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Norfolk football coach on a mission to save children from gun violence

By Blaine Stewart

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    NORFOLK, Virginia (WTKR) — Glen Yearling doesn’t want to save just one child from gun violence. He wants to save them all.

Yearling founded the Berkley Timberwolves, a youth football and cheer organization, in 2004. The volunteer coach and mentor spends hours each day picking children up from school, driving them to practice, then driving them home. While all of that is going on, he’s also listening.

“Some of them are hungry,” Yearling shares. “Some of them are scared. Some of them, you know, they’re just torn. They’re lost between the streets and trying to do positive things.”

Yearling showed News 3 anchor Blaine Stewart the van he drives each day.

“It’s our locker room. It’s our lunch room. It’s our dinner table. It’s our conference room. This van is everything,” he said.

It’s also seen better days.

“If you look at the ceiling, I got tacks holding up the top, no AC, the back is falling down, the seats tore up, transmission going,” he said. “Yes, it’s been through the war.”

And through the war, Coach Glen Yearling never lets off the gas, always going the extra mile to help the young people in his Norfolk community. Though, as hard as he tries to save as many from the streets as he can, at the funeral services of his former players, the ones he’s lost to gun violence, the grim reality sets in.

“That’s the hardest thing of it all, seeing the parent crying.” Yearling admits. “You can’t do nothing about the pain that they feel. The pain that you feel. Both of y’all trying to console each other. Man, it’s rough.”

It is rough. But it’s what Coach Glen Yearling does.

“If nobody’s teaching them about consequences, they’re bound to fail over and over and over again,” said Yearling.

And he says it’s worth it.

“I have a lot of kids that sign college scholarships and are crying, because they never saw themselves getting out of the community. They never saw themselves making it. It just lets me know… I’m not failing these kids. I’m getting some of them out,” said Yearling.

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