He's an all-star son & brother

AARON CARTER / DAILY NEWS STAFF Archbishop Wood's Kendall Singleton poses with MVP plaque.
AARON CARTER / DAILY NEWS STAFF Archbishop Wood's Kendall Singleton poses with MVP plaque.
Posted: May 20, 2014

WITH HIGHLIGHTER-yellow tape wrapping both forearms, Kendall Singleton toted the football on a right-side sweep Saturday night during the 40th annual City All-Star Football Game at Charles Martin Memorial Field.

Scrawled in red marker on his left wrist was "Dad #4." On the right: "Kaedyn," the name of Singleton's 6-year-old brother.

Thirty-five yards later, the Archbishop Wood senior stood in the end zone with a trail of defenders in his wake, eventually leading his team to victory just as his father, Keith - who is currently incarcerated - had done years earlier.

Singleton, a 6-foot, 165-pound wide receiver/defensive back headed to Lackawanna College next season, scored two touchdowns, intercepted a pass and earned offensive MVP honors as the Non-Public squad defeated team Public, 34-20.

And as he held the plaque to his chest after the game, the acronym "FOE" - which the Mount Airy resident said stands for "Family Over Everything" - was revealed just below his brother's name.

"I guess you could say I'm a family man," he said. "I like to hang out with friends from time to time, but I don't do too much partying."

He added: "I like to play with my little brother. I taught him how to ride a bike recently."

About 3 years ago, Singleton's father was sent to prison in Minersville, Pa., after being convicted for his part in a wire-fraud conspiracy. A standout quarterback and defensive back for George Washington, Keith Singleton passed for the winning TD in the 1986 city all-star game, which team Public won, 12-6.

Now 19, Kendall said he emails his father daily and, although he hasn't visited in a few years, he is planning a trip soon and expects his father to be released in about 2 years.

"He's been there for my whole life and we have a close bond, especially through football," he said, joking later, "He still has his newspaper clippings from the dinosaur ages, and his friends still talk about him."

Because Catholic schools outside the city limits were permitted to participate for the first time, Kendall and a few teammates gave people plenty to chatter about. Archbishop Wood's Chris Gary (seven tackles) earned defensive MVP honors for Non-Public.

On the final play of the half, the defensive lineman returned an interception 55 yards for a score after Martin Luther King's Joseph Walker was pressured into a desperate, underhand heave.

For Public, Jylil Reeder (Samuel Fels, three catches for 144 yards, TD) earned offensive MVP while King's Jordan Alexander (nine tackles) took home defensive MVP. Archbishop Ryan's Jesse Wireman (fumble recovery) and Northeast High's Will Smart earned sportsmanship awards. Connor Golden and Sean Boylan from Archbishop Ryan each added an interception while Mastery North's Jermaine Norris also had a pick. Roxborough's Hank Adens recovered a fumble.

The game's pace was hampered by frequent infractions of specific, all-star game defensive rules. Certain positions were not allowed to blitz and specific man-to-man principles were strictly enforced. By the end, Non-Pub racked up 12 penalties for 118 yards while Pub was caught 15 times for 147 yards.

According to TedSilary.com, Walker, who was also intercepted four times, broke a record with 183 passing yards, surpassing 175 by Andre Sloan-El (Roman, Non-Public, 2004) and Mark Giubilato (SJ Prep, Non-Public, 2009). Also, Reeder averaged 48 yards per reception (three minimum, 3-144), which beat 35 (4-140) by Al Desiderio (Roman, Non-Public, 2008).

As for Singleton, whose specialty on the field is speed, that attribute wasn't just passed down from dad.

"Hard work," he said. "I was actually kind of slow when I was a freshman and sophomore. I guess I kind of matured, grew into my body and worked hard. During gassers, I used to come in last for the skill positions. And junior and senior year I just kind of worked hard and started coming in first."

Workouts with family friend and former Cheltenham star Brandon Bing, who played cornerback at Rutgers and later in the NFL, also helped Singleton learn the game's finer points.

And with his dad away, you may think Singleton feels the need to fill a fatherly role to help his mother raise his brother. But he doesn't see it that way.

"Not really, because financially I can't really be there for him like a dad," he said.

However, he does help Kaedyn with his homework, plays with him and even taught him to ride a bike.

"It just feels normal, like I'm supposed to do it," he said. "I was really happy when he learned how to ride the bike. He kind of begged me to take the training wheels off and he picked it up in like 10 minutes."

Maybe not a father figure, but a good big brother if ever there was one.


On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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