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. 


Champions Challenge Teams Ready To Play

Thomasville To Face Heralded Hueytown Quarterback In Event Opener



            Thomasville High School football coach Jack Hankins said his players realize Friday night’s Champions Challenge football game with Hueytown at Cramton Bowl is a pre-season contest that won’t count on the Tigers’ record.

            But …

            “When our kids in Thomasville strap on their headgear and pads, they come ready to play,” said Hankins. “I never have to worry about our kids giving it their best effort. We had better be ready for Hueytown. They’ve got the best football player I think we’ve ever had the chance to be on the field with.”

            That “player” is senior Jameis Winston, the 6-foot-4 quarterback who attracted college recruiters from every corner of the football universe before settling on Florida State earlier this summer.

            “From what I have seen of him on film, he is without a doubt the best high school quarterback in the country,” Hankins said.

            The sixth annual Champions Challenge Football Classic, an event of the Alabama High School Athletic Association and  hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association,  kicks off the first of three games Friday night at 7 p.m. at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.  
            The series continues Saturday with defending Class 1A state champion Sweet Water (12-3) facing 2010 Class 3A state runner-up Hamilton (14-1) at 5 p.m. and defending Class 6A state champion Daphne (15-0) meeting Jefferson County Class 6A powerhouse Clay-Chalkville (9-4) at 7:30 p.m. 
            All three games will be webcast live by Raycom and can be accessed at the AHSAA’s website ( by clicking on the network link:

            Local Raycom Media stations (WSFA, WBRC, WAFF, WDFX and the AHSAA Sports network) will also livestream the games through each station’s website. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting the games that can be accessed at

            Hankins’ Tigers have won 96 and lost just 22 in his nine-year tenure – an average of 10.7 wins per season. Thomasville rolled to the Class 4A championship last year with a perfect 15-0 record.  Hankins normally might worry about players still having their heads in the clouds after such an impressive season, but …

            “We only have two offensive players returning on offense and we lost a great class of seniors,” he said. “We have had so much teaching we had to do that there hasn’t been any time to relax.  Besides, Hueytown is good enough to beat just about anybody. Winston is good enough to put 40 points on anybody quick. Our kids relish the challenge though. I like that about them. ”

            One player who is especially looking forward to the challenge is senior middle linebacker and University of Alabama commitment Tyler Hayes, Hankins said. “We plan to have him spying Winston.  Tyler wants to go up against the best and Winston is the best. That should provide some special moments for the fans who watch that matchup.”

            Hueytown (11-2) reached the third round of the Class 5A state playoffs last season, knocking off 2009 state champion Demopolis in the second round before falling to eventual 2010 state champ Spanish Fort. Coach Matt Scott’s Gophers are looking at the Champions Challenge game as a stepping stone to what they hope will be a Super 6 finish in December.

            “We are looking forward to playing a great team like Thomasville,” said Scott. “Our players want to play the best, and Thomasville has shown already they are one of the best.”

            The Tigers shattered virtually every Super 6 offensive record last year with the 59-34 win over Deshler at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium, including points (59),  rushing yards (447) and total yards (487).  Hayes certainly did his part. After Deshler’s William Minor raced 75 yards on the first play from scrimmage for a touchdown, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Hayes returned the following kickoff 77 yards for a Thomasville score. He finished the game with 268 tandem yards with 148 on three kickoff returns, 80 rushing on four carries and 40 receiving on three catches. He also had a 36-yard punt and made two tackles on defense.

            “That’s the kind of player he is,” Hankins said. “Tyler loves to play the game. He’s the kind of leader you want on your side.”

            All six teams are making their first appearances in the Champions Challenge series. Sweet Water, with nine state championships to its credit, and Daphne (three state titles) are coming off state championship seasons. Hamilton had its best season ever with 14 wins last year and Clay-Chalkville brings in one state title (1999).

          The Champions Challenge Series history:



Opelika 34, Greenville 6                                                 

Auburn 30, Spain Park 3

Jackson 30, Trinity 8                                          


Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0                                             

T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7

Hoover 32, Oxford 27


Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather


Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Ga. 3


Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0

Clay-County 41, Addison 6