PROFILE 2010: Roosevelt Landrum

Published 5:40 pm Sunday, March 7, 2010

Roosevelt Landrum and his family have been a part of Sweet Water athletics for a long time. In fact, in sports circles, when you mention the name “Landrum,” people know you’re talking about Sweet Water.

After an all-state prep career at Sweet Water High School, Landrum used his athletics scholarship to go to college. Although the path to his degree was not typical, he kept after it, starting in junior college and working his way to a college degree.

“I played for a year at Bishop State Junior College and blew my knee out,” he said. “I transferred to Livingston (now the University of West Alabama) and tried to play baseball and football, but my knee never got strong enough. So, I transferred to the University of Alabama, where I got my degree.”

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Sweet Water athletics is kind of a family tradition with the Landrums.

“My oldest son, Antonio, played football, baseball and basketball at Sweet Water,” Roosevelt said. “Now, he’s playing baseball at Lawson State Community College. My youngest son, Christopher, is playing here at Sweet Water — baseball, basketball and football. My daughter, who is an eighth-grader here at Sweet Water, plays basketball, softball and volleyball, and she’s a cheerleader.

“When they get to about the sophomore year of high school, they start getting excited about being good athletes, and they work a lot on their own, and I try and push them a little bit to always strive to be the best that they can be.”

An employee at Georgia- Pacific, Roosevelt also devotes his free time as a volunteer coach and tutor.

“I’m a mechanic at Georgia-Pacific. I’ve been there 25 years this June. I have worked with middle school football, and I help a little with high school football. I coached girls’ basketball for six years, off and on, and I’ve coached B-team boys’ basketball for two or three years. I work with my church and the community sometimes, too.

“I love athletics and I love kids. It’s just a lot of fun to me to see kids and how they mature, especially the ones who are excited about playing and having a good time. I love kids, and I want to see them get the best opportunity that they can get, whether it’s in athletics or academics, or just in life. I want to see the kids do well.”

Roosevelt was praised by one of his former teachers for his work in the community.

“He spends so much of his volunteer time with these boys, and I like that,” said one of Landrum’s former math teachers, Jimmy Newton.

“I tutor math, and (Newton) was a big part of it,” Roosevelt said. “That’s always been my favorite subjects. It all started with him. Most of my tutoring is done at our church in Nanafalia, mostly just math.”

A family known for athletics, Roosevelt teaches the importance of a good education.

“I always encourage my children and the players I work with to try to pursue a college degree. It means a lot. Even if you go to the pros, the sport will leave you at some point, but the education will be there all the time.”

Whether it’s on the gridiron, on the diamond, on the court or in the classroom, the Landrum name has always meant success at Sweet Water. Roosevelt Landrum encourages the young people he coaches and tutors to work to be successful themselves. It’s his way of thanking Sweet Water High School for his own success and giving back to the community.