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.”


Elba Kick Return Specialist Grabs Week 3 Spotlight 


     Elba High School kick return specialist Darrean Burks turned in a career performance Friday night with two punts for touchdowns, a third nullified by a penalty and a total of 210 punt return yards on five tries to grab the Alabama High School Athletic Association Prep Spotlight for the third week of the 2011 football season.

    Burks had one return called back because of a penalty and finished with 210 yards on five punt returns overall in the Tigers' 57-14 win over Calhoun. Burks had 55- and 65-yard returns go for touchdowns and added returns of 45, 32 and 17 in the game as the unbeaten Tigers beat Calhoun 57-14. Burks also rushed for 48 yards on just five carries with an 8-yard touchdown.
    His performance edged out five outstanding passing performances that led to exciting wins.
   Appalachian quarterback Cameron Cox had a career performance in a 46-0 win over Coosa Christian. He completed 13-of-16 passes for 437 yards and six touchdowns, rushed for 50 yards and had eight tackles on defense – in basically one half.

    Junior quarterback Patrick Perry of Sidney Lanier led the Poets (1-2) to a 36-28 win over Wetumpka with 16 completions in 22 attempts for 336 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 55 yards giving him 391 total yards.

   Senior Jacob Kennedy of Berry (2-1) completed 15-of-26 passes for 365 yards and three TDs (81, 49, 47 yards) and also had two two-point conversion completions in a 48-46 win over previously unbeaten Parrish. He tacked on 47 rushing yards, a touchdown and another 2-point conversion.

    Fairview junior quarterback Luke Bailey completed 21-of-26 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-34 win over Douglas. Bailey also ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns to give him 468 total yards. His last two touchdowns broke a 34-34 tie.

   And in a wild contest in Birmingham, Darrion Holden of Woodlawn helped the Colonels (2-1) post a 40-31 win over Parker with 343 yards passing and four touchdowns on a 12-of-17 performance. He also rushed for 108 yards on 11 carries and a fifth TD.

Other top performances reported include:

Brody Meeks, Lynn: The sophomore quarterback had a hand in five touchdowns in the Bears' 57-8 win over Meek after accounting for seven touchdowns the week before. Meeks completed 8-of-12 passes for 258 yards and four scores (57, 68, 37 and 26) while rushing for 68 yards and another touchdown (63).

Dezmond Harris, McAdory: Lifted the Yellow Jackets (3-0) to a 54-19 win over John Carroll with a 10-of-12 passing effort for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
Russell Denman, Hazel Green: The senior quarterback completed 23-of-32 passes for 270 yards with four TDs and two interceptions in a 35-34 upset of Huntsville.
Andrew Jones, Wicksburg: The quarterback was10-of-19 passing for 258 yards and all three touchdowns in Wicksburg's 18-14 win over Houston County. Jones completed TD passes of 66 and 65 yards to Cody Smith and a 35-yarder to Austin Sellers.
Nick Mullens, Spain Park: Was 22-of-27 passing for 271 yards and a touchdown in a 27-6 win over Homewood.
Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery: W
as 18-of-33 passing for 293 yards and five touchdowns, including three TD passes to Landy Capetillo on tosses of 20, 36 and 14 yards in a 38-7 win over Stanhope Elmore.
Devlin Hodges, Mortimer Jordan: In his first start, Hodges was 13-of-17 passing for 261 yards and three touchdowns as the Blue Devils topped West Point 48-21. His chief target was Logan Motte, who caught nine passes for 206 yards and two TDs.

T.J. Yeldon, Daphne: The senior running back and Auburn commitment ran 30 times for 319 yards, including TD runs of 19, 31 and 7 yards, in Daphne’s 35-14 win over previously unbeaten Foley. He also had non-scoring runs of 41 and 57 yards as the Trojans extended their current win streak to 18 straight.
Diamond Simmons, Hanceville: The senior running back rushed for 287 yards on just six carries and had three touchdowns in a 47-7 rout of Holly Pond. Simmons scored on runs of 60, 75 and 93 yards and had a 91-yard touchdown called back for a holding penalty.
Jake Ganus, Chelsea: Rushed for 260 yards on 18 carries with a TD and threw for two scores on 3-of-4 passing for 54 yards in a 48-28 win over Shelby County.
Reginald Foster, Goshen: The Eagles running back rushed for 227 yards and a 20-yard touchdown in Goshen's 19-12 win over Red Level.

Azaria Green, Huntsville: The senior had 19 carries for 216 yards and three TDs of 7, 2 and 70 yards before leaving a 35-34 loss to Hazel Green with a knee injury at the 6:48 mark of the fourth quarter.
Dane Howard, Washington County:
Rushed for 234 yards and three TDs on just 8 carries in a 19-3 victory Trinity.
Rudy Ford, New Hope: He rushed for 205 yards on 11 carries with two TDs in a 42-14 win over Brindlee Mountain.
Barron Tyson, Baker: The running back ran for 198 yards and a TD on 14 carries to lead Blount to a 35-20 victory over Faith Academy. With the win Baker starts the season 3-0 for the first time since 1984.
Jordan Huff, St. Paul's: The junior running back ran for 185 yards and three TDs on 18 carries as the Saints shut out Spanish Fort 30-0. He now has 10 rushing touchdowns in the first three games. His TD runs Friday covered 50, 2 and 4 yards. He also had a 41-yard TD run nullified by a penalty.
Jordan Chunn, Madison County: He rushed for 196 yards on 24 carries with three TDs as the Tigers knocked off Etowah 32-28.

Takwain Whigham, Barbour County: Whigham had a touchdown running, passing and receiving, accounted for 150 yards on just 10 touches on offense, had 10 tackles on defense, punted twice for a 52.0 yard average and made 1-of-2 extra points in the Jaguars' 33-13 win over Ariton. He rushed for 60 yards on nine carries with a 4-yard run, caught two passes for 62 yards—one a 48-yard TD pass, and completed his only pass attempt for a 38-yard touchdown.

Jake Smith, Berry: The senior caught 7 passes for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Wildcats downed Parrish 58-46. Smith also had 6 tackles. 

Forrest Livingston, Spring Garden: Carried 20 times for 249 yards and four TDs in a 41-12 win over Valley Head. He scored on runs of 1, 57, 10 and 80 yards and now has 426 yards rushing and seven TDs in last two games after carrying 35 times for 177 yards and three scores in a 41-25 loss to Collinsville in Week 2.
Joseph Harris, Fyffe: Made two interceptions--returning one 100 yards for a TD--in a 48-7 win over Victory Christian. He had four tackles, an 18-yard TD reception and seven carries for 92 yards with a 19-yard TD run.

Reggie Ragland, Bob Jones: The senior linebacker had 14 tackles, including six for losses, in a 10-7 win over Florence. Ragland also caught a 7-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter to put the Patriots ahead.

Gabe Richards, Wicksburg: The Panthers’ defensive end earned 12 tackles, including two quarterback sacks, and had five quarterback hurries during Wicksburg's 18-14 win over Houston County.
Dustin Vining, Oak Grove:
Had 12 tackles, a sack and a safety in a 28-9 loss to Corner.

Eric Tate, Thomasville: The cornerback returned an interception for a touchdown and a fumble for a TD in the defending 4A state champion Tigers' 34-6 victory over B.C. Rain. He also caught a touchdown pass as Thomasville recorded its 18th straight win.
Ehren Faison, Slocomb: Returned a kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown and had a 41-yard interception return to set up a score in the Red Tops' 48-14 win over Daleville. Faison also had three solo tackles, an assist and one pass break-up on defense.
Kenavis Robinson, Austin: Intercepted two passes, both leading to scores, as the Black Bears (3-0) beat Hewitt-Trussville 25-23.

Ian Thomas, Fairhope: Recovered two fumbles, returning one for 35 yards and a touchdown and another 32 yards to the Satsuma 1-yard line in a 63-0 victory over the Gators.
Keeton Brackett, Blount: The senior cornerback had an interception and a fumble recovery in a 33-21 victory over Murphy as the Leopards opened the season 3-0 for the first time since 1998.
Conner Moran, Southside-Gadsden: Kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:08 remaining to give Southside a 24-21 win over Scottsboro for the Panthers’ first win of the season.
Matt Pensa, Austin: K
icked the game-winning 29-yard field goal and punted three times for a 41-yard average to keep Hewitt-Trussville’s offense backed up as the Black Bears edged the Huskies 25-23.

Levi Weems, West End: Had a touchdown pass, recovered a blocked punt for a score and had an interception return for a touchdown in West End’s 42-14 win over Cold Springs.
Chester Person, Brantley: Keyed the Bulldogs’ 47-7 win over Florala with two punt returns for touchdowns covering 54 and 48 yards. He also scored on a 44-yard pass play and a 37-yard run.