Coggins, was led by Lamonte Turner’s 13 points. Devin Hankins added 10, Jim Wall nine and Will Crowell eight.
     Mountain Brook shot 46.7 percent from the field and was 25-of-36 from the foul line. Sparkman, playing without point guard Rakiya Battle who was injured in the Senators’ semifinal win over defending state champion Carver-Montgomery, shot just 40.4 percent from the field and was only 9-of-21 on free throws.
     The 6A All-Tourney Team included:
     Malek Grant, Mountain Brook (MVP); Jeremy Berman, Mountain Brook; Tawarren Grant, Mountain Brook; Lamonte Turner, Sparkman; Will Crowell, Sparkman; Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery; John Arnold, Blount.

Hoover 66, Blount 55
     Senior center Marqu’es Webb poured in 29 points and cleared 21 rebounds to spark Hoover to a 66-55 win over Blount.
     Webb, who was playing in her sixth Final 48 game in three years, closed out her career with a state-tournament record 108 rebounds – an average of 18.0 per game. The 21 boards in the 2013 finals was the fourth Final 48 game with 20-plus rebounds.
     Webb, a Vanderbilt signee, was 10-of-12 from the field, 9-of-12 at the foul line and had one blocked shot to earn Class 6A Tourney MVP.
     Coach Tiffany Frederick, in her first year as head coach at Hoover (28-4), also got big offensive games from Breigha Wilder-Cochran and Kara Rawls, with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Hoover has now won four state titles with previous championships in 2001, 2010 and 2012.
     Blount (29-5), coached by Jarvis Wilson, got 19 points from Laporsche Grissett. Whytney Singleton and Cierra Johnson added 12 each. The Leopards, playing in their first final, return all but one player next season.
     The 6A All-Tourney Team included:
     Marqu’es Webb, Hoover (MVP); Breigha Wilder-Cochran, Hoover; Kara Rawls, Hoover; Cierra Johnson, Blount; Whytney Singleton, Blount; Laporsche Grissett, Blount; Shaquera Wade, Huntsville.

Madison County 28, J.O. Johnson 25
     Madison County overcame a 9-for-35 shooting performance to nip J.O. Johnson 28-25.
     The 28 points for a winning team was the lowest in the 20-year history of the Final 48 and the lowest in the state tournament overall since Hubbertville nipped Corner 18-17 in the B-Division finals in 1947. The tournament, in its 90th year overall, dates back to 1923.
     Tourney MVP Seab Webster, the son of head coach Bubba Webster, sank a lay-up with 1:25 remaining to put the Tigers (29-4) ahead for good 26-25. Brandon Gurley and Webster each added a free throw down the stretch for the final margin.
     Webster and Tyrell Clary each had nine points for Madison County. Webster had nine rebounds and two blocked shots while Monterio Burchfield grabbed eight rebounds.
     Coach Maurice Ford’s Jaguars (22-9) were led by Lionel Love’s seven points. Keon Ray also had six. Johnson was just 9-of-36 from the field.
     The 53 total points by both teams is the lowest boys’ total in the Final 48’s history.
     The championship was the second for Madison County, the first coming in 2007.
     The 4A All-Tourney Team included:
     Seab Webster, Madison County (MVP); Monterio Webster, Madison County; Tyrell Clary, Madison County; Keon Ray, J.O. Johnson; Lionel Love, J.O. Johnson; Travius Dunson, Handley; Fred Knight, Escambia County.


Oneonta 53, Clarke County 39
     Oneonta junior Destiney Elliott scored 30 points to lead the Redskins (32-4) to a 53-39 win over Clarke County (28-5).
     The championship is the first in school history for Coach Amber Deline’s girls and helped erase some of the pain from last year’s season – a 34-0 start that came to end in an overtime loss to Anniston in the Northeast Regional tournament.
     Elliott was 11-of-17 from the field, 6-of-8 at the foul line, made two 3-pointers, had four steals and six assists to earn MVP honors. Abby Blackwood had 11 points and Dimonique Sanders added seven. Oneonta out-rebounded Clarke County 32-19 to dominate the boards.
     Coach Tori Johnson’s Bulldogs were led by Rachel Brownlee’s 22 points. Shanda Pugh added six points.
     The 4A All-Tourney Team included:
     Destiney Elliott, Oneonta (MVP); Abby Blackwood, Oneonta; Baylee Gibbs, Oneonta; Rachel Brownlee, Clarke County; Jordan Hollins, Clarke County; Hannah Nichols, Madison County.


Madison Academy 54, Southside-Selma 47

     Madison Academy fought back from 17 points down in the third quarter to beat Southside-Selma 54-47.
     The Mustangs (24-12) trailed 33-16 with 3:44 left in the third quarter. Coach Andy Blackston’s team turned up the defensive tempo, however, and freshman Josh Langford began to find his range as the team closed the gap to 35-30 by outscoring the Panthers 14-2 the rest of the quarter.
     Alex Hairston’s lay-up and free throw gave Madison Academy the lead for good with 1:55 to play.
     Langford, named the tourney MVP, finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Mustangs. He also had six steals and two blocked shots. Nick Haas finished with seven points, Quan Cothron eight and Hairston seven.
     Sammarkus Jones had 17 points and Jeffery Mack 16 for Southside (24-10). Mack also had 14 rebounds for Coach Cedric Brown.
     The championship for Madison Academy was its first since winning three in a row from 2006-08. The Mustangs also won the 3A state football title in December and became the second school to claim basketball and football titles this school year. Tanner won the 2A football and basketball crowns, and Brantley won the 1A football title but lost 57-56 in its bid to win the basketball championship Friday.
     The 3A All-Tourney Team included:
     Josh Langford, Madison Academy (MVP); Nick Haas, Madison Academy; Jeffery Mack, Southside-Selma; Sammarkus Jones, Southside-Selma; Donald King, Greensboro; Gunter Morris, Holly Pond.


Lauderdale County 59, Holly Pond 41
     Lauderdale County won its 10th girls state championship Saturday morning beating Holly Pond 59-41.
     The Tigers’ 10th title, the first five under Coach Larry Sinyard and the last five under current Coach Brant Llewellyn, also ties the school with R.C. Hatch of Uniontown, which holds the boys’ state record with 10. It was the Tigers’ second in a row.
     Lauderdale County (33-5) hit the first three treys attempted, two by Ivy Wallen and one by Tourney MVP Chatara Cox, to build an 11-2 lead. It stretched to 15-2 before the Broncos of Coach Scott Adams finally found their offensive rhythm.
     The lead stretched to 15 by halftime and the Tigers held a comfortable margin the rest of the way.
     Cox finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. Ivy Wallen had a game-high 19 points, three steals and four assists. Karlee Brown also had 13 points for Lauderdale County.
     Holly Pond (29-6), playing in the school’s first state final in any sport, was led by Taylor Terry’s 15 points and 10 by Rachel Finley. Finley also had six rebounds and Terry had four steals.
     The 3A All-Tourney Team included:
     Chatara Cox, Lauderdale County (MVP); Ivy Wallen, Lauderdale County; Meg Gambrill, Holly Pond; Taylor Terry, Holly Pond; Gabby Nicholson, Midfield; Brittany Driver, Straughn.