NORFOLK, Va. - The Berkley Timberwolves of South Norfolk have a big game on this night at Booker T. Washington High school.
These young athletes are focused on excellence - on and off the field. Their coach Glen Yearling insists on it.
“He spends quality time with them and he’s concerned about their schoolwork,” says Janina Jones. She says her son Simon has made a 180 degree turn in the five years he has been on the team.
“I took my anger issues out on the field," Simon said. "He told me, 'Don’t ever disrespect your mom. Treat ladies like ladies, treat men like men.'”
Simon is one of more than 100 kids on this community league founded by Yearling.
Raised in Berkley himself, the coach knows what can happen to kids in an inner city setting.
“There’s so much going on out here today. Kids are down in these streets and people got to do something about that," Yearling said.
And he has.
For 34 years, Yearling has been operating the Berkley Timberwolves on donations and support from the Berkley community.
“A lot of them need help with school and life in general and we want to make sure we’re cornerstone for them," he said. "If they need anything we want to be there for them.”
“If we can save one, two, three and keep them from doing anything dangerous out here hurting people, then we’re doing our job," said Yearling.
And it is a job well done, Coach.
“The reason we’re here today is to give you a People Taking Action award from Channel 3 so congratulations! Thank you.”
“And we’d also like to give you a 300 dollar gift card from our partner, Southern Bank. Thank you I appreciate that.”
To donate to the Timberwolves, go to berkleytimberwolves.com.