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.”


Daphne’s Yeldon Named 2011 Mr. Football


Daphne running back T.J. Yeldon was named the 30th recipient of the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Football Award Wednesday at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year Awards luncheon hosted by Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association at the Alabama Activity Center in Montgomery.

Yeldon , a 6-foot-2, 210-pound running back, rushed for 2,196 yards in 12 games during 2011 on 231 carries (a 9.6 average) and scored 31 touchdowns. He broke the 300-yard mark on two occasions in leading the Trojans to the Class 6A No. 1 ranking for much of the season and a 10-2 final record.

As a junior, Yeldon rushed for 1,110 yards and 18 touchdowns while grabbing 506 yards receiving in helping the Trojans to the Class 6A title. His career totals include three straight 1,000-yard seasons, 4,653 career rushing yards and 73 touchdowns.

Yeldon finished with 187 points in the vote by the ASWA’s prep committee. Hueytown quarterback Jameis Winston, the Class 5A Back of the Year, was second with 173 points, while Anniston running back Troymaine Pope, the Class 4A Back of the Year, was third with 116. Fultondale quarterback and Class 2A Back of the Year ArDarius Stewart was fourth with 84 and Thomasville linebacker and Class 4A Lineman of the Year Tyler Hayes was fifth with 79.

Also named the ASWA Class 6A Back of the Year and to the group’s Super 12 team, he rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and had 51 all-purpose yards in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Yeldon is currently enrolled at the University of Alabama.

He becomes the first running back to win the top award since Carnell Williams of Etowah in 2000 and the sixth player from the Mobile area, joining Tommy Compton (Vigor, 1982), Darrell Williams (Vigor, 1988), DeMarco McNeil (Blount, 1998), JaMarcus Russell (Williamson, 2002) and Julio Jones (Foley, 2007).


1982 Tommy Compton, Vigor

1983 Freddie Weygand, Emma Sansom

1984 Roderick Green, Gardendale

1985 Pierre Goode, Hazlewood

1986 Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery

1987 Robert Jones, Parker

1988 Darrell Williams, Vigor

1989 Steven Coleman, Pike County

1990 David Palmer, Jackson-Olin

1991 Robert Davis, Homewood

1992 Freddie Kitchens, Etowah

1993 Thomas Banks, West Jefferson

1994 Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley

1995 Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis

1996 Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa

1997 Mac Campbell, Alexandria

1998 DeMarco McNeil, Blount

1999 Cory Whisenant, Springville

2000 Carnell Williams, Etowah

2001 Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville

2002 JaMarcus Russell,Williamson

2003 Chris Nickson, Pike County

2004 Jarod Bryant, Hoover

2005 Andre Smith, Huffman

2006 Larry Smith, Prattville

2007 Julio Jones, Foley

2008 Clint Moseley, Leroy

2009 Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County
2010 Jamal Golden, Wetumpka
2011 T.J. Yeldon, Daphne