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.”



Alabama Wins 6th Straight All-Star Football Game;

Holds On To Defeat Mississippi 21-17 In 27th Annual Contest

      Alabama’s All-Stars extended their winning streak to six games Saturday with a 21-17 win over Mississippi in the 27th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game.
      The hosts have won all three games played at Cramton Bowl since 2011 and own a 20-7 record in the series which dates back to 1988. The last loss came in December 2007 when Mississippi won 26-7. That was the only year that two games were played. Alabama won the game in June 51-14 – the most points scored by any team in the series.
      Alabama, coached by Central-Phenix City’s Woodrow Lowe, jumped to a quick lead in the first quarter marching 72 yards on five plays with Demopolis receiver Demetrius Kemp grabbing a 24-yard touchdown pass from Clay-Chalkville quarterback Hayden Moore. The drive took just one minute off the clock. James Sherman of Montgomery Catholic booted the first of three extra points and Alabama led 7-0.
      Mississippi wasted little time tying the game. Starting on the Alabama 41 following a punt, Coach Lance Pogue’s team needed only two plays to score. A’eris Williams of West Point scored the touchdown on a 3-yard run and Cody Mills, from Oxford, booted the extra point with 6:50 left in the quarter.
      Mississippi took a 14-7 lead into halftime thanks to a 21-yard pass from Louisville’s Wyatt Roberts to Greenwood receiver Sammie Epps. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Epps finished the game with seven catches for 125 yards to earn MVP honors for Mississippi.
      Alabama scored twice in the second half – the first coming on a pass deflected by linebacker Rashaan Evans of Auburn High School. He turned quickly to find the ball still suspended in air, tucked it to his chest at the Mississippi 5 and waltzed into the end zone for a TD just 49 seconds into the third quarter.

      Evans, the son of former Auburn University running back Alan Evans, had several big plays on defense with four tackles for 13 yards in losses and a sack among his eight stops. He was named the Alabama MVP.
      Kemp snagged a 33-yard pass from Moore late in the third quarter for his second TD of the game and gave Alabama the lead for good, 21-14.  Kemp finished with three receptions for 72 yards. Mississippi cut the lead to 21-17 with Mills’ 29-yard field goal with 8:57 to play.
      Alabama finished with 10 first downs, 87 yards rushing and 95 passing for 182 total yards. Mississippi had 15 first downs, 67 yards rushing and 266 passing yards for 333 total yards.
      Ito Smith of McGill-Toolen was the game’s leading rusher with 53 yards on 14 carries for Alabama. Moore added 26 yards on seven carries and was 7-of-13 passing for 95 yards and two scores. Sherman punted seven times for a 34.1-yard average, and Marlon Humphrey of Hoover had one kickoff return for 28 yards.
      Roberts was 10-of-20 passing for 190 yards and a TD for Mississippi. Thad Miller of Gulfport was 4-of-13 for 76 yards. Tevin Moore of Stringer was Mississippi’s leading rusher with 33 yards on 13 carries.
      Defensively, St. Paul’s linebacker Tre’ Williams had 12 tackles to pace Alabama. Christian Campbell of Central-Phenix City added nine tackles, Evans and Taylor Stallworth of Murphy added eight each, and Hillcrest linebacker Keith Holcombe had seven stops.
      Shareef White of Grenada had eight tackles for Mississippi.
     The six wins in a row by Alabama tied the series record set by Alabama from 1999-2004. Alabama’s All-Stars won the first four games (1988-91), and Mississippi won four in a row from 1992-95.


Series record: Alabama 20 wins; Mississippi 7.

2013:  Alabama 21, Mississippi 17
2012:  Alabama 21, Mississippi 16
2011:  Alabama 31, Mississippi 12
2010: Alabama 24, Mississippi 17 (2 OT)
2009: Alabama 21, Mississippi 13
2008: Alabama 28, Mississippi 3
2007 (December): Mississippi 26, Alabama 7
2007 (June): Alabama 51, Mississippi 14
2006: Alabama 24, Mississippi 3
2005: Mississippi 21, Alabama 18
2004: Alabama 24, Mississippi 22
2003: Alabama 24, Mississippi 16
2002: Alabama 29, Mississippi 17
2001: Alabama 33, Mississippi 14
2000: Alabama 16, Mississippi 9
1999: Alabama 28, Mississippi 24
1998: Mississippi 9, Alabama 0
1997: Alabama 10, Mississippi 6
1996: Alabama 17, Mississippi 14
1995: Mississippi 37, Alabama 9
1994: Mississippi 24, Alabama 10
1993: Mississippi 17, Alabama
1992: Mississippi 17, Alabama 14
1991: Alabama 15, Mississippi 13
1990: Alabama 21, Mississippi 14 (OT)
1989: Alabama 24, Mississippi 21 (4 OT)
1988: Alabama 24, Mississippi 21 (3 OT)