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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.”

jasonfoundation

Attendance at High School Sports Tops 500 Million


 

INDIANAPOLIS — More fans attend high school basketball and football events than the same sports at the college and professional levels combined, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

            During the 2009-10 school year, approximately 336 million fans attended high school regular-season and playoff games in football and girls and boys basketball – more than 2½ times the 133 million spectators who attended events in those sports at the college and professional levels.

            In addition, attendance at events in the top 16 high school sports from a participation standpoint was approximately 510 million during the 2009-10 school year, including 468 million during regular-season events and 42 million for state association playoff contests.

            The NFHS surveyed high school athletic directors at small (up to 1,000 enrollment), medium (1,000 to 2,200) and large (more than 2,220) high schools and multiplied the average regular-season attendance (based on the schools that responded) in each sport by the number of schools in each enrollment category that sponsor the sport. A similar method was used to determine overall attendance at postseason events conducted by NFHS member state associations.

            In addition to basketball and football, others sports included in the survey were baseball, cross country, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, water polo and wrestling. Where applicable, attendance for both boys and girls contests was included.

            When combining attendance at regular-season girls and boys contests, basketball led the way with about 170 million fans, followed closely by football with 166 million. Soccer ranked third at 24 million, followed by baseball (20 million), volleyball (17 million), softball (15.8 million), wrestling (10 million), track and field (6.6 million), ice hockey (6 million), swimming and diving (4.8 million), lacrosse (4.5 million), cross country (3 million), water polo (1.8 million), tennis (1.8 million), golf (1.3 million) and field hockey (800,000).

            While there are about 40 sports listed in the NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, the remaining sports not included in the attendance survey have minimal participation numbers nationally and would collectively add fewer than a million spectators annually. This is the first attempt (through the means of a survey) by the NFHS, the national leadership organization for high school athletic and performing arts activities, to determine national attendance figures at the high school level.

            “This first-of-its-kind survey of attendance figures at the high school level is certainly a great sign that high school sports continue to be a big part of communities throughout our nation,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “A ticket to a high school sporting event remains one of the best values for the entertainment dollar.”