MOULTRIE – Roscoe Singletary had hoped one day to succeed a man he greatly admires as the director of the A.F Shaw Gymnasium.
And when Samuel Stewart retired in December after 36 years with the Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Department, Singletary was named to replace him.
“He grew up there under coach Stewart,” recreation department Director Terry Peek said. “Stewart was somewhat of a mentor for him. It was always his dream to run the program he grew up in and now he’ll have the chance.”
And Peek was familiar with Singletary, who has worked for a number of years for the rec department.
“And he’s well-liked in the community,” he said.
After moving Moultrie from Berlin when he was a youngster, Singletary spent many hours at Shaw Gym, honing his basketball skills.
It was there that he caught the attention of Stewart, the gym’s longtime director.
“He kind of took me under his wing,” Singletary remembers.
Stewart said he told Singletary years ago that when retired, he would try to help the young man got the job. And he did.
“He told me, ‘The kids respect you. You’re a family man and you want the best for the kids,’” Singletary said. “That means a lot to me.”
Singletary remembers playing a youngster at the Moultrie YMCA and the coaching he received from Saxby Chambliss, Jimmy Jeter, Dan Jeter and Bud Beaty.
He also played recreation sports and later played for the Colquitt County High basketball team for Keith Hall. He graduated in 1995.
Singletary spent a year-and-a-half at Thomas College before returning to Moultrie to work, raise his family, referee and coach the community’s children.
Among those youngsters were his own: Chazmin, who played basketball and softball for the Lady Packers; Cameron, who starts as a freshman on the Packers basketball team; and Camille, a middle-schooler who appears to have future in basketball and softball.
“They’re all gym rat like I am,” Singletary said of his children. “They are willing to go out and work.”
Singletary said he and his wife Tina make sure their children put their studies first.
“That’s why they call them student-athletes,” he said.
Singletary, who attends the House of Deliverance and Restoration in Quitman, says he prayed over his decision.
He says he wants to carry on what Stewart started and that starts with a deep caring for youngsters.
“I want to inspire young kids,” he says. “Do what’s best for them. A lot of them don’t have father figures and I want to be there for them.
“I want to let them know there’s more than just hanging on the streets.”