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 Teams Capture First-Ever Wrestling Titles

Thompson, Arab, St.Clair County Emerge Victorious In State Meet

             HUNTSVILLEThompson, Arab and St. Clair County high schools each won their first-ever AHSAA state wrestling championships Saturday at Von Braun Center.


            Thompson’s Warriors out-scored runner-up Hoover 154-144 to capture the 6A title. Thompson, which began its current wrestling program just four years ago, took the title with an exciting win by J.A. Jones in the 145-pound finals. He pinned Vestavia Hills’ Jimmy Whitt at 2:42 in the championship match to close out his season at 67-5. The pin also put Hoover’s hopes of winning a second straight crown out of reach.

            Coach Shawn Weltzin’s Warriors finished fourth last season. Only two wrestlers reached the finals, but Jones’ win by pin was all his team needed after finishing strong in consolation rounds.

            Michael Jordan of Auburn (43-0) decisioned Thompson’s other finalist, Reed Jacks (50-6), 3-2 in the 119-pound finals to win his second championship in a row. Buckhorn’s Ben Smith also finished unbeaten at 58-0 after closing the 125-pound championship match with a pin at 3:42 over Josh Brown of Vestavia Hills. Eric Lee  of Oxford (65-0) edged Taylor Garlington of Hoover (45-7) in a tough match, 1-0.

            Jordan Simpson of Oxford also finished at 68-1 at 130 pounds and won his second straight title with a 4-1 decision over Greg Atalona of Huntsville (36-6).

            Most outstanding wrestler honors went to Mountain  Brook  152-pound state champion William Byrd of Mountain Brook. He finished the season 57-2 and beat Hoover’s Rush Hall 9-3 in the finals.



            Arab, which finished second last season, won its first state title with 137.5 points. Tallassee was a close second at 125.5, followed by defending 5A state champion Southside-Gadsden at 110.

            The Knights were led by Blake Suttles at 171 pounds and Cary Pierce at 215 pounds. Both won state titles with Suttles (39-3) edging Chase Matthews of Southside 3-2 in the finals. Pierce (51-5) won the 215-pound title over Southside’s Davis Sims 6-4 in overtime. Chase Currier was state runner-up at 119 pounds and Levi Harper was runner-up at 285 pounds.

      MVP honors went to Scottsboro freshman Brandon Womack, who set a state record for wins in a season by going 74-0 and extending his current match win streak to 144 with a pin over Pinson Valley’s Morgan Franks (38-5) in the finals.



            St. Clair County won its first-ever title with 110 points. Runner-up Dora had 97.5 and Oak Grove was third with 86.5.

            The Saints had two individual state champions, Chris Miller (40-4) at 125 pounds and Jerome Jefferson (25-2) at 285 pounds.

            Dillan Campbell of Oak Grove won his second straight state title and had three pins along the way to earn the 215-pound state title and 1A-4A MVP honors.

            Clay Dent of Piedmont finished 41-0 won his second straight championship with a pin over  Oak Grove’s David Harmon in the 171-pound finals.




Thompson, 154.0; Hoover, 144.0; Grissom, 127.5; Vestavia Hills, 103.0; Bob Jones, 100.0; Lee-Montgomery, 94.5; Oxford, 84.5; Pell City, 78.5; Opelika, 70.0; Hewitt-Trussville, 63.0; Oak Mountain, 62.0; Central-Phenix City, 55.0; Tuscaloosa County, 54.5; Clay-Chalkville, 54.0; Buckhorn, 52.5; Benjamin Russell, 49.0; Auburn, 46.0; Mountain Brook, 44.5; Smiths Station, 44.0; Spain Park, 38.0; Prattville, 29.0; Huntsville, 28.0; Gardendale, 15.0; Pelham, 7.0; Wetumpka, 6.5; Homewood, 4.0; Carver-Montgomery, 3.0.


Arab, 137.5; Tallassee, 125.5; Southside-Gadsden, 110.0; Scottsboro, 101.0; Fort Payne, 100.0; Brookwood, 72.5; Mortimer Jordan, 64.0; Pinson Valley, 38.0; Chilton County, 32.0; McAdory, 24.0; Erwin, 23.0; Hayden, 21.0; Muscle Shoals, 16.0; Athens, 13.0; Moody, 5.0; Madison County, 4.0; Hueytown, 1.0.


St. Clair County, 110.0, Dora, 97.5; Oak Grove, 86.5; St, James, 74.0; Susan Moore, 66.0; Piedmont, 63.0; Holtville, 54.0; Fultondale, 50.0; Leeds, 49.5; Deshler, 48.5; Weaver, 46.0; Catholic, 16.0; Saks, 15.0; Lincoln, 13.0; Ashville, 9.0; Cleburne County, 9.0; Corner, 3.0; Ranburne, 3.0; Springville, 3.0; Calera, 2.0; Elmore County, 2.0.


Class 6A Finals

103 pounds: Brian White, Opelika (43-1) dec. Jake Smith, Pell City (48-1), 2-1 (2 OT)

112 pounds: Jesse Smith, Pell City (39-4) dec. Alec Cohen, Grissom ((56-5), 8-2

119 pounds: Michael Jordan, Auburn (43-0) dec. Reed Jacks, Thompson (50-6), 3-2

125 pounds: Ben Smith, Buckhorn (58-0) pinned Josh Brown, Vestavia Hills (30-17), 3:42
130 pounds: Jordan Simpson, Oxford (68-1) dec. Greg Atalona, Huntsville (36-6), 4-1

135 pounds: Eric Lee, Oxford (65-0) dec. Taylor Garlington, Hoover (45-7), 1-0

140 pounds: Zach Smith, Pell City (48-5) dec. Jackson Poe, Hoover (46-2), 3-2

145 pounds: J.A. Jones, Thompson (67-5) pinned Jimmy Whitt, Vestavia Hills (20-6), 2:42

152 pounds: William Byrd, Mountain Brook (57-2) dec. Rush Hall, Hoover (43-4), 9-3

160 pounds: Harrison Hill, Vestavia Hills (41-5) dec. Marcus Elkins, Hewitt-Trussville (45-8), 6-4

171 pounds: Carl Brown, Hoover (46-1) dec. Ryan Clark, Bob Jones (31-7), 5-4

189 pounds: Terrence Smith, Lee-Montgomery (42-1) dec. Justin Woodall, Oak Mountain (71-3), 6-5
215 pounds: Brian Walker, Grissom (64-3) dec. Luke Wilson, Central-Phenix City (52-3), 2-1
285 pounds: Tyler Ratliff, Bob Jones (50-6) dec. Adam Wright, Clay-Chalkville (48-1), 2-1


Class 5A Finals

103 pounds: Chris Jones, Erwin (40-5) pinned Lane Morrow, Arab (55-8), 2:23
112 pounds: Brandon Womack, Scottsboro (74-0) pinned Morgan Franks, Pinson Valley (38-5), 1:40

119 pounds: Haden Ryals, Southside-Gadsden (30-8) dec. Will Stephenson, Arab (51-9), 4-2 in OT

125 pounds: Craig Malone, Scottsboro (52-10) pinned Layton Barker, Fort Payne (38-7), 5:38

130 pounds: Seth Perman, Southside-Gadsden (44-4) maj. dec. Trey Howse, Hayden (39-6), 16-5

135 pounds: Ethyn Holbrook, Fort Payne (40-2) dec. Craton Bush, McAdory (35-8), 5-0

140 pounds: Brandon Brindley, Mortimer Jordan (51-0) dec. Zac West, Southside-Gadsden (40-10), 10-5

145 pounds: Chris Allen, Brookwood (69-3) dec. Josh Highland, Tallassee (37-5), 7-3
152 pounds: Nick Boyett, Scottsboro (62-17) dec. Chase Currier, Arab (47-14), 4-0

160 pounds: Chris Adams, Tallassee (52-2) dec. Colby Bernier, Chilton County (22-6), 12-8

171 pounds: Blake Suttles, Arab (39-3) dec. Chase Mathews, Southside-Gadsden (37-12), 3-2

189 pounds: Alex Whigham, Scottsboro (59-7) dec. Dylan Jackson, Chilton County (40-6), 3-2
215 pounds: Cary Pierce, Arab (51-5) dec. Davis Sims, Southside-Gadsden (39-12), 6-4 in OT

285 pounds: T.C. Robinson, Tallassee (30-2) dec. Levi Harper, Arab (50-8), 5-0


Class 1A-4A Finals

103 pounds: Alex Nickell, Leeds (42-8) dec. Christian Cortez, Weaver (45-13), 4-2

112 pounds: Stephen Kwan, St. James (40-5) dec. Steven Lindsey, St. Clair Clounty (35-8), 13-8

119 pounds: Blake Boshell, Dora (59-5) dec. Ty Barnett, American Christian (21-2), 3-2

125 pounds: Chris Miller, St. Clair County (40-4) pinned Matthew Smith, Walter Wellborn (44-6), 5:57

130 pounds: Matt Kwan, St. James (34-2) dec. Juakeem Fuqua, Deshler (28-6), 7-5
135 pounds: Mason Ellis, Dora (56-9) dec. Zach Cummings, Fultondale (54-13), 3-2

140 pounds: Dalton Sanders, Dora (56-8) dec. Jonathan Boston, Holt (27-5), 10-4

145 pounds: Dalton Carroll, Walter Wellborn (45-0) maj. dec. Chandler Sartain, Deshler (27-5), 12-0

152 pounds: Brian Shockley, Leeds (50-6) dec. Hunter Edwards, Dora (38-15), 7-0

160 pounds: Robbie Cannon, Oak Grove (37-14) dc. Trey Carey, Dora (58-8), 6-4 in OT

171 pounds: Clay Dent, Piedmont (41-0) pinned David Harmon, Oak Grove (49-7), 3:20
189 pounds: Cody Self, Susan Moore (30-3) pinned Jeffrey Ingram, Fultondale (68-6), 1:32

215 pounds: Dillan Campbell, Oak Grove (52-4) pinned Stephen Abel, Deshler (28-12),2:47

285 pounds: Jerome Jefferson, St. Clair County (25-2) dec. Antonio Weaver, Ala. School/ Blind (45-4) , 5-4