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.”


Yancey’s 250th Victory Headlines Football Spotlight 

            Briarwood Christian’s 39-14 win over Moody Friday night wasn’t any real surprise. Winning games is something the Lions faithful have certainly grown accustomed to.
            The victory, Coach Fred Yancey’s 250th win in his legendary prep career, did come as a surprise to his own team. But that, too, shouldn’t have been any real surprise either. Yancey said a week before the win that any wins he has personally do not belong to him.
            “It’s about the players, the assistant coaches,” he said. “I have been blessed to have great kids and great coaches throughout my coaching career.”
            No. 250 thrusts Yancey and his Class 5A powerhouse team in the AHSAA Spotlight for Week 2 of the 2011 prep football season.
In his 22nd year as  Briarwood’s head coach, Yancey has a 209-63 record at the Shelby County private school. Twelve of his teams have won 10 or more games. His 1998 and 1999 teams won Class 3A state titles and the 2003 squad won the 5A state crown. The Lions have also finished second twice --  2007 and 2010.
           Known for his outstanding defenses and outstanding quarterbacks, his former player Barrett Trotter is the starting quarterback this season for defending BCS National Champion Auburn. 
          His teams at Briarwood have scored 7,287 points in 273 games – an average of 27 per game. His defenses have allowed only 14.1 per game. His teams have also compiled a 92-12 area/region record during that span, including 30 region wins in a row in the 1990s and 61-7 in the decade just completed.
          Quarterback Ben Craft, who said prior to the game the team was unaware of the significance of last weekend’s victory, threw for 101 yards and three touchdowns in just one quarter of play as the Lions rolled to a 39-0 halftime lead. Matthew Furuto scored three times with a 25-yard TD pass reception, threw a 30-yard TD pass and ran 8 yards for another score.
       "The Lord has blessed me," said Yancey, who now ranks fourth in the state among active prep coaches with a 251-83-1 record. Forty-two wins came outside the state in Tennessee and Georgia. "Hopefully, we will be able to notch several more wins before my coaching career is over."

           Yancey’s coaching milestone edged out a trio of super pass receiving performances and a clutch quarterbacking effort for this week’s AHSAA Spotlight top honor.

           Etowah wide receiver Darrin Peterson caught three passes for 195 yards, including touchdowns of 93 and 99 yards, as the Blue Devils upset Fort Payne 21-14. Peterson also returned a punt 34 yards in the second half to set up the winning TD.
           Justin Pride, Butler: Had eight receptions for 249 yards and four touchdowns (46, 79, 50 and 29 yards) and also scored on a 95-yard kickoff return in a 49-34 loss to DAR.
          Greensboro r
eceiver JeVontey Smith hauled in 10 catches for 221 yards and three touchdowns and returned a kickoff 80 yards for another score to lead the Raiders past Montevallo 38-13.

            Junior quarterback Jason Smith helped McGill-Toolen overcome a 28-0 halftime deficit with 239 yards passing and 154 yards rushing in a 35-45 win over Fairhope. He was 16-of-33 passing for four touchdowns (38, 23, 4 and 76 yards) and rushed for a 1-yard TD among his 23 carries.

            Other top prep highlights reported were:

            Jacob Davis, Sylvania: The Aggies wide receiver scored on a 58-yard run, caught a 48-yard touchdown pass and returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown as the Rams downed Section 49-14. The punt return was his sixth kick return for TD over the last 12 games dating back to the 2010 season. He finished with four carries for 85 yards and two receptions for 72.

            Ladavian Williams, Ashford: Piled up 253 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, leading the Yellow Jackets to a 38-0 win over Bullock County. Williams rushed for 173 yards and scores of 10 and 30 yards and added an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He also had an interception on defense in the game.
Colby Spann, Colbert Heights: Scored on a 98-yard interception return just before the first half ended, then raced 95 yards with the second-half kick-off for another score to turn a 21-14 lead into a 47-20 win over Phil Campbell. Spann also scored on a 10-yard run.
            Quante Brown, Greensboro: Completed 17-of-29 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns as the Raiders beat Montevallo 38-13.
            Kit Grider, North Jackson: The freshman completed 14-of-18 passes for 308 yards, three touchdowns and rushed for another TD in his debut as the starter and led North Jackson to a 48-7 win over Douglas. He connected with Kahne Cooper for seven completions, 202 yards and two TDs.
            Joel Poe, Spanish Fort: The senior QB completed 19-of-21 passes for 221 yards and TD passes of 8 and 22 yards in the Toros’ 35-16 win over Gulf Shores. He also added 96 yards rushing on 10 carries.
            Michael Gilmore, Center Point: Was 13-of-21 passing for 234 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 48 yards and another score as the Eagles thumped Shelby County 46-15.
            Antoine Davis, Midfield: Completed 12-of-18 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots downed Oak Grove 34-13.
            V.J. Maye, Shades Valley: Was 14-of-26 passing for 275 yards with three TD passes and rushed for another in a 41-33 loss to Pell City.
            Jameis Winston, Hueytown: Completed 14-of-18 passes for 267 yards and five touchdowns in a 39-12 win over Wenonah. Cameron Broadnax was on the receiving end of 10 of the passes for 192 yards and four scores.
            Marcellus Redmond, Fayette County: The Tigers quarterback completed 13-of-19 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns to beat Dora 33-25. Cameron Poe-Mitchell had six of the receptions for 150 yards and TDs covering 6 and 69 yards.
            E.J. Moss, Ashville: Moss ran for 181 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns and completed 6-of-8 pass attempts for 102 yards and another score as the Bulldogs beat West End 40-15. Teammate Tommy Bothwell rushed for 175 yards and three scores on 14 attempts.
            Luke Bailey, Fairview: The Aggies quarterback completed 13-of-20 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries and scored the game-game winning touchdown in a 28-21 win over Cherokee County.
            Nykalos Ashe, Sunshine: Ran for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-25 win over Holy Spirit.
            DeMarco Hall, Pickens County: Piled up 185 all-purpose yards and scored five touchdowns as Pickens County remained undefeated with a 58-7 victory over Shades Mountain Christian. Hall now has 11 TDs in the first two games.
            T.J. Yeldon, Daphne: The senior, who has committed to Auburn, ran 14 times for 212 yards with TD runs of 19 and 68 yards in a 45-7 victory over Baldwin County.
            Rudy Ford, New Hope: Rushed for 210 yards and scored on runs of 52, 67, and 7 yards to lead New Hope to a 26-20 win over Geraldine. Ford also had 43 receiving yards and made four tackles on defense.
            Anteryius Aldridge, Marengo: Rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown on a 22 carries and recorded 12 tackles on defense in a 38-0 victory over A.L. Johnson.
            Joseph Stassen, Bayside Academy: Rushed 23 times for 153 yards, including a decisive 2-yard TD run with 6:39 to play, in a 28-27 victory over T.R. Miller. With the win Bayside ended T.R. Miller's 18-game regular-season home winning streak.
            Hunter O’Mary, Hubbertville: Rushed for 122 yards and five touchdowns and teammate Aaron Dillard added 180 yards and another score as the Hubbertville Lions beat South Lamar 40-33. O’Mary scored on runs of 10, 28, 4, 9 and 16 yards.
            Jordan Howard, Gardendale: Had 23 carries for 228 yards and three touchdowns, including a 90-yard score in the first half, as the Rockets beat Bessemer City 18-14.
            Tevin Peterson, Etowah: The sophomore safety had two key interceptions in the Blue Devils' 21-14 win over Fort Payne. Both  picks came in the fourth quarter on Fort Payne's final two drives.
            Demarcus Holcombe, Washington County: The two-way star scored four touchdowns, including two on defense, in a 48-13 victory over Excel. He scored on a 35-yard interception neturn, a 70-yard fumble return and had TD catches of 38 and 70 yards.
            Troy Hobbs, Davidson: The senior cornerback blocked a field goal with 4 seconds to go to preserve a 14-13 victory over Vigor.
            Quintin Miller, Ariton: Intercepted a pass in the end zone with one second left to preserve Ariton’s 28-21 win over Cottonwood. He also had 10 tackles on the night.
            Shontez Hazlitt, Athens: Had a sack among six tackles, intercepted a pass and scored a rushing touchdown for Athens in a 41-24 win over Johnson.
            Chris Grant, Fairfield: Had 11 tackles and three sacks on defense and scored twice on offense as Fairfield beat Parker 24-7.
            Nate Craft, Brookwood: Booted a 52-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the first half to help the Panthers beat Wilcox-Central 44-6.
            Brody Meeks, Lynn: The sophomore quarterback was 19-of-32 passing for 340 yards and six touchdowns in a 47-40 win over Berry. He had TD passes covering 41, 7, 17, 18, 76 and 34 yards and also scored himself on a 9-yard run as the Bears came back from a 40-27 deficit to win.