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MIKE BATTLES Graduated from Sylacauga High School and the University of Southern Mississippi. Beginning his football coaching career as an assistant coach in 1970, he became a head coach in 1973. His teams have compiled a 277-161-2 record (through 2013) in coaching stops at Pell City, Irwin County (Ga.), Walter Wellborn, Hueytown, Pascagoula (Miss.), Gautier (Miss.), Biloxi (Miss.) and Handley. He led Irwin County (Ga.) to a 13-0 record and the Georgia Class 1A state championship in 1975 and directed Handley to a perfect 15-0 record in 2011 to win the AHSAA Class 3A state title. His Wellborn teams had back-to-back 10-win seasons in 1988-89. The winningest coach in school history at Walter Wellborn and Handley, he led his Handley teams from a 1-9 mark in 2006 to 11-2, 10-3, 13-1 and 15-0 records the next four years.

 

RICHARD ‘DICKIE’ BROWN - Graduated from Smiths Station High School and Jacksonville State University. He holds a master’s degree in administration from Troy University and an education specialist degree from Auburn University. Brown began his education career at Cleburne County High School in 1969 where he was head baseball coach for two seasons. He moved to Beauregard High School in 1972 and coached the baseball team to a 66-25 record, the boys’ basketball team to an 84-42 mark and the football team to a 35-15 record. Serving as principal at Beauregard since 1978, he was named Alabama Principal of the Year in 2006. He has served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and was the Class 4A Making A Difference Award winner in 2013.He was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and the football stadium and athletic complex were named in his honor.

 

JIM GARNER - Graduated from Pleasant Home High School and Troy State College. He started his career as a teacher and boys’ basketball coach in 1964 with stints at T.R. Miller, New Hebron (Miss.) and New Brockton before becoming head coach at L.B. Wallace Community College from 1971-84. He then moved to his alma mater, Pleasant Home, and served as principal and athletic director from 1984-2008. Garner oversaw expansion of the athletic program to include softball, volleyball and football. The boys’ basketball program won back-to-back Class 1A state titles in 2001 and 2002. Vast improvements were made in the school’s facilities, including a new field house, new football field and renovation and expansion of the gymnasium. He served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control and District 2 Board from 1997-2010. Garner is currently the mayor of the town of Carolina.

 

MAJOR LANE - Graduated from Montgomery’s Robert E. High School and Alabama State University. He earned his masters and doctorate at Troy University and a second masters in Theology from the Birmingham Theological Seminary. He began his teaching and coaching career in 1982 at Pike County High School as the junior varsity basketball coach where his team went 14-1. He moved to Ariton High School from 1984-87 before returning to Pike County as head boys coach from 1987-93. He also served as the defensive coordinator in football as the Bulldogs won state championships in 1988 and 1989. He became the head basketball coach at Goshen High School in 1993 where his teams compiled a 187-46 record through 2002. He went into administration in 1997 as assistant principal and continues in that role today. Lane currently serves as pastor of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.

 

ALVIN MOORE - Graduated from Birmingham’s Carver High School and Alcorn State University. He also earned a master’s degree from Alabama State University. He was the longest tenured coach in the Birmingham City Schools, serving as head basketball coach at Phillips High School and later Carver from 1974-2013. Moore’s teams won more than 600 games and made four appearances in the Final 48. Hundreds of student-athletes he coached received scholarships in basketball, football and track. He coached in the Alabama North-South All-Star Game twice (1975 and 2003) and was named Class 5A Coach of the Year in 1993. He was the Birmingham City Coach of the Year in 1982 and received the Coca-Cola Outstanding Service Award. An All-Conference offensive tackle, he was Inducted into the Alcorn State Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and also was named USA Man of the Year by the National Baptist Convention in 2011.

 

LARRY MORRIS - Graduated from Scottsboro High School and Jacksonville State University. Spending his entire teaching and coaching career in Scottsboro, he served as an assistant football coach from 1974-1991 and became head coach from 1991-2004–the longest tenure in school history. His teams compiled a 90-66 overall record and won five area or region titles. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi football game in 2001 and in the AHSAA North-South game in 1998. He was also head track coach for eight years and assistant wrestling coach for 10. He served as athletic director from 2005 until his retirement in 2012 and was named AHSAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2012. Scottsboro teams captured 17 state titles under his watch. He also served on the AHSAA District 8 Board from 1999-2012 and the Central Board of Control from 2007-12. Scottsboro named its new football field house in his honor in 2013.

DONNIE ROBERTS - Graduated from Tremont High School (Miss.) and Delta State University (Miss). The Mississippi native spent his first 11 years at Tremont, and then moved to Red Bay (Ala.) High School where he has been the girls’ head coach since 1983. His Red Bay teams have posted a 664-224 mark and his overall coaching record is 806-351 (through 2013). Under Roberts, Red Bay won the Class 3A state championship in 1993 and Class 2A titles in 1997 and 2001. He also coached Red Bay to the Class 2A girls’ state track title in 2001 and has coached softball since 1983. He has also served as a football assistant coach. He coached the Alabama team in the 2001 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Game and was named Class 2A Coach of the Year in 1987, 1993, 2000 and 2001. He is a member of the Franklin County Sports Hall of Fame

DR. JAMES ROBINSON - A native of New Orleans and a 1985 graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Dr. Robinson has been an integral part of the AHSAA’s Medical Advisory Board since 2003. He has played an important role in the AHSAA’s medical health and safety policies and helped write the current concussion law that now governs all athletic events in Alabama. A family practice physician in Tuscaloosa, he serves as the University of Alabama football team physician and provides the same service for many high schools in the Tuscaloosa area. Dr. Robinson also developed the AHSAA pre-participation physical exam form used by all student-athletes since 1993. He has been a leader in developing health and safety practices for Alabama high schools and is an annual clinician at the AHSAA Summer Conference.  He supervises athletic trainers for DCH Health System and has been its Medical Director for Sports Medicine since 1989.

NANCY SHOQUIST - Graduated from Fairhope High School and Troy State University and also holds a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama. She is one of a handful of state volleyball coaches whose teams have won more than 1,000 matches with a career record of 1,067-386 (through 2013). Shoquist served as volleyball coach at St. Paul’s Episcopal School from 1982-2003 before moving to Murphy High School where she continues to coach. Her St. Paul’s teams won volleyball state titles in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 and 1995 and were runners-up in 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1998. Her Murphy teams have reached the state semi-finals once and the quarter-finals four times. She also coached five St. Paul’s tennis teams to state titles and seven others finished second. She was the first female to be inducted into the Fairhope High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990 and has received numerous coaching awards for volleyball and tennis.

 

MIKE SMITH - Graduated from Hueytown High School and Jacksonville State University and also holds a master’s degree. He started the girls’ basketball program at Decatur High School and remained for 28 seasons. His teams compiled a 624-225 record with five state championships (1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2000) and three runner-up finishes (1987, 1996 and 2001). Smith’s 1992 team was ranked No. 2 in the nation and the 2000 squad finished 34-0. He had three other teams that won 30-plus games and retired as the winningest girls’ basketball coach in AHSAA history. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Game three times (1992, 1995, and 2000) and also coached volleyball for six years and softball for nine. An outstanding classroom teacher, he taught advanced placement government and politics for more than 20 years. He is a member of the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame. 

TONY STALLWORTH - Graduated from J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice and Huntingdon College. He also attended Lomax-Hannon Junior College in Greenville. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Lomax-Hannon and then at Monroe Senior High School. He moved to Brantley High School in 1988 and was the boys’ head basketball coach from 1990-2005 where his teams compiled a 298-47 record and won three straight state championships (1993, 1994 and 1995). He was named 1A Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and 2A Coach of the Year in 1995. He also coached Brantley’s Junior High team to a perfect 48-0 record from 1988-90. Stallworth served Brantley High School as its principal from 2005-08 and later worked in various roles with the Crenshaw County School System before becoming the Associate Executive Director of the AHSAA in 2011. He was inducted into the Huntingdon College Hall of Fame in 2013. 

EUGENE WEATHERLY - After serving in the Army in World War II, Eugene Weatherly returned to Gadsden’s Carver High School and captained the football and basketball teams before graduating in 1948. He graduated from Alabama State in 1952 and earned a master’s degree from Georgia State. He began his teaching and coaching career at Hatcher High School in Cherokee County in 1953. He was the first coach in school history and was the only coach the school ever had. He was named Coach of the Year by the Northeastern Interscholastic Athletic Association twice (1961 and 1968). His 1961 boys’ basketball team was unbeaten until losing in the state finals and his football teams won district titles in 1961 and 1967. He coached Anniston’s Cobb Avenue High School basketball team from 1971-74 and ended his coaching career with 21 years at the Georgia School for the Deaf. His 1990 team won the Mason-Dixon basketball tournament. 

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Walker County Pair Moves Into Spotlight


     Oakman High School sophomore quarterback Jase Trotter and Dora High School senior Cody Staten played in separate games last Friday night as the 2011 AHSAA state football playoffs began, but both Walker County student-athletes led their teams to big wins with outstanding performances to capture the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for the first round.
     Trotter sparked the Wildcats to a 33-7 Class 2A playoff victory over Ider with 450 total yards. He was 18-of-28 passing for 349 yards four touchdowns and also rushed for 101 yards and a 67-yard TD on 11 carries. He had TD tosses covering 54 and 46 yards among his scoring strikes.
     Staten, a 5-foot-9, 205-pound cannonball of a runner, was the workhorse for the Bulldogs with 25 carries for 377 yards and all five Dora touchdowns in a 34-14 Class 4A win over Brooks. He had scoring runs of 73, 5, 65, 53 and 2 yards—a total of 26 touchdowns on the season—as the Bulldogs move into the second round of the state playoffs this week.

The duo edged out fine performances from Pleasant Home’s Gabe Gunter and Goshen’s Reginald Foster.

Gunter, the Eagles quarterback, scored in overtime and then added the game-winning two-point conversion as Pleasant Home won for the first time ever in the state playoffs with a 15-14 victory over St. Jude. Gunter is the son of Russell Gunter, who in 1986 set a national record with 72 rushing carries in the final game of his prep career at Straughn, a 22-21 loss to Coffee Springs despite his 331 yards.

Foster piled up 224 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns as Goshen avenged a 28-point season-opening loss with a 33-28 win over G.W. Long in the Class 2A state playoffs.


Other key performances reported include:

Maurice Crews, Eufaula: Rushed for 263 yards on just 12 carries and scored three touchdowns in the Class 5A Tigers’ 49-22 triumph over Paul Bryant.


Ladarius Rodgers, Leeds:
Rushed for 247 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns in the Green Wave’s 28-27 win at Abbeville.


Darrean Burks, Elba: Returned a kickoff 69 yards for a touchdown and a punt 77 yards for a TD, helping the unbeaten Class 2A Tigers beat Houston Academy 35-6. The punt return for a TD was the fifth of the season for the sophomore and ties him for the fourth highest total in a season in AHSAA history.


The senior wingback carried four times for 144 yards and two touchdowns as the Red Devils defeated Sumiton Christian 48-6 in the 2A playoffs. Harris scored the Red Devils’ first TD of the night on a 71-yard first-quarter run and added a 59-yard score in the second quarter. He was one of three backs over 100 yards as the Red Devils finished with 541 yards rushing and 563 total yards.

Garrett Crider, Cullman: Ran for a season-high 238 yards on six carries and scored six touchdowns as the Bearcats thumped Albertville 58-21. He scored on runs of 2, 35, 1, 18, 4 and 4 yards. The victory was also the 95th for Cullman coach Mark Britton at his alma mater, leaving him 11 wins behind Oliver Woodard, the school’s all-time leader in Cullman High School history.

Joseph Harris, Fyffe:


DeShawn Reibesehl
and Sean Wallace, Marion County: Reibesehl ran 17 times for 151 yards with TD runs covering 12 and 19 yards while Wallace had eight carries for 143 yards and TDs of 66 and 190 yards. Marion County drove 81 yards in the final minutes to score the winning touchdown with 34 seconds left in a 34-30 Class 1A win over R.A. Hubbard. The Chiefs took the lead 30-28 with a safety after a 57-yard Hubbard punt was downed inside the 1-yard line with eight minutes left to play. That set up the game-winning drive for the Raiders, who rushed for 444 yards on the night.


Andy Pappanastos and Mark White, Trinity Presbyterian: Pappanastos
kicked field goals of 34 and 43 yards in a 14-6 Class 3A playoff setback to Gordo to finish the season with 17 field goals and a career total of 48 – a new state record and just two shy of tying the NFHS national record. He finished tied with Brian Bond of Hacienda Heights (CA) and Tomas Sanchez of Arlington Heights (TX). Jimmy Stevens, who played at Oklahoma City Heritage Hall from 2003-06, holds the record of 50.

White also had 10 receptions for 80 yards to finish his career with a state-record 313 receptions. His total ranks second nationally behind Nitro (WV) receiver Christopher Fulmer, who had 329 catches from 2002-05.


Jamison Aldridge, Hartselle:
Was 10-of-15 passing for 199 yards and a TD and rushed for 88 yards and two more scores as the Tigers remained unbeaten with a 52-13 Class 5A playoff win over Boaz.


Kaleb Harris, Pinson Valley:
With the Indians trailing 21-6 to East Limestone, Harris passed for five touchdowns to cap a comeback in a 42-26 Class 5A playoff win. He was 19-of-31 for 355 yards.


Cody Roberts, Washington County:
Caught TD passes of 7 and 4 yards, added TD runs of 10 and 5 yards and intercepted two passes on defense as Washington County beat Aliceville 56-28.


Williams Gartman, Leroy:
The senior QB completed 12-of-14 passes for 304 yards and TD passes of 43 and 35 yards in a 54-22 victory over Isabella.

Skyler Walker, Oneonta:
Completed 23-of-29 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown to lead the Redskins to a 42-7 Class 4A win over Guntersville.


Teague Whitaker, Ider:
The senior running back carried 25 times for 225 yards and caught a 21-yard TD pass in the second quarter in Ider's 33-7 Class 2A playoff loss to Oakman.

Devin Johnson, Barbour County: The linebacker registered 16 tackles, including two quarterback sacks, as the Jaguars won their first-ever state playoff football game with a 22-10 win over Zion Chapel.


Zach Dean, Central-Phenix City:
The defensive end had four sacks for 34 yards in losses as the Red Devils beat Foley 49-17. He also had an interception return for a touchdown. Central had seven sacks on the night and limited Foley to minus-14 yards rushing.


Tray Reed, Collinsville:
The senior linebacker made 10 tackles and intercepted a pass at midfield with 54 seconds left to end Appalachian’s final threat in a 21-14 Class 1A playoff win.


Sterling Gatlin, Providence Christian:
Had 16 tackles on defense and rushed for 177 yards and a TD on 20 carries in a 21-17 playoff loss to Highland Home.


Trey Roberts, McGill-Toolen:
Carried 35 times for 209 yards and TD runs of 9 and 15 yards in a 35-14 victory over Dothan.

T.J. Yeldon, Daphne:
Ran 33 times for 177 yards and scored on TD runs of 10, 3, 7 and 13 yards in a 49-31 victory over Opelika.

Logan McPherson, Fort Payne: The junior place-kicker/punter kicked a 21-yard field goal with 10:58 remaining, allowing a Fort Payne team hampered by the loss of its starting quarterback to an injury to stretch its lead to 17-6. The Wildcats hung on to win 17-12. McPherson, 7-of-7 on field goals and 48-of-49 on extra points for the year, also had touchbacks on three of four kickoffs and averaged 36.4 yards on five punts.


Brendan McCants, Spanish Fort:
Returned the second-half kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and intercepted two passes, including one he returned 81 yards for a score, in a 31-7 Class 5A playoff victory at Fairfield.

Greg Parker, Bayside Academy: Returned two kickoffs for touchdowns – 75 yards and 98 yards – in a 54-21 Class 3A victory over Montevallo.

Tyler Hayes, Thomasville: Returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown and returned an interception 77 yards for a TD in the Class 4A Tigers’ 55-6 victory over West Blocton.


Hayden Huseth, Elkmont: Rushed 23 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns and completed 6-of-9 passes for 109 yards and one TD to lead Elkmont in a 28-13 win over previously unbeaten Hanceville in the 3A playoffs.


Ryheem Dixon, Flomaton:
The senior QB accounted for five TDs – three passing, one rushing and another on a kickoff return – in a 53-16 Class 2A playoff victory over Billingsley. He passed for 238 yards and ran for 62 more yards as Flomaton earned its first playoff win since 2000.