Scotty McGee, Percy Harvin, Bubba Jenkins and countless other South Hampton athletes all have one thing in common.

“Pops.”

Through nearly 60 years of coaching youth football, Sid Pearl had a way of bringing out the best in young men – both on and off the field. Most will tell you he was a father figure, especially the ones who didn’t really have one of their own.

Pearl passed away on Thanksgiving, leaving behind an abundance of memories and as many broken hearts.

He was 91.

“I guess he was kind of like the father of football in Virginia Beach,” said son Bruce Pearl. “So many people talk about how much he changed their lives.

“Seems like a million kids came through our program, so that’s a lot of lives touched.”

The Pearls ran the Woodstock Mustangs Pop Warner Football program that later became the Virginia Beach Mustangs in 2001. The team won national championships twice and Sid Pearl always wore his title rings with pride.

But it most likely was the multitude of visits from former players that brought him the most proud. He survived stomach cancer twice and often his hospital room was full of former players.

Pearl was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1930 and moved with his family to the United States when he was 5.

The family lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Pearl eventually joined the Navy, serving as a Senior Chief during the Korean War before retiring after 21 years and settling in Virginia Beach.

He and his wife of 69 years, Sandi, had five children, nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

A graveside service with full military honors will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30 at Woodlawn Funeral Home on Virginia Beach Boulevard.

1 Comment

  • Tina Pearl
    Posted November 27, 2021 1:44 pm 0Likes

    I have never been more proud to call him my Father in Law and be a part of the Pearl family. I am so honored to have had him in my life. I love you so much Pops.

Leave a reply