Wrestling Past State Champions


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.”

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2008 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Scottsboro; 1A-4A-Walter Wellbor
2007 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Scottsboro; 1A-4A-Walter Wellborn
2006 – 6A-Hoover; 5A-Scottsboro; 1A-4A-Walter Wellborn
2005 – 6A-Hoover; 5A-Hartselle; 1A-4A-Elmore County

2004 – 6A-Grissom; 5A-Homewood; 1A-4A-Weaver
2003 – 6A-Hoover; 5A-Homewood; 1A-4A-Weaver
2002 – 6A-Grissom; 5A-Homewood; 1A-4A-Weaver
2001 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Homewood; 1A-4A-Weaver
2000 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Hartselle; 1A-4A-Brookwood

1999 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Erwin; 1A-4A-Weaver
1998 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Scottsboro; 1A-4A-Weaver
1997 – 6A-Grissom; 5A-Athens; 1A-4A-Weaver
1996 – 6A-Grissom; 5A-Athens; 1A-4A-Weaver
1995 – 6A-Grissom; 5A-Homewood; 1A-4A-Fultondale

1994 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Athens; 1A-4A-Fultondale
1993 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 5A-Athens; 1A-4A-Weaver
1992 – 6A-Robert E. Lee; 5A-Erwin; 1A-4A-Fultondale
1991 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 1A-5A-Athens
1990 – 6A-Grissom; 1A-5A-Pinson Valley

1989 – 6A-Grissom; 1A-5A-Southside-Gadsden
1988 – 6A-Hewitt-Trussville; 1A-5A-Athens
1987 – 6A-Hewitt-Trussville; 1A-5A-Southside-Gadsden
1986 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 1A-5A-Southside-Gadsden
1985 – 6A-Vestavia Hills; 1A-5A-Southside-Gadsden

1984 – 4A-Robert E. Lee; 1A-3A-Pinson Valley
1983 – 4A-Benjamin Russell & Hewitt-Trussville (co-champions); 1A-3A-Deshler
1982 – 4A-Benjamin Russell; 1A-3A-Pinson Valley
1981 – 4A-Benjamin Russell; 1A-3A-Pinson Valley
1980 – 4A-Robert E. Lee; 1A-3A-Pinson Valley

1979 – 4A-Butler; 1A-3A-Jacksonville
1978 – 4A-Robert E. Lee; 1A-3A-Deshler
1977 – 4A-Butler; 1A-3A-Deshler
1976 – 4A-Vestavia Hills; 1A-3A-Jacksonville
1975 – 4A-Butler; 1A-3A-Gardendale

1974 – 4A-Hueytown; 1A-3A-Gardendale
1973 – 4A-Butler; 1A-3A-Sheffield
1972 – 4A-Berry; 1A-3A-Alabama School for the Blind
1971 – Walker County (all in one class)
1970 – 4A-Butler; 1A-3A-Autauga County (Prattville)

1969 – 4A-Benjamin Russell; 1A-3A-Fairfield
1968 – 4A-Benjamin Russell; 1A-3A-Fairfield
1967 – 4A-Benjamin Russell; 1A-3A-Fairfield
1966 – Benjamin Russell
1965 – Benjamin Russell

1964 – Benjamin Russell
1963 – Benjamin Russell
1962 – Benjamin Russell
1961 – Benjamin Russell
1960 – Benjamin Russell

1959 – Benjamin Russell
1958 – Clift (Opelika)
1957 – Robert E. Lee
1956 – Clift (Opelika)