When severe winter storms started heading toward Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, earlier this week, this high school football coach didn’t just cancel the team’s scheduled weight lifting practice.
He also sent the athletes to shovel the driveways of their neighbors in need – for free.
In a tweet posted on Jan. 16, Bethel Park High School head football coach Brian DeLallo wrote: “Due to expected severe weather, Monday’s weightlifting workout has been canceled. Find an elderly or disabled neighbor and shovel their driveway. Don’t accept any money – that’s our Monday workout.”
DeLallo told Fox News Digital that having the football team shovel people’s driveways is something that his predecessor, former head coach Jeff Metheny, started the tradition more 20 years ago.
“Jeff had always had our kids do this,” DeLallo told Fox News Digital. “Any time we had a snow day and school was canceled, he had the kids go out and shovel driveways for people in the community who were elderly or who were disabled or otherwise could not shovel their own driveways. So this is something we’ve been doing for a long time. Definitely not my idea. I learned it from Jeff and we’ve just carried on this tradition.”
Bethel Park High School football players David Shelpman, 16, and Aidan Campbell, 17, were among about 40 athletes who shoveled snow on Monday, according to DeLallo.
Campbell told Fox News Digital that he shoveled four driveways with Shelpman, who did another two driveways on his own. Shelpman told Fox he shoveled for about seven hours, while Campbell shoveled for about five.
Once he was done shoveling driveways, Shelpman said he and his mom volunteered at a spaghetti dinner for homeless veterans.
Shelpman told Fox that helping his neighbors “makes me feel like a part of something bigger than myself.”
“I definitely always do feel good about being able to help others out,” Shelpman added.
DeLallo told Fox that a big part of having the athletes shovel driveways is to give them a chance to interact with the community.
“We have really good community support here,” DeLallo said. “We also have a great athletic department. Sports are important in our community, high school sports are important. We get great crowds and support. So this is a way to go out and connect with them.”
“This was a good way to kind of get them face to face with their neighbors, doing something that gives back to a community that is so supportive of our program,” DeLallo added. “It’s really nice to be able to do that.”