I received a letter
the other day about an amazing high school
football coach and his team in Ferguson, Missouri. And here’s what it says. Dear Ellen, Howard Brown
is the head football coach at McCluer-South
Berkeley High School. In his 15 years
as a coach, he has made it his life’s work to
change the lives of at risk youth in our community. He treats these kids
as if they’re his own, and will do anything to
make sure they feel loved. His players don’t have
much, and so Coach B uses his own money to provide
food, uniforms and gear for them. Many of his players don’t
have positive male role models and consider coach
be their father. Because of him, these kids
are beating incredible odds. Coach B doesn’t just teach boys
football, he teaches them life. And here they are right now. They think they’re about
to do an interview with one of my producers, but we’re
using Cisco, and when I say go, I’m going to surprise them. All right, let’s go. Hey y’all how’s it going? Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. I thought I’d pop
in and say, hi. OK, bye. No, I’m going to
say more than that. Someone is at the classroom
door right now, though. Is someone knocking? Is someone coming in? So Jeannie, Coach
B is right there, and you have been the head
football coach for 15 years. Tell us about your team. Yes, this is my football team. I’ve been here 15 years. This is the best
place in the world. If you ever come to St. Louis– these guys are he in St. Louis– please come here on
a Saturday afternoon, and you will see the most
amazing people on the planet. These guys right here. It is the best
place in the world. I promise you. Yes, sir! I believe you’re making
it the best place. But tell us about
the neighborhood so that everyone understands
the conditions where you’re teaching. Basically, we’re located
here in Ferguson. We’re the only high
school in Ferguson. We’re part of
Ferguson-Florissant School District, and basically,
in this neighborhood, you have the haves
and have nots. And we have everything
from individuals being homeless to people who
are in that middle class, and so every single day it’s
a struggle for these young men to make it home
safely from practice. And so at times, we
will cut practice short so they can get home safely. But every single day is
an amazing opportunity for these young men
to show and prove that you’re not a product
of an environment, and every single day
they’re just amazing people. Yep, you’re not a product
of your environment. Absolutely. They tell us there’s a
story about how important it is that your team
has clean uniforms. Tell everybody why it’s so
important and what you do. Well, every game,
we might play a team that do have the resources
that we don’t have, and so when we’ve been blessed
to have the opportunity to get new uniforms
we take care of them. So each one of these coaches– that’s like a rite of
passage for a coach to be here that you’ve got to
get down there in the equipment room– you got to scrub the
uniforms so they get really nice and clean and white or
whatever color the uniform is, and we scrub, and
scrub, and scrub them until they get they get
where we feel is where faith and hard work should be. All right, the players– what do they have to do
before they are on the team? There’s something that
they have to do in order to be on the team. Well, the only thing you have
to do to be part of our team is to be a good citizen,
to be a good person, and to be a good
student in the school. And that’s all you have to do. We don’t cut anyone here. That’s a motto that we
started 15 years ago. So when you come
out for the team, the only thing you have to do is
just go home, do your homework. When you’re in school,
make your grades, do what you’re supposed
to do in school, and then when you walk around
the neighborhood represent what faith and hard work is,
and just do the right thing. And then you’ll get a
uniform, you’re ready to go. We’re back with Coach B and
the McCluer South-Berkeley High School football team. Where is Eric? Which one is Eric? I want to talk to Eric. Eric, hi Eric. How are you doing, Ellen. I’m good, Eric. How are you? I’m doing wonderful. Good. All right, what does
Coach B mean to you. Tell me what you
think of Coach B. Coach B is a wonderful guy. I didn’t have a father in
my life none of my years. Coach B stepped into my life
and became a father to me. Like the best thing ever. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t
know where I’d be right now. All the coaches– I love every single one of them. That’s amazing. And Delano, what
can you tell us? Where’s Delano? Hi, Delano. How are you doing, Ellen. Coach B is an amazing person. Since I got here,
I had anger issues. And he helped me with coping
skills and telling me every day that I can be great, and
helped me with different ways to release my anger
other than violence. All right, that’s fantastic. There’s a new show coming to
the CW called All-American and it’s all about
high school football, and it touches on a lot
of these same themes and they were so inspired
by your story they want to give your team $25,000. All-American premiers Wednesday,
October 10, 9/8 Central on CW. I want to thank Hozier,
Mavis Staples, Jenna Fischer and Nicole Maines. I will see you tomorrow. Be kind to one another. Bye.

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Dennis Veasley

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