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. 


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.