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 Stars Add Cleburne County Back

NCAA Coaches Cleared To Attend Annual All-Star Game

            Cleburne County High School running back and wide receiver Rocky Hayes has been added to the Alabama roster for the 25th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game scheduled to kick off Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association Director Alvin Briggs announced Monday.
           Hayes, who is replacing Hoover’s Caleb Sims, is expected to report today with players and coaches for the team check-in.  Each squad will have 40 high school seniors.
            Head coach for Alabama is Jere Adcock of Decatur.  Larry Weems of Meridian is Mississippi’s head coach. Alabama holds a 17-7 edge in the series that will be played in Montgomery for the first time in the game’s history. The game was held from 1988 through 2010 at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium

            Hayes, a cousin of former Alabama Crimson Tide stalwart Tyrone Prothro, rushed for 1,312 yards on 152 carries in 11 games this season and scored 11 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 217 yards and two scores and had 507 yards and four touchdowns on 15 kick and punt returns to finish the 2011 season with 2,036 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns.

            Sims had been added to the team last week replacing American Christian receiver Parker Barineau.

                In other Alabama-Mississippi Game news Monday:

            COLLEGE  COACHES CAN ATTEND GAME:  Unlike recent years, college coaches will be able to attend this year’s game at Cramton Bowl. According to Greg Sankey, Associate Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference office who requested NCAA clearance for coaches to attend, he has confirmed it is permissible for Football Bowl Subdivision coaches to attend the game.

             “This determination has been based on the information provided to the SEC office by the AHSAA and Mississippi High School Athletic Association and has been reviewed with NCAA national office staff,” he said.

            “Of primary importance in reaching this decision are the efforts made by the AHSAA and MHSAA to exclude “third parties” from the conduct, sponsorship and promotion of this event. The changes made to place this under the sole purview of the involved state high school athletic associations is of central importance to this decision. NCAA Bylaw governs these activities in addition to the applicable restrictions on contacts that normally apply.”

            AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese applauded the decision.