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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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Four Defending Champs Advance To Third Round

3rd Round Pairings

        Four of the six defending state champions captured second-round victories and advanced to the Alabama High School Athletic Association state football playoff quarterfinals Friday (Nov. 18). All games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
            Prattville (9-2) knocked off defending 6A state champion Daphne 13-3 to set up the quarterfinal battle at Fairhope (10-2). And in Class 4A, unbeaten Dadeville (12-0) blocked a field goal in the waning moments to beat defending 4A state champion Thomasville 28-26 and set up a matchup at UMS-Wright (8-4) this week.

        Defending 1A state champion Sweet Water (9-3) beat previously unbeaten Winterboro 49-0 and will host Pickens County (11-1). Class 2A defending champ Leroy (8-4) stopped Highland Home 30-7 and will host American Christian (11-1). Class 3A defending champion Leeds (10-2) beat Gordo 21-6 and will go on the road against Region 3 rival Clay County at Ashland.  Class 5A defending champion Spanish Fort (9-3) defeated Valley 31-16 and will travel to Region 1 foe Vigor this week in a game scheduled for Prichard Stadium.

            Jackson (12-0) and Bibb County (12-0) each posted second-round victories over Beauregard and Lincoln, respectively, to set up a Class 4A match-up featuring unbeaten teams at Centreville.

        In Class 2A, Elba (12-0) remained unbeaten with a 59-20 win over Vincent in a game that set a state record with three consecutive kickoff returns for touchdowns to start the second half. The Tigers returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter for a TD, then Vincent returned the ensuing kickoff for a score before Elba regained the momentum by running back the next kickoff for a touchdown.

         A total of 13 unbeaten teams advanced to the second round. Those teams include:
Class 1A: Maplesville (12-0) and Ragland (12-0); Class 2A: Elba (12-0) and Tanner (11-0); Class 3A: Handley (12-0) and Piedmont (12-0); Class 4A: Jackson (12-0), Dadeville (12-0) and Bibb County (12-0); Class 5A: Hueytown (12-0) and Hartselle (12-0); Class 6A: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (12-0) and Mountain Brook (12-0).
            The semifinals are scheduled Friday, Nov. 25, and the Super 6 state finals Dec. 1-2 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.