Coach Replaces Student Workouts With Shoveling Sidewalks For The Elderly
As the surge in winter storms began to stack up in Western Pennsylvania, Bethel Park High School football coach Brian DeLallo decided it would be best to cancel his team's weightlifting practice. It didn’t mean, though, that his football players weren’t going to get in their workout. Instead, he told his team that rather than lifting weights they should go shovel snow off driveways for those most in need.
As the surge in winter storms began to stack up in Western Pennsylvania, Bethel Park High School football coach Brian DeLallo decided it would be best to cancel his team’s weightlifting practice. It didn’t mean, though, that his football players weren’t going to get in their workout. Instead, he told his team that rather than lifting weights they should go shovel snow off driveways for those most in need.
With a major snowstorm barreling in, Coach DeLallo took to Twitter to explain to his team their Monday workout plans. “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,” he tweeted. His team got the message and then got to work. The day in question was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, so the boys had the full day to shovel snow.
40 students joined in, but Coach DeLallo wanted it to be known that the idea didn’t originate with him and he gave thanks to the man who started the tradition. “Jeff [Metheny, former Bethel head coach] had always had our kids do this,” DeLallo explained to Fox News Digital via the New York Post. “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.”
It is a tradition that has been ongoing for decades and one that, for the most part, was appreciated by all. Including 83-year-old Danny Varhola, who told local KDKA-TV through CBS News, “I’ve been here for 50 years, and these guys are great.” Unfortunately, not all were on board with the fact that the football team would not accept money for their snow shoveling skills. Bethel Park High School’s football captain, Gavin Moul, said that some people would turn down the offer to shovel snow off their driveways because they wouldn’t take money.
Regardless, Coach DeLallo felt that helping out in the community shoveling snow would be much more rewarding than lifting weights. “You get a lot more out of this than ‘did you bench press 300 pounds today?’ This is really cool. It’s a chance to connect with the community and you don’t get many of those, so this is nice,” DeLallo said.
Joseph Villani, Bethel Park High School’s principal, was not surprised in the least at Coach DeLallo’s move to get the boys out shoveling driveways. “Coach DeLallo is a great leader who teaches character first, both on and off the field,” Villani said to TODAY Parents. “While recognized for this one tweet, this is how he always is as a coach, teacher, and person.”
For some, the good deeds only started with snow shoveling. David Shelpman 16, and Aidan Campbell, 17, were two of the Bethel Park High School football players who partook in shoveling snow. Campbell explained that he shoveled four driveways with teammate Shelpman. The younger Shelpman then shoveled another two driveways on his own. In total, Shelpman says he shoveled for about seven hours while Campbell shoveled driveways for around five.
Shelpman wasn’t done with his good deeds after seven hours of shoveling snow. Once he completed shoveling driveways, he then went with his mother to volunteer serving spaghetti dinners to homeless veterans. Shelpman explained 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.”
Coach DeLallo says that one of the biggest parts of asking his kids to get out and help those in need is because it allows the young men to connect with their community. He feels that is extremely important because the support the community shows his football is amazing. DeLallo explained that Bethel Park has a great athletic department and that high school sports are very important in their community. He acknowledged the great crowds they get on Friday nights and feels having the boys go out and shovel snow is a perfect way for the boys to give back.
“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,” Coach DeLallo added. “It’s really nice to be able to do that.” Shoveling snow is a great Bethel Park High School football player tradition and thankfully, it is one that doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. Kudos to you, Coach DeLallo and your football players.