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.”


Alabama Supreme Court Upholds AHSAA Ruling

The Alabama Supreme Court has vacated and set aside conflicting injunctions by three Alabama Circuit Courts and upheld a ruling of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) involving the eligibility of a student-athlete at Clay-Chalkville High School.

This ruling reestablishes the original Class 6A state football playoff pairings. All classes, including Class 6A, will play the first round of the football playoffs Friday night, Nov. 4.

A student-athlete who transferred to Clay-Chalkville High School was ruled ineligible by the AHSAA for a violation of an eligibility rule relating to suspensions,
resulting in the forfeiture of nine Clay-Chalkville football games that eliminated the school from the Class 6A state football playoffs which begin Friday.

An appeal by Clay-Chalkville High School to the AHSAA Central Board of Control was denied. Then the school took the case to the Jefferson County Circuit Court,
which granted the school injunctive relief.

This ruling placed Clay-Chalkville in the Class 6A football playoffs, removed Gadsden City High School and revised the pairings of four playoff games scheduled Friday.

Then Gadsden City and Austin high schools received injunctive relief from Etowah County and Morgan County Circuit Courts, respectively, ordering the AHSAA to apply its original eligibility ruling involving the Clay-Chalkville student.

“This is a very positive decision by the Alabama Supreme Court,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “It again affirms that the AHSAA has the right to interpret and enforce its own rules which are established by and for the benefit of our member schools.

The original Class 6A playoff pairings of the four games involved are: Spain Park at Oxford, Vestavia Hills at Austin, Hewitt-Trussville at Hoover and Gadsden City at Mountain Brook.