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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3 Consecutive Kickoff Returns For TDS Take Spotlight


To start the second half of last week’s Class 2A state football playoff game between Elba and Vincent, fans had a chance to see something others had likely ever seen.

The two schools combined to return three consecutive kickoffs for touchdowns to take center stage in this week’s AHSAA Prep Spotlight.

Vincent kicked short to open the third quarter and Elba’s Tyler Anderson gathered the ball at the Tigers’ 42-yard line, broke through the Yellow Jackets’ wall of defenders and raced 58 yards for a touchdown.

Elba then kicked off to Vincent with Rodney Groce taking the ball at his 28 and returning it 72 yards for a TD. Fans were still marveling at the back-to-back returns when Elba’s Michael Lindsey fielded the next Vincent kickoff at the 13-yard line and rambled 87 yards for a TD to complete the feat.

Elba (12-0) went on to win 59-20 and advanced to this week’s quarterfinals to face Flomaton. Vincent ended its season at 9-3.

Elba’s Shannon James also caused two fumbles, returning one 74 yards for a touchdown in the win, and Martin Henderson had 18 tackles.


Other highlights reported in round two of the state playoffs include:

Melvin Gueler, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa:
Kicked a 44-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to keep the Patriots (12-0) unbeaten as Hillcrest beat Vestavia Hills 17-14.

Gavin Marsh, Hartselle:
Kicked two field goals, including the game-winning 19-yard boot with four seconds left, to lift Hartselle (12-0) past Pinson Valley 22-21 in Class 5A. His first field goal covered 42 yards.

Cesar Diaz, North Jackson:
Was a perfect 3-for-3 on PATs and booted a school-record 50-yard field goal in a 42-30 loss to Fayette County.

Blake Whitt, Tanner:
Had two interceptions and a fumble recovery as the Rattlers beat Reeltown in Class 2A.

Tyler Grigsby, Rogers:
Knocked down a 2-point conversion pass by Saks in the closing seconds to preserve a 14-13 victory for the Pirates.

Tray Reed, Collinsville:
The senior linebacker finished with eight tackles--one for a loss—and three interceptions (all in the first half) in Collinsville's 24-22 victory over Lynn. He returned one of the interceptions 61 yards for a touchdown that put Collinsville up 14-0 in the second quarter.
Reed's three picks accounted for half of the six turnovers forced by Collinsville in the first half. Curtis Williams and DeShawn Moore also had interceptions and Clay Coker recovered a fumble.

David Hernandez, Collinsville: The junior place-kicker booted a 27-yard field goal with four seconds remaining as Collinsville edged Lynn 24-22. Hernandez was also 3-for-3 on extra points.

Grant Lawson, Lynn:
Finished with 10 catches for 211 yards in a 24-22 loss to Collinsville.

Kaleb Beck, Dadeville:
Completed 12-of-32 passes for 310 yards and scored three total touchdowns in the Tigers’ 28-26 victory over defending 4A state champion Thomasville in Class 4A.

Michael Thompson, Sweet Water:
The senior back ran 13 times for 200 yards and scored five TDs in a 49-0 victory over Winterboro. His TD runs covered 9, 65, 11, 2 and 67 yards as the defending Class 1A state champion Bulldogs (9-3) won their seventh straight game.

Neiko Robinson, Flomaton: Scored four TDs in a 51-7 victory over Goshen. He caught a 28-yard TD pass, returned a fumble 39 yards for a score, and added TD runs of 19 and 3 yards.

Trey Roberts, McGill-Toolen: The workhorse running back carried 36 times for 143 yards and a 4-yard TD and also caught a 24-yard TD pass in a 31-28 Class 6A victory over Murphy.

Dustyn Moseley, Jackson: The senior quarterback completed 14-of-24 passes for 262 yards and TD passes of 72, 44 and 17 yards in a 44-14 victory over Beauregard. He threw for 242 yards in the first half as the Aggies jumped out to a 37-14 halftime lead.

Joel Poe, Spanish Fort: The Toros' senior quarterback threw TD passes of 63, 72 yards and 15 yards in a 31-16 victory over Valley.

Cameron Poe-Mitchell, Fayette County: Returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and had a 79-yard interception for a score in the Tigers’ 40-32 Class 4A win over North Jackson.

Troymaine Pope, Anniston:
Led Anniston to a 25-20 Class 4A win over Dora with 200 yards rushing on 18 carries. He had TD runs of 66, 54 and 48 yards and also a 54-yard touchdown pass reception.

Ostin McPherson, St. Paul's:
The eighth-grader ran for 225 yards on 31 carries and a 10-yard TD run in a 31-0 victory over Charles Henderson.

Chauncey Simmons, Clay County: The senior ran 15 times for 238 yards and four TDs in a 35-21 Class 3A victory over previously unbeaten Bayside Academy.

Tyler Kristeff, Fairhope: Intercepted a screen pass near midfield with 20 seconds remaining in the game to preserve the Pirates’ 24-20 Class 6A playoff victory over Blount.

Dallas Powell, Prattville: Intercepted two passes in 13-3 victory over defending 6A champion Daphne.

Sam Pettway, UMS-Wright: Returned a kickoff 84 yards for a TD in a 47-25 victory over Elmore County.

Justin Sanderson and DeShawn Reibesehl, Marion County: Each topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season in a 41-21 Class 1A win over Cedar Bluff. Sanderson ran for 153 yards on 23 carries and Reibesehl had 11 times for 137 yards with two TDs.

Trent Miles and Jerald Walker, Central-Phenix City:
The Red Devils’ running duo combined for 25 carries, 279 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-14 victory over Benjamin Russell in Class 6A. Miles ran 11 times for 148 yards with two TDs that gave him 326 yards rushing in the first two games of the playoffs. Walker had 14 carries for 131 yards with a TD that gave him 313 yards in the first two games.

Gavin Golsan, Mountain Brook: Caught eight passes for 138 yards and three TDs and also rushed for 78 yards in the Spartans’ 31-14 win over Huntsville.

Anthony Robinson, Linden:
Went 8-for-8 passing for 150 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown in 41-0 Class 1A road win over Pleasant Home.

Ladarius Rodgers, Leeds:
Had 27 carries for 199 yards and a TD to go with six tackles and a sack on defense in a 21-6 win over Class 3A Gordo.

Alvin Scott, Oneonta:
Caught five passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns (47, 10, 48) in the Redskins’ 35-0 Class 4A victory over West Limestone. Quarterback Schyler Walker completed 8-of-20 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns.

ArDarius Stewart, Fultondale:
Had 277 yards rushing and passing and four touchdowns and added 12 tackles on defense in a 27-15 Class 2A win over Red Bay. Teammate Julian Hardy also had 13 tackles, including two sacks.

Chris Strott, Piedmont:
Completed 9-of-15 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 123 yards on 16 carries in a 34-24 Class 3A win over Sheffield.

Shukory Whetstone, Elmore County:
Ran 15 times for 174 yards and caught six passes for 68 yards in a 47-25 loss to UMS-Wright.

Aaron Perkins, Center Point:
Made 12 tackles, including four sacks, in a 26-20 Class 5A win over Etowah.

B.J. Shaw, Hoover:
Had an 84-yard fumble return for a score in a 26-17 Class 6A win over Bob Jones.