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.”


Hoover Sweeps Regular Season Indoor Finale

Over 1,700 Runners Tune Up For Upcoming State Meet


            BIRMINGHAM – Hoover High School’s track teams swept both girls and boys titles  at the Last Chance Invitational Indoor Track and Field Championships at the CrossPlex Friday and Saturday.

            This last meet of the regular season was the final tune-up for the AHSAA State Indoor Championships set for the new CrossPlex arena next weekend, Feb. 3-4.

More than 1,700 runners from nearly 100 teams competed in what was the largest indoor prep meet in Alabama state history.

            Indoor track, a staple of the AHSAA’s winter championships from 1966-2007, was discontinued after 2007 pending construction of the new state-of-the-art CrossPlex facility which opened in 2011. Indoor track was reinstated as a championship sport by the AHSAA Central Board of Control beginning this season.

            The Indoor Championships start Friday at 11:30 a.m. with field events and noon for the running events. The state meet resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. with field events and 9:30 a.m. in the running events. Tickets are $10 each day.

            Hoover’s girls totaled 94 points in the regular season finale with Mountain Brook second with 66 points and Northridge third at 32 points.  Hoover’s boys had 60 points to win their division, followed by Spain Park with 45 and Northridge with 43.

            Several first-year CrossPlex records were set in the meet. AHSAA Class 6A state cross country champ Carmen Carlos of McGill-Toolen clocked 5:00.04 to set a new mark in the 1,600-meter run and beat her closest competitor by six seconds. She also won the 3,200 run on Friday night in a record time of 10:45.54, some 28 seconds faster than her previous CrossPlex best that set the previous mark.

            Other girls’ CrossPlex records during the weekend included:

·         Joy Maneice-Marbury, Hoover – The Bucs senior ran 7.69 seconds in the 60-meter dash prelims for a new record and then beat that mark in the finals with a 7.65 time. She also anchored Hoover’s record-setting 4x200-meter relay team (1:42.15) team and record-setting 4x400 relay team (3:57.09).

·         Aerial Horton, Northridge – The Tuscaloosa shot putter recorded a CrossPlex record 37 feet, 6 1/2 inch distance in the finals to win the competition.

·         Megan Clark, Columbus, GA – The out-of-state competitor won the pole vault by clearing a Crossplex-record  12 feet.



            Oak Mountain senior Jakaryus Redwine turned in a spectacular performance in the 60-meter dash finals to edge CrossPlex record holder Cameron Luper of Auburn for the win. Redwine clocked a record 6.88 seconds to edge Luper, who had clocked a 6.90 in the prelmins to set the record.

            Redwine also turned in a CrossPlex  record time in the 400-meter dash but finished second in a photo finish to Smiths Station speedster Quincy Smith. who had set the record earlier this season with a 49.04 time. Smith clocked 49.163 and Redwine 49.167 in the closest finish of the meet.

            Spain Park’s Brandon Hazouri, the AHSAA Class 6A cross country individual champ in 2010 and 2011, won the 3,200-meter run with a CrossPlex record time of 9:34.18. Mountain Brook’s Payton Ballard, who finished second to Hazouri, beat the Spain Park standout in the 1,600 with a winning time of 4:23.39. Hazouri, who set the CrossPlex mark in the 1,600 earlier this season (4.22.20), finished second at 4:25.40.

            Other CrossPlex boys records set over the weekend included:

·         Marlon Humphrey, Hoover – The sophomore broke his own record of 8.09 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles with a winning time of 8.0 in the finals Saturday.

·         Andrew Harris, Walker – Ran the 800 meters in 1:54.11 for a new CrossPlex mark.

·         Deonta Johnson, Hoover – Leaped 6-6 for a new CrossPlex high jump mark.

·         Richard Connor Foxworth, St. Patrick’s Catholic (MS) – Broke his own CrossPlex best of 15 feet with a 16-0 leap in the pole vault.

·         Hoover:  Coach Devon Hind’s 4x400 relay team set a new mark of 3:22.65, beating the old mark by five seconds.

·         Mountain Brook – The Spartans’ 4x800 relay team won with a CrossPlex record time of 8:09.35.