Matheau the Mentor | Former Pro Football Player Finds New Love as a Positive Influence for the Children of Hampton Roads

Calls for better youth mentorship and leadership often follow after acts of violence involving young adults. Matheau Dupe Hall wants to set an example very early on.

NORFOLK, Va. — No matter how old Matheau Dupe Hall is, there’s a familiar love every time he kicks a football.

“It was my bread and butter here,” Hall said.

Hall, a Hampton Roads native, grew up with a natural love for the game. He played football at Lake Taylor High School before playing college football at Grand Canyon University.

“I used to train at noon in the evening in the gym. Would be myself just hitting a ball against a wall. Exactly what I wanted to do,” Hall said.

It’s a love that opened doors for him professionally, playing internationally in leagues in Denmark, Germany, Mexico as well as MLS in the United States, which includes a stint with the LA Galaxy.

“The most practiced sport in the world. It brings together cultures, people. It breaks down barriers,” he said.

But after years of jumping leagues and borders, Hall decided it was time to settle down and be closer to his family.

And even though his long career as a professional and semi-professional footballer is behind him, Hall hasn’t really hung up his boots either. His love for the game only grew in a new space.

“Once I got to the first school, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do,'” Hall said.

Since the beginning of the school year, Hall has decided to volunteer at Norfolk elementary schools, for the simple task of having a positive influence on the lives of young children.

Hall spent time in after-school (and sometimes before-school) programs at Bayview, Crossroads, and Richard Bowling elementary schools a month at a time, coming three times a week over a three-week period.

Everything he did in his free time without being paid.

“There shouldn’t be a price for that. It shouldn’t be ‘Pay me $100 and I’ll teach them,'” Halls said.

He hopes the kids will see him as more than just a football manager. He hopes the kids will see him more as a mentor and a positive influence than anything else.

“I have now entered the lives of 90 children in three months. Today, 90 children look at me as someone they appreciate: a figure. Not necessarily a father figure, but just a figure that has a positive influence,” Hall said.

His goal is to increase the number of school divisions and after-school programs he volunteers at. Her hope is to be a little reminder that even one person can make a difference in someone’s life.

“They say, ‘I know fool, he’s doing XYZ in my community. We can’t all be Pharrell, Timbaland and Pusha T, but maybe their popular version,” Hall said.