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.”


Marion Co. Only Defending Champ In Super 6 

     Twelve schools advanced Friday night to AHSAA Super 6 football championships at Auburn University with semifinal victories.
     The only defending state champion still on the “Road to Jordan-Hare Stadium” is Class 1A power Marion County of Guin. The Red Raiders (13-1) edged Pickens County 42-41 to set up Thursday’s 3 p.m. Super 6 battle with Brantley (14-0). The Bulldogs blanked McIntosh 46-0 in the other Class 1A semifinal game, the third shutout in four playoff wins for Coach David Lowery’s team this season.
     Marion County coach Rusty Funk said he didn’t expect the Red Raiders’ road back to the Super 6 finals would be easy. “We knew full well how good Pickens County was,” he said. “We were in the same region and our first game with them was difficult. Friday night’s game was amazing.”
     Marion County has scored 701 points this season in 14 games, a state-leading 50.1 per game. Brantley is leading the state defensively with only 47 points allowed in 14 contests – a staggering 3.4 points allowed per contest. The Bulldogs have also scored 697, 49.4 points per game.
     The Red Raiders won the 2011 state title with four players in the backfield rushing for more than 1,000 yards – a first in AHSAA state history. All four returned this year and are on the verge of accomplishing that feat once again.
     Big 260-pound fullback Justin Sanderson is the leader this season with 1,205 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns on 171 carries. Dorryl “Ready” Swanigan is next with 1,021 yards and 16 touchdowns on 93 carries. He also has 12 catches for 465 yards and seven scores and has one kickoff return for a TD.
     DeShawn Reibesehl is right behind with 1,001 yards and 13 rushing TDs on 98 carries. He also has 417 yards receiving on 14 catches with seven touchdowns and another 268 yards on 14 punt returns with three more scores. Quarterback Sean Wallace, the MVP of last year’s 23-12 Class 1A championship win over Linden, is next with 950 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns on 93 carries. He is also 39-of-65 passing for 1,192 yards and 19 touchdowns.
     Four schools that were runners-up in last year’s Super 6 state finals clinched championship game berths once again. Class 2A Tanner (13-0) beat Reeltown 35-14 and will now play Washington County (13-1) in the 2A finals Friday at 3 p.m. Madison Academy (12-2) downed Lauderdale County 21-13 and moved into the Class 3A state finals for the second straight year. The Mustangs will face Fayette County (12-2) Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Super 6 opening game.
     Oneonta (14-0) downed Madison County 40-25 Friday and returns to the 4A finals to meet UMS-Wright (12-2) Friday morning at 11. And in Class 6A, Hoover (14-0), making its 12th Super 6 appearance in the last 13 seasons, will face Opelika (10-4) Friday night at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs avenged an early season loss to Region 3 champion Carver-Montgomery with a 35-14 win Friday at Cramton Bowl. The Bucs beat Clay-Chalkville 44-20.
     Hoover reached the finals seven straight seasons from 2000-2006 under the direction of Rush Propst and has now advanced to the 6A championship game for the fifth straight year under Niblett’s tutelage. The Bucs won state titles in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2009 – the last one under Niblett’s direction. Prattville edged Hoover in last year’s finals 35-34.
     Spanish Fort (13-1) is making its second Super 6 appearance in three years in Class 5A. The Toros will meet McAdory (14-0), making its first Super 6 trip for Coach David Powell. The two teams square off at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
     Washington County and Opelika also are reaching the Super 6 finals for the first time in school history.
     All six games will be broadcast over the AHSAA TV Network by CBS TV 42 and across the state via the Alabama Radio Network. Click
HERE to purchase tickets online.

AHSAA Super 6 Pairings
At Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn University, Dec. 6-7
(Home team listed last)
Class 1A
Marion County (13-1) vs. Brantley (14-0), Thursday, 3 p.m.
Class 2A
Tanner (13-0) vs. Washington County (13-1), Friday, 3 p.m.
Class 3A
Madison Academy (12-2) vs. Fayette County (12-2), Thursday, 11 a.m.
Class 4A
UMS-Wright (12-2) vs. Oneonta (14-0), Friday, 11 a.m.
Class 5A
Spanish Fort (13-1) vs. McAdory (14-0), Thursday, 7 p.m.
Class 6A
Hoover (14-0) vs. Opelika (10-4), Friday, 7 p.m.