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Scholarships Awarded For Sportsmanship



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.”


 HUNTSVILLE – Eight member high schools of the Alabama High School Athletic Association were each awarded $1,000 scholarships by Wednesday at the STAR Sportsmanship Awards Luncheon at the Von Braun Center.

The first-ever banquet, a feature event of the 12th annual All-Star Sports Week currently underway here, recognized 92 AHSAA member schools as examples of outstanding sportsmanship for going through the entire 2007-08 school year without receiving a single fine or ejection.

The banquet was hosted by Learning Through Sports, Inc., and the AHSAA. Each school also received a large sportsmanship banner to hang in their respective schools., which has also emphasized good sportsmanship through its partnership with AHSAA, selected one school from each of the AHSAA’s eight athletic districts to receive the special grant.

Schools receiving the special grants were: Excel (District 1), Ariton (District 2), Sidney Lanier (District 3), Dadeville (District 4), Erwin (District 5), Alexandria (District 6), Pickens County (District 7) and Susan Moore (District 8). CEO Cindy Martin, who presented the checks at the banquet, said it is’s way of supporting the AHSAA’s STAR Sportsmanship initiative. "Better citizens in sports become better citizens in life," she said.

The AHSAA has partnered with STAR Sportsmanship, a special online interactive training tool designed and administered by

AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese praised the STAR Sportsmanship program and founder Brian Shulman, former Auburn University football standout. Shulman was on hand along with John Draper, Executive Director of CLAS, to recognize the schools.

“These schools are laying the foundation for what we hope will be 400 schools represented at this banquet in years to come,” Shulman said.

AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese agreed. “Our goal has always been and always will be to have zero fines and ejections. These schools have done just that and we are very proud of all of them.”

Beginning in the upcoming 2008-2009 school year, all student-athletes who participate in sports and cheerleading at an AHSAA member school must complete the STAR Sportsmanship program before becoming eligible. All coaches in the AHSAA must complete the coaches’ portion of STAR Sportsmanship by 2009-2010. A special program is also available on line for parents and one for game officials will be available soon.

The schools recognized included:
Class 1A
Alabama School for the Blind (Talladega); Appalachian; Ariton; Athens Bible; Brantley; Covenant Christian (Tuscumbia); Decatur Heritage (Decatur); Donoho (Anniston); Edward Bell (Camp Hill); Kinston; Linden; A.L. Johnson (Thomaston); Paint Rock Valley (Princeton); Sacred Heart Catholic (Anniston); Saint Bernard Prep (Cullman); South Lamar (Millport); Sulligent; Sweet Water; Talladega County-Central (Talladega); Verbena; Vina; Wadley.

Class 2A
Catholic (Huntsville); Excel; Falkville; Fultondale; Highland Home; Holy Spirit Catholic (Tuscaloosa); Lanett; Leroy; Lineville; Luverne; Mars Hill Bible (Florence); Pickens County (Reform); R.C. Hatch (Uniontown); Ranburne; Southern Choctaw (Silas); West Morgan (Trinity); Woodland.

Class 3A
Abbeville; Aliceville; Calera; Calhoun (Letohatchee); Clay County (Ashland); Clements; Francis Marion (Marion); Good Hope; Greensboro; Headland; Hokes Bluff; Holly Pond; Leeds; Lincoln; Loveless Academic Magnet (Montgomery); Mobile Christian; Munford; Slocomb; Susan Moore (Blountsville); Winfield.

Class 4A
Alabama Christian (Montgomery); Alexandria; Andalusia; Ashville; Boaz; Central-Coosa (Rockford); Dadeville; East Lawrence (Trinity); Escambia County (Atmore); Fayette County (Fayette); Hamilton; Handley (Roanoke); K.D. Smith, DAR, (Grant); T.R. Miller (Brewton); Monroe County (Monroeville); Northside; Oak Grove; Tarrant; W.S. Neal (Brewton).

Class 5A
B.C. Rain (Mobile); E.B. Erwin (Birmingham); Fort Payne; Gulf Shores; Vigor (Prichard); West Point; Woodlawn (Birmingham).

Class 6A
Blount (Prichard); Buckhorn; Carver (Birmingham); Carver (Montgomery); Homewood; Jeff Davis (Montgomery); Sidney Lanier (Montgomery).