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.”

Prep Tix

Volleyball ‘Super Regional’ Format Approved 


Plans to institute Super Regional tournaments at two sites in the state volleyball playoffs were approved for the 2012-13 school year by the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Central Board of Control at its winter meeting Wednesday.

          The post-season playoff format will include three rounds beginning next season – one-day area tournaments played between Oct. 18-20; Super Regional tournaments with 96 teams in six classifications at the north site and 96 teams in six classifications at the south site Oct. 26-27; and the Elite Eight state tournament Oct. 31-Nov. 1

          Huntsville’s Von Braun Center will host the North Super Regional and Montgomery’s new multi-purpose complex at Cramton Bowl was approved to host the South Super Regional, contingent on a site visit scheduled later this week.

          The new format streamlines the volleyball playoffs  by combining two regional tournaments into one and eliminating the sub-state round, thus reducing travel costs. The 2012 format will advance the winner and runner-up from each area tournament to a Super Regional. The top four finishers in each Super Regional will then advance to the Elite Eight state tournament in each classification.

          “We think this will elevate the championship program to a new level for volleyball and provide a memorable and positive experience for our student-athletes and schools,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said.
          The Central Board also approved keeping the site for the state cross country championships at Oakville Indian Mounds Park near Moulton for the next three years.
          The Central Board endorsed a leadership program, “Ideals,” designed specifically to teach leadership skills to student-athletes. Program founder Jack Williams made a presentation on the merits of the program.

In other Board action:
      ·         Approved a four-year rotation schedule for the two at-large female Central Board members through 2019-20. Currently, two members serve from Districts 2 and 8. Two new members will be elected from Districts 3 and 6 for 2012-13 to 2015-16. Districts 4 and 5 will elect two members for 2016-17 to 2019-20. At-large female representation began with Districts 1 and 7 from 2004-05 to 2007-08.
      ·         Reviewed Legislative Proposals to be considered by member schools in February. The schools will also have the opportunity to participate in a general AHSAA survey to be conducted during the same month.
      ·         Approved the financial reports of the 2011 Super Six Audit, the 2011 State Cross Country Meet, the 2011 State Swimming & Diving Meet and the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game.
      ·         Approved expenses for the 2012 Final 48 State Basketball Tournament.
      ·         Heard  an update about the second phase of the newly-designed AHSAA's on-line software program from C2C's Robert Gomes, who emphasized the thorough training that C2C plans to provide for member schools.