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.”

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High School Football Rudy Award Back For 3rd Year


BEND, OR - The search for the most inspirational high school football player in America

continues as nominations open for the third year of the prep Rudy Award.

As the high school football season kicks off around the nation, many families come together to watch the inspirational and uplifting movie RUDY, based on the true life story of Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger and his dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame.

Inspireum along with the Trusted Sports Foundation, has taken Rudy’s dream another leap forward by honoring those players who inspire others to ‘get and stay in the game’. With $25,000 in college academic scholarships awarded each year, this “feel good” program searches for nominees from around the nation and honors them for their commitment to excellence, oftentimes in the face of personal challenges,
           Drew Bledsoe, former New England Patriots star and four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, is the chairman of the national Selection Committee. Dallas Cowboys quarterback legend Troy Aikman and former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, both three-time Super Bowl Champions, are new additions to the Selection Committee charged with determining the most inspirational high school player in America.

They join other notable sports personalities such as Leigh Anne Tuohy, mother of Baltimore Ravens player Michael Oher and inspirational figure of the film The Blind Side; Shaun Alexander, former University of Alabama star and NFL MVP as a Seattle Seahawks running back; and Andrea Kremer, award-winning reporter of HBO’s Real Sports.
           Since the program’s launch in 2009, nominees have received over 5 million votes and their stories have inspired others to--in the famous words of Rudy--‘Dream Big and Never Quit’.

The awards have placed the spotlight on over 700 players with the Trusted Sports Foundation bestowing over $50,000 in college academic scholarships to high school football players. Twelve finalists will share $25,000 in scholarships with the winner receiving a $7,500 college scholarship. Chance Anthony, 2010 High School Football Rudy Award winner currently

attending East Kentucky University, aims to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a state


Anyone can nominate the ‘Rudy’ on his/her team at starting Sept. 15. Images and video can also be uploaded and are encouraged. Online voting commences Sept. 30 and continues after the Top 50 semifinalists are announced Nov. 1. The Top 12 are chosen Dec.11 and the winner, four runners-up and one fan favorite are announced Jan. 15, 2012. The awards ceremony takes place in the winner’s high school in February.