Shawanna Moye, 3-sport coach dedicated to kids

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Coaching the Heat

By Alice Du Pont

Like most coaches Shawanna Moye paces the sidelines while giving verbal commands to the players. She wants them to remember what they've practiced. She wants them to stay focused and, most of all, she wants them to hustle.
    Moye, who coaches Mighty Mite football, basketball and T-ball (4 to 7 year olds) is the only female coach with the Quincy Recreation Department. She has been at it for the past seven years. She also coaches 8 to 10 year olds in basketball.
    "I do it because I like to see the kids have fun, improve their skills and learn the value of team work and discipline," she said.
    Her basketball team, the Heat, made it into the championship game with a last second score by Tralyn Chukes defeating the Pacers by a 12-10 score. But they hardly had time to take a take a sip of Gatorade before it was time to face the Celtics in the championship game.
    Some of the children on this year's Heat team have played for her before and know the "Coach Moye's" rules.
    First, there is no yelling in her huddles. If you want to speak or ask a question, you must raise your hand.
    The rules are different for Mighty Mite. They can dribble as many times as they want and they can grab the ball from the opponent. The game last 20 minutes with 10 minute halves.  The season lasts six weeks for basketball.
    "The only way we can win is to shoot the ball," is Moye's constant refrain. That and "grab the ball" as well as "put it up, put it up,"Moye she shouts from the sideline.
    Of the three sports she coaches, Moye is partial to basketball. That's understandable because she played for the James A. Shanks Tigers in high school and went on the start for the Florida A&M University Rattlers in college.
    She is dedicated to the children she works with. There isn't a day that she's not at the Joe Ferolito Recreation Center, including Sundays.
    "I teach them the fundamentals and I teach them that the wins and losses will come. I teach them that a good life takes preparation and focus," said the mother of one.
    When the championship game and the Heat had lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics, 13-4, she told the team to hold their heads up and congratulated them for doing their best. She told her son, 9-year-old Jalan, it was time to go.
    "We've got homework to do tonight," said the program specialist with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
    Moye has also started a nonprofit organizations she calls "Challenges to Champions, Inc." designed to help children overcome life's challenges.