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


Weaver Manages To End Saks' Winning Streak


             Weaver High School’s Bearcats, riding a three-game hard-luck losing streak, managed only 56 yards total offense Friday night against unbeaten Calhoun County rival Saks.

             But sometimes offensive numbers do not tell the real story. Weaver posted four interceptions--one returned for a touchdown–created a safety and also scored on a 90-yard kickoff return to beat the Wildcats 29-19 and move into the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for Week 7.
             Chris English was one of the defensive and special team stars. He returned one kickoff to the Saks 25 to set up a score, then blocked a kick, made and interception and capped his all-around performance by taking a handoff on a reverse and speeding 90 yards for a touchdown to pace the Bearcats’ offensive effort.

            Teammate Trey Moore also had two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and Malik Anderson tackled a Saks runner in the end zone for a safety.

            Weaver (4-3) improved to 4-2 in Class 3A, Region 6 and Saks (6-1) fell to 6-1.

             The Bearcats’ surprising victory edged out another Calhoun County performance to grab the AHSAA Spotlight. Wide receiver Coty Spurling converted to running back and responded with a 37-carry, 301-yard rushing effort with three touchdowns as Oxford nipped Hewitt-Trussville 41-27 in a come-from-behind Class 6A, Region 7 win.

            Other top performances reported included:

            Tyler Hayes, Thomasville: Scored on a 2-yard run, had an 88-yard gain to set up another TD and fired a 43-yard touchdown pass--all in the final 5:24 of the game--as the unbeaten Tigers (7-0)  came from behind to beat UMS-Wright 28-24 and extend  their current winning streak to 22 games. The University of Alabama commitment rushed for 144 yards on 11 carries and also had 2½ sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a pass deflection on UMS-Wright’s final play at his primary linebacker position.
            Trent Shoemaker, Holly Pond: Set a school record rushing with 310 yards and scored five touchdowns on 23 carries as the Broncos won 42-28. He also returned a fumble 50 yards for another touchdown. Shoemaker caught two passes for 22 yards and made five tackles from his safety position.

            Nathan Coker, Collinsville: The senior quarterback celebrated his birthday by completing 7-of-12 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns and running 19 times for 112 yards and one TD as Collinsville (7-0) clinched the Class 1A, Region 7 championship with a 28-7 win at Gaylesville. Coker’s scoring passes covered 67 and 46 yards and his rushing TD 11. The 67-yard pass came on the first play of the game.
            Christian Henry, Valley Head: The senior tight end, also playing on his birthday, caught six passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-0 victory over Woodville. Henry scored on passes of 34 and 67 yards in the second quarter and 14 yards in the third period.
            Andy Pappanastos, Trinity Presbyterian: Kicked field goals of 22, 49 and 43 yards in a 42-9 loss to Bayside Academy to move to within one of the AHSAA career state record (43) held by Huffman’s Philip Doyle since 1986. Pappanastos has kicked 11 this season for his 42 career total.. He also is eight field goals away from the NFHS national record (50).
            Hunter Sparks, Kinston: Was credited with 24 solo tackles and three assists in the Bulldogs’ 38-36 overtime win over McKenzie.
            Quay Boyd, LaFayette: The quarterback completed 16-of-22 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 35 yards and added a 3-yard receiving touchdown in a 30-29 upset of fifth-ranked Class 2A Reeltown.
            Demauntey Johnson, Vincent: Completed 9-of-18 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns, rushed for 120 yards on 10 carries and returned an interception for a touchdown to account for 410 total yards in Vincent’s explosive 72-42 win over Isabella. Teammate ShaCorry Lilly also had 212 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the win.
            Jonathan Wallace,  Central-Phenix City: Completed 16-of-24 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown and also ran 15 times for 68 yards and two more touchdowns in the Red Devils’ 43-26 victory over Auburn in a key Class 6A, Region 3 victory that snapped a 23-game Auburn region winning streak dating back to the 2007. The senior Southern Miss commitment  has now rushed for 14 touchdowns this season.
            Zack Crocker, Cullman: Was 18-of-22 passing for 304 yards and five touchdowns as the Bearcats beat Mortimer Jordan 46-27. He also rushed once for three yards and a sixth TD.
            Devlin Hodges, Mortimer Jordan: A backup to start the season, Hodges was 22-for-39 for 329 yards passing with a pair of TDs before leaving the game with a leg injury in the 46-27 loss to Cullman.

            Courtney Downing, Charles Henderson: Rushed for 269 yards on 19 carries with three touchdowns (29, 3, 6 yards) in the Trojans’ 42-14 win over Rehobeth. 
            Chase Domino, Fairhope: Threw for 224 yards and two TDs and ran for 120 yards and a score in Fairhope's 45-34 win over Foley. Maison Taylor passed for 267 passing yards and two TDs for Foley.
            Brandon Burks, Daleville: The Warhawks running back had 202 yards rushing and five touchdowns in a 41-7 rout of Pike County.

            Ben Thomas, Eufaula: Completed 6-of-8 passes with four touchdowns as the Tigers scored on all 10 of their possessions in setting a Tiger Stadium record 69 points in a 69-42 victory over Carroll.

            DeVante Marshall, Smiths Station: The sophomore defensive back made his first start on offense and responded with 172 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 28-21 win over Northview. He was pressed into the offensive backfield when starting running back Jomarco McCants was sidelined for the game due to a shoulder injury.

            Georgie Salem, Vestavia Hills: Rushed for 219 yards and all three Rebels TDs on 20 carries as Vestavia nipped Spain Park 20-14.

            Austin Johnson, Elba: The unbeaten Tigers’ quarterback completed 7-of-10 passes for 225 yards and five touchdowns in a 65-0 win over Zion Chapel. He also rushed for 60 yards on eight carries.

            Diamond Simmons, Hanceville: The Bulldogs runner piled up 272 yards rushing on eight carries with three touchdowns in a 55-13 win over Winfield. Hanceville improved to 7-0 with the win.
            David Johnson, Shades Valley: Had 217 yards rushing on 33 carries and scored one TD in the Mounties’ 26-24 win over Huffman.

            Karon White, Geneva County: Had three touchdowns of more than 60 yards--one on a punt return, one on a carry and one on a pass play–in the Bulldogs’ 41-19 win over Florala.

            Brandon Holland, Boaz: The sophomore linebacker recorded 10 tackles in the Pirates’ 20-0 win over Southside-Gadsden. Among his tackles were one sack, two tackles for losses and a fumble recovery. He also returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown. Teammate Tyler Martin, who rushed for 170 yards and two scores (80 and 4 yards), added 10 tackles.

            Tyler Wellington, Fyffe: The senior quarterback/linebacker completed 4-of-6 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns and also ran seven times for 81 yards, including a 1-yard TD, in a 42-0 win at Pleasant Valley. His scoring passes covered 21 and 57 yards. On defense he contributed nine tackles (six solo) and a sack.
            Thomas Ham, Fort Payne: The senior outside linebacker had two key fumble recoveries in a 31-14 victory over Albertville. Ham’s first recovery ended an Albertville drive in Fort Payne territory in the first half. He also recovered a fumbled kickoff on the Albertville 2, setting up a touchdown that pushed Fort Payne’s lead to 24-7 in the third quarter. He closed with four tackles (three solos), one pass broken up and one quarterback pressure.

            Sterling Gatlin, Providence Christian: Had 12 tackles and two interceptions and also added 96 yards rushing on 22 carries with two touchdowns in a 28-19 win over Houston County.
            Brian Barnett, Wenonah: Had 16 tackles including 7 ½ sacks in a 16-2 Dragons win over Parker.
            Daniel Bostick, John Carroll Catholic: Picked up 11 tackles and two sacks in a 20-11 loss to Woodlawn.
            Javiere Mitchell, Leeds: Recorded nine tackles with four for losses in a 51-0 win over Beulah.
            J.R. Peterson, Gardendale: Made 14 tackles in a 21-13 loss to Tuscaloosa County.