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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Daleville Back 'Runs' Into Week 1 Spotlight

Daleville High School senior running back Brandon Burks opened the 2011 prep football season in style Friday night with a 411-yard rushing performance, the first 400-yard effort in the AHSAA since 2008. Burks also scored seven touchdowns in his 26-carry effort to grab the AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 1.
Burks had touchdown runs of 13, 69, 1, 4, 26, 42 and 71 yards as the Warhawks beat Bullock County 53-23. In the process, Burks wrote his name in the AHSAA Record Book with the seventh best rushing effort in state history and the first 400-yard performance since 2008 when Tommy Haley-Ricks rushed for 420 yards and a state-record nine touchdowns in a 76-52 Hubbertville win over Vina.
            Tony Dixon of Parrish set the state record with 531 yards on 21 carries in 2003 to lead the Tornadoes past Hubbertville 81-58. 
            The 42 points scored ties Burks with three others for the 10th most points scored in a game.  Haley-Ricks set the mark with 58 points (including two 2-point conversions) in the 2008 win over Vina.
            Burks’ seven touchdowns is seventh best all-time and ties him with 14 others. The most recent was Kendarius Fitts of Linden in an 82-0 win over A.L. Johnson in 2010.
            Ranked behind Haley-Ricks’ nine TDs with eight touchdowns in a single game are Demont Buice of Gaston (2007), Dixon (2003), John Tucker of Frisco City (1998), Golinsky  Smith of Sylacauga (1997) and original record holder Jack Golson of Lowndes County (Fort Deposit). Golson had eight TDs and seven PAT kicks in a 61-13 win over Loretto in a 1950 game.
           Burks’ performance edged out another record-tying night by Geraldine junior Michael Davis, who returned a record-tying two kickoffs for touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 42-21 win over Randolph.  He sped 91 yards in a second quarter return and added a 94-yard TD scamper in the third period. He also rushed for 124 yards on nine carries with TDs covering 3 and 7 yards.
           Davis tied the record held by five players, including two from his home county of DeKalb — Fort Payne’s Randy Posey against Etowah in 2006 and Jeff Pitts of Fyffe against Oakman in 1995.

 Other top performances reported this week include:

·         Jacob Kennedy, Berry: The senior quarterback led the Wildcats to a 62-19 win over Northside with 421 total yards. He also accounted for five touchdowns and two 2-point conversions. He was 16-of-27 passing for 272 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 149 yards and three scores on 15 carries. He returned one kickoff 18 yards and registered four tackles on defense as a member of the secondary.

·         Luke Bailey, Fairview: The junior completed 16-of-27 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-20 win over Vinemont. Bailey also ran 10 times for 97 yards and three touchdowns to finish with 392 total yards while accounting for five TDs.

·         Dillon Campbell, Oak Grove: Registered 11 tackles, blocked two extra-point kicks and recovered a fumble in the Tigers’ 33-26 win over West Blocton.

·         Kaleb Harris, Pinson Valley: Was 13-of-14 passing for 223 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Indians past Mortimer Jordan 69-42.

·         Ladarius Rodgers, Leeds: Needed just 13 carries to rush for 204 yards and three touchdowns (20, 41 and 94 yards) as the Green Wave beat Alexandria 33-14.

·         Maurice Crews, Eufaula: The Tigers’ senior running back rushed for 191 yards and five touchdowns on 11 carries in a 55-27 win over Abbeville. Crews scored on runs of 25, 5, 33, 57 and 15 yards.

·         Zach Walker, G.W. Long: The Rebels’ standout rushed for 191 yards on 11 carries with a 45-yard TD run and added a 90-yard kickoff return for another score as G.W. Long downed Goshen 58-20. Walker also had non-scoring runs of 42 and 44 yards that set up touchdowns.

·         Sam Gillikin, Hoover: The Bucs’ quarterback rushed 14 times for 86 yards and completed 20-of-33 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns as Hoover beat nationally 12-ranked South Panola, MS, 24-13 Saturday.

·         Zac Cooper, Cullman: In his first varsity start, the Bearcats’ junior quarterback was nearly perfect completing 16-of-18 passes for 183 yards in a 41-13 win over Sparkman.

·         Zack Reneau, Calera: Completed 18-of-27 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Eagles’ 61-14 win over Montevallo.

·         Jameis Winston, Hueytown: The senior rushed for 51 yards and completed 18-of-27 passes for 238 yards in the Gophers’ 27-6 win over Pelham.

·         Demetrice Vaughn, Blount: The freshman rushed for 205 yards on 20 carries and scored four touchdowns as Blount defeated Craigmont, TN, 60-56 Saturday night.

·         Jeffrey Moss, Bob Jones: The Patriots’ quarterback was 11-of-15 passing for 222 yards and four TDs (12, 23, 27 and 35 yards) and rushed twice for 32 yards in less than two quarters of a 66-13 win over West Creek, TN.

·         Carr Tigner, Hewitt-Trussville: Rushed for 131 yards and completed 11-of-13 passes for 221 yards as the Huskies beat Gardendale 28-14.

·         Cassanova McKinzy, Woodlawn: The senior linebacker had 10 tackles as the Colonels opened the season with a 20-9 win over Faith Academy.

·         Ladarius Mandson, St. Jude: Recorded six sacks as the Pirates downed Montgomery Catholic 54-7.

·         Ryheem Dixon, Flomaton: The quarterback rushed for 202 yards on 14 carries, with TD runs of 45, 4 and 60 yards, and threw a 32-yard touchdown pass in a 47-14 victory over W.S. Neal.

·         Kevin Davis, T.R. Miller: The junior QB, in his first career start, led an 83-yard drive in the final 1:02 and scored the game-winning TD on a 1-yard sneak with 0.4 seconds to play as the Tigers beat Escambia County 37-31.  He threw for 202 yards and a TD and also kicked a 40-yard field goal.

·         Josh Carroll, Gulf Shores: A running back by trade, he kicked a 36-yard field goal with 2:41 to go to lift the Dolphins to a 9-6 victory over Robertsdale. He added 121 yards rushing on 16 carries.

·         Christopher Mitchell, Theodore: The Bobcats' defensive back grabbed 2 interceptions, including one returned 26 yards for a TD, in a 21-0 victory over Baldwin County.

·         Darrin Abrams, McIntosh: Had 11 tackles 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in a 39-7 victory over Cottage Hill Christian.

·         Joseph Johnson, Marion County: The defensive back swiped three passes to spark the Red Raiders to a season-opening 35-7 win over county rival Hackleburg.