Nothing to be ashamed of Red Bay
When the Red Bay girl’s varsity basketball team made the Northwest Regional Tournament — along with the Tharptown girls — in Hanceville, it marked the first time I had covered the tournament.
The same held true for the Final 48 State Tournament in Birmingham.
I was glad to be at those places and in a position to cover the events.
It just so happened that Red Bay won the regional and went to state, so naturally I followed.
The first place trophy may not have come back to Red Bay with the girls, but the team has nothing to be ashamed about.
The Lady Tigers had a 31-5 final record. They actually won six more games and lost one less than the 2A state champion Section Lady Lions.
There was never a doubt in my mind as I watched that game that the best two teams in the state in 2A were playing each other for the state championship, as the playoff system is intended to work.
Coach Roberts said after the game that either team could have won that game, and I believe he was absolutely right in that statement.
I went to Curry High School in Walker County from 2003-2007.
I played football for three years — yes, I said it again —, and Curry fielded as many sports teams as you would imagine a 5A to have.
We never played for a state championship in anything. We never even made it to a championship game.
I cannot remember the last time Curry has.
The Lady Tigers should be proud of their accomplishment despite the outcome of the final game.
The only thing I ever competed in on a state level in high school was the Scholar’s Bowl tournament at the state Beta Club Convention.
We placed second at the hands of Arab.
But again, this was Scholar’s Bowl at the Beta Club convention.
The Red Bay girl’s can tell everyone for the rest of their lives that they competed at the state basketball tournament in a televised game featuring the two best teams in 2A in the state.
I can’t say anything similar to that.
That’s why I feel like the Lady Tigers have nothing to be ashamed about.
I imagine that the girls wish they had won, and they will for years to come.
They should take my advice on this ne though; in 10 years that game will be a fond memory of a simpler time when you got to play the sport you loved.
J.R. Tidwell is sports editor for The Franklin County Times. He can be reached at (256) 332-1881, ext. 31.