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.”


Keith Back In Spotlight With 454 Yards Rushing

          It has been 26 years since Steve Carson set Keith High School and AHSAA state history with 440 yards rushing in a 38-6 win over Calhoun in 1985. While his state mark of 440 yards on 42 carries has since fallen, his school record was secure – until last Friday night.
          Keith junior running back Charles Johnson needed only 10 carries to pile up 454 yards rushing as the Class 1A Bears from Orrville beat Shades Mountain Christian 45-6. Johnson, who grabbed this week’s feature billing in the AHSAA Spotlight, scored six touchdowns of 33, 76, 43, 93, 80 and 61 yards. He had 315 yards rushing at the half for Coach Harry Crum’s team.
         His performance ranks fourth in AHSAA records behind Tony Dixon of Parrish (531 yards in 2003 vs. Hubbertville), Jerry Stancil of Gaylesville (470 yards vs. Spring Garden in 2004) and Michael Perry of Cherokee County (457 yards in a 1991 win over Hokes Bluff). Carson’s total now ranks fifth all-time.
         AHSAA records show only nine games of 400 or more yards rushing. Tommy Haley-Ricks of Hubbertville was the last to accomplish the feat when he ran for 420 yards on 24 carries in a 76-52 win over Vina in 2008.
         Johnson’s effort edged out another record-book performance turned in by Bibb County running back
Akeem Dobyne and a nationally-televised effort by Daphne senior T.J. Yeldon.
Yeldon, an Auburn commitment, ran for 359 yards on 35 carries and scored four TDs in a 45-24 win over Fairhope that extended the defending Class 6A state champion Trojans’ current winning streak to 23 games. He scored on runs of 35, 5, 1 and 85 yards.
         Dobyne sparked undefeated Bibb County’s 78-7 Class 4A win over Southside-Selma by scoring seven touchdowns and five 2-point conversions to total 52 points. That total ranks fourth all-time behind Haley-Hicks, who had 58 points in his 400-yard rushing performance in 2008. Dixon had 57 points in his record-setting 531-yard effort and Jack Golson set what was then a national record in 1950 with 55 points in a 61-13 Lowndes County win over Loretto.
         Dobyne had 10 rushes for 160 yards and five touchdowns, caught three passes for 37 yards and a sixth score and returned one punt 53 yards for the other TD. He scored 10 points on his five 2-point conversion runs.

Other top performances reported include:
Deion Moore, Houston County: The Lions’ quarterback accounted for 427 yards and five touchdowns with for 345 yards passing and four touchdowns and 82 yards rushing and another score as Houston County fell to G.W. Long 47-32.

Zach Walker, G.W. Long: Walker rushed for 288 yards on just 10 carries and had touchdown runs of 85 and 86 yards in the Rebels' 47-32 win over Houston County.

Jacob Kennedy and Terrance Hollingsworth, Berry: The duo sparked an amazing comeback as the Wildcats overcame a 42-30 halftime deficit by outscoring Marion County 28-8 after intermission en route to a 68-50 Class 1A win. Kennedy rushed 15 times for 234 yards and three touchdowns and completed 8-of-12 passes for 136 yards and two more scores. He also accounted for three 2-point conversions and recorded 13 tackles on defense. Hollingsworth rushed for 226 yards on 19 carries and scored four TDs. He also caught two passes and added a fifth score while recording 14 tackles on defense.

Hunter Reece, East Limestone: The flanker/kick returner totaled 240 yards in a 66-28 win over Lawrence County. He had a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 78-yard kickoff return for a score and a 21-yard run for a TD as East Limestone clinched a berth in the Class 5A state playoffs.

Ty Jones, Vinemont:
Jones was workhorse for the Eagles with 34 carries for 296 yards as Vinemont topped Winston County 47-34. He also had five receptions for 41 yards and three returns for 56 yards for a total 393 all-purpose yards.

Geoffrey Bramblett, Locust Fork:
Passed for 393 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 130 yards and three scores to amass 523 total yards in the Hornets’ 74-37 loss to Alexandria. He was 27-of-44 passing and had 25 rush attempts. The 523 total yards ranks sixth overall in the AHSAA Record Book. The junior has now completed 60-of-98 passes for 922 yards and six touchdowns and has rushed for 170 yards and five touchdowns in Locust Fork’s last two games.
Dustin Riggsbee, Zion Chapel: The Rebels running back rushed for 375 yards on 28 carries and scored all five touchdowns in Zion Chapel’s 35-28 win over Red Level. Riggsbee scored on runs of 8, 8, 50, 10 and 3 yards and added a pair of two-point conversions.

Jameis Winston, Hueytown: In Thursday's 57-15 win over John Carroll, the senior completed 25-of- 29 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns.

Dusty White, Plainview: The senior running back/wide receiver broke open a close game with four straight second-half touchdowns, all of which covered 14 yards or more, in a 55-32 win over New Hope. With the Bears leading 27-25, White scored third-quarter TDs on a 70-yard run, 39-yard reception and 38-yard run, and then added a 14-yard TD reception in the final quarter giving Plainview a 55-25 advantage . White finished with three carries for 115 yards and two TDs and four receptions for 103 yards and two scores. Teammates Cole Porter and Justin Patterson also rushed for 121 yards and 106 yards, respectively, in the win.

D.D. Thomas, Dothan: The quarterback accounted for 354 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-16 Tiger win over Enterprise. Thomas rushed for 224 yards and a touchdown (7 yards) on 16 carries and threw for 130 and two scores (47 and 15 yards).

ArDarius Stewart, Fultondale: Rushed nine times for 273 yards and three touchdowns and completed 5-of-11 passes for 89 yards and another TD. He was 5 of 11 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown in the Wildcats’ 70-6 win over Cold Springs.

Emil Harris, Saraland: Ran for 233 yards and two TDs in Saraland's 24-19 win over B.C. Rain.

Jacob Thomas, Clay-Chalkville: Threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 150 yards and another score in a 55-21 win over Austin. He totaled 427 yards on the night.

Josh Meigs, Valley: Completed 8-of-15 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns and added 20 rushing yards and two touchdowns on six carries in the Rams’ Class 5A, Region 2-clinching 44-0 victory over Russell County.

Jacob Davis, Sylvania: The senior running back/wide receiver scored first-quarter TDs on runs of 68 and 19 yards and added a 57-yard TD reception in the third quarter in a 49-18 win over Randolph. Davis finished with eight carries for 146 yards and more than 200 total yards.

Jonathan Wallace, Central-Phenix City: The senior accounted for 300 of his team's 366 total yards in a 27-19 win at Niceville (FL). Wallace completed 18-of-24 passes for 180 yards and ran for 120 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns. He now has 17 for the season.

Justin Cullifer, Houston Academy: Accounted for 280 yards and scored four touchdowns – two rushing, one passing and one receiving – in a 35-20 win over Wicksburg. Cullifer threw for 130 yards on 10-of-15 passing, rushed for 89 yards on 21 carries and caught a short pass, broke a tackle at the corner and turned it into a 61-yard touchdown.

Tyler Martin, Boaz: He rushed for 118 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns, completed 2-of-2 passes for 50 yards, caught a 78-yard TD screen pass, blocked a punt that resulted in a safety and had an interception in a 24-16 win over Arab that clinched a playoff spot.

Dalton Veal, Fort Payne: The senior tackle finished with 14 tackles (11 solo), including one tackle for a loss, one sack and three quarterback pressures in a 35-14 win over Madison County.

Mason Silavent, Slocomb: Returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and added an interception return of 74 yards to the 6-yard line to set up another score in Slocomb's 40-14 win over Geneva.

Trevon Brown, Beulah: Ran for three touchdowns, threw for a 73-yard touchdown, grabbed two interceptions and recorded a sack in the Bobcats’ first win of the season over Central-Coosa.

Sterling Gatlin, Providence Christian: Had 13 tackles in a 14-6 win over Ariton. He also had 97 yards rushing and two TDs on 18 carries on offense.

Zach Dean, Central-Phenix City: The Red Devils defensive end recorded three sacks for minus-24 yards to help the Red Devils past Niceville (FL) 27-19.

Matt Vatani, Corner: Made five tackles, blocked two punts and had a fumble recovery in a 15-13 win over Tarrant.

John Youngblood, Hewitt-Trussville: Made 14 tackles with two sacks and a pass breakup in a 48-27 win over Shades Valley.


Jacob Champion, Albertville: The junior linebacker recorded 11 tackles, forced two fumbles, had three tackles for losses and an interception to grade 91 percent in the Aggies’ 28-7 win over Scottsboro. He leads is team in tackles this season with 81 after eight games.