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. 


Clay Bowl Finale Takes Week 5 Spotlight

Clay County High School’s 7-6 football win over Lineville Friday night at Horn-White Stadium in Ashland brought to an end to the “Clay Bowl,” one of the nation’s legendary prep football rivalries, and catapulted both teams into the AHSAA Spotlight for Week 5.
           The rivalry, which began in 1922 and lasted 101 games, was judged in the late 1990s by USA Today as one of the nation’s Top 10 high school football rivalries. The last one certainly lived up to that billing.

           It was a classic finish to a series where Clay County has averaged 11.8 points per game and Lineville 12.8. The Aggies finished with 54 wins, Clay County 43 and the two teams tied four times. 
           The two schools will merge next school year to form Central High School of Clay County. The new nickname will be the Volunteers and the school colors red, white and blue.
           Principal Billy Walker said 2,600 advance tickets were sold and the crowd was estimated at more than 5,000 in a stadium that can seat 3,500. The stadium was full by 4:30 in the afternoon with late arrivals standing 30 deep around the fence and even deeper on the hill overlooking the field. As many as five TV stations were on hand along with numerous reporters and a host of other media.

            And former governor Bob Riley, who is a Clay County grad, administered the ceremonial coin toss before the game using a special centennial coin honoring President Ronald Reagan.

            Clay County (4-1), coached by Kris Herron, took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on Travis Smith’s 10-yard TD run. Shawncey Simmons then kicked what would turn out to be the game-winning extra point.

            Lineville (4-1), coached by Clay County grad Steve Giddens, finally scored with 4:30 to play when quarterback Demetrius Lindsey scored on a 5-yard run. The extra point try was blocked, however.

            Lineville got another chance quickly when the Aggies jarred the ball loose on the kick return and recovered at the Panthers 21-yard line. Three plays netted just zero yards and the Aggies lined up to try a 38-yard field goal. Once again, the kick was blocked to foil the scoring opportunity.

            Giddens’ team got the ball back with just over a minute to play. Panthers junior Jamari Staples intercepted Lineville’s fourth-down pass to seal the win.

            Lineville limited Clay County to just 145 yards of offense, including only 12 through the air. Simmons was the Panthers’ leading rusher with 40 yards on 12 carries. Lineville had 107 yards passing but could muster less than 100 yards rushing.

           When the game ended, both teams huddled together in the middle of the field as more than 5,000 fans – many of whom were at the stadium by 4 p.m. Friday – looked on.

            Herron and Giddens embraced and then addressed the teams.

             “There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Herron said to the Lineville players. “Hey, this is what it was founded on and what it was all about. After tonight and a day or two, this stuff is over. We start coming together.”

            Giddens, who played in his final Clay Bowl game in 1979, reflected before the game. “This is a special game for a special group from two special towns. We’ll all miss it, but we all look forward to what comes next.”

            In one other milestone team performance, Fort Payne beat Cullman 44-21 to record the Wildcats’ 500th school win. Fort Payne, currently coached by Paul Ellis, is now 500-336-29 all time.

            Other top prep performances last weekend included:

            Lorenzo Gray, Pinson Valley: Piled up 498 yards rushing and receiving as the Indians beat Springville 55-27. He had 309 yards rushing on eight carries with touchdown runs covering 65, 8, 95 and 4 yards. He also hauled in five pass receptions for 189 yards and two 55-yard TD scores – giving him six touchdowns on the night. Brook Garrett also completed 8-of-12 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns for Pinson.
            Caleb Hill, Danville: The senior rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries and completed 3-of-5 passes for 41 yards in the Hawks’ 41-38 two-overtime win over Priceville. He scored on runs of 85, 11 and 4 yards. On defense he had five tackles and caused one fumble.
            Gavin Calder, Ardmore: Rushed 40 times for 276 yards with three touchdowns as the Tigers won for the first time this season, defeating Clements 26-14.
            Michael Davis, Geraldine: The junior running back/safety scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 90-yard run with 4:53 to play and then made an interception with 15 seconds remaining as the Bulldogs edged Pisgah 14-7. Davis finished with 21 carries for 188 yards and two TDs.
            Rodney Camp, Phillips: Sparked a 42-33 win over Phil Campbell with 239 yards passing and five touchdowns. He was 21-of-27 on the night and also rushed for 68 yards and a TD on 13 carries. He also completed three 2-point conversion passes, made four tackles and intercepted a pass on defense. Teammate Caleb Clark caught seven passes for 116 yards and four TDs.
            Cody Hughes, Central-Phenix City: Stepped in to replace injured starter Jonathan Wallace at quarterback and directed the Red Devils to a 64-28 win over Russell County. He was 13-of-18 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

Jacob Davis, Sylvania: Davis, a senior who plays running back, wide receiver and safety, ran a punt back 85 yards for the winning touchdown as the Rams edged Brindlee Mountain 17-10. It was his third punt return for a touchdown this season. He now has eight kick returns for scores in his last 15 games.

Victor Maye, Shades Valley: Completed 18-of-26 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-20 loss to Hueytown.

Aaron Sanders, Headland: Had 254 yards passing and rushing and accounted for four touchdowns in the Rams’ 44-39 win over Houston County. Sanders passed for 193 yards and three scores and rushed for 61 yards and a 6-yard TD.

Patrick Smith, Houston County: Accounted for 356 all-purpose yards and all 39 points – six touchdowns and three extra point kicks – in the Lions’ 44-39 loss to Headland. Smith caught six passes for 171 yards with three touchdowns (76, 41 and 38), rushed for 91 yards on 11 carries with two TDs (1 and 64) and had a kickoff return of 93 yards for a touchdown.

Corey Perkins, Rehobeth: Rushed for 241 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns (3 and 85 yards) , helping the Rebels snap a 15-game losing streak with a 34-19 win over Cottonwood.

Bryan Flemming, Russell County: Completed 10-of-20 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns in a 64-28 loss to Central-Phenix City.

Sterling Gatlin, Providence Christian: The senior linebacker had 14 tackles and two assists in a 34-20 win over Geneva County. He also had a fourth-quarter interception to help seal the win. Offensively he rushed for 117 yards on 20 carries with one TD. Junior Spencer Walker added 111 yards and three scores on 16 carries and caught two passes for 57 yards and a 33-yard score.

Teague Whitaker, Ider: The senior running back carried nine times for 224 yards and three touchdowns as Ider downed Victory Christian 47-12. Whitaker scored on runs of 64, 49 and 45 yards. 

Troy Elliott, Corner: Was 6 of 6 on extra points and kicked field goals of 39 and 51 yards in a 48-20 win over Locust Fork. Teammate Blake Byrd also rushed for 204 yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries.

Benjamin Riggs, Marion County: Was perfect on seven extra points, extending his current season streak to 32, in the Raiders’ 49-22 win over Sulligent.

Terrance Hollingsworth, Berry: The sophomore rushed for 254 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in the Wildcats’ 58-22 win over Appalachian. He also had nine tackles on defense.

Georgie Salem, Vestavia Hills: Rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns (80, 27 and 48 yards) as the Rebels knocked off previously unbeaten Briarwood Christian 35-14.

Ryan Mason, Pleasant Grove: Made 23 tackles in a 27-14 loss to Pelham.

Harrison Collier, Carroll: Had 17 tackles, including nine solos, in the Eagles’ 30-22 loss to Ashford.

Marquez Pride, Bob Jones: The senior defensive end had nine tackles, including five sacks and one forced fumble, in the Patriots’ 28-13 win over Spain Park.

Dalton Screws, Walter Wellborn: Caught a pass from teammate Judd Smith on the last play of the first half to tie the game at 6-6, then made an interception on defense in the final seconds of the game to end a scoring threat and seal a 12-6 win over Weaver.