BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS)–Rosco Warner helped a handful of youth in the Bluefield area, including one athlete who loved being on the tennis court as much as he did.

Rosco Warner was a staple in Bluefield he served as the Director of Safety and Security at the formerly known Bluefield Regional Medical Center, taught criminal justice classes at Bluefield State College, and served as the City of Bluefield’s Fire Commissioner.

Rosco wore a lot of hats, but one of the most important hats he wore was the one on the tennis court.

Warner passed away on Sunday, March 13, 2022, and his family held a celebration of life at Lotito Park where he would teach children how to play tennis.

Rosco’s son, Cory Warner said his dad taught tennis to children so they would stay off the streets and out of trouble.

“Since I was a young age, he always really tried to instill confidence in me and wasn’t afraid to tell me to question the status quo and just try to do everything with high morals and integrity,” Warner said.

Rosco held free tennis lessons for the Bluefield youth from 2004 to 2020.

One of the people Rosco trained, started with him at just four years old.

Solomon Mitchell is now 18. He said he played the game of tennis because of Rosco’s undying passion for the sport, but it is what he learned about life off the court, that is going to stick with him.

“Where he did so many different studies in college, like Criminal Justice and stuff he helped me memorize my rights and stuff. With me being a black man, if I ever get pulled over or anything I know how to defend myself,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said because of Rosco, he is planning to attend Bluefield University to play on their tennis team.

Whether Rosco was teaching a child how to serve or even just volley, it was the skills he taught kids off the court that will stick with them, and make the community a better place.

“He really changed my life, like I would be in a whole different boat if it wasn’t for him. The talks that we had, which saved me from so much trouble,” Mitchell said.