During the winter, coaches often have to pivot their training exercises to adjust for inclement weather. High school football coach Brian DeLallo with Bethel Park High School in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, was no different in that regard.
But the workout he prescribed was certainly anything but the usual.
Following decades of tradition and community spirit, DeLallo pulled out a former coach’s card and warned the students a day ahead of his expectations.
“Due to expected severe weather, Monday’s weightlifting workout has been cancelled,” DeLallo tweeted. “Find an elderly or disabled neighbor and shovel their driveway.”
“Don’t accept any money — that’s our Monday workout.”
And that was that.
As Monday rolled around, teenagers in the area started to work together clearing driveways for those who needed the extra help. Bundled up against the cold, the young men worked for hours, armed with snow shovels and a snowblower.
About 40 teens total were out on Monday, and their efforts did not go unnoticed.
“I definitely always do feel good about being able to help others out,” 16-year-old David Shelpman told Fox News, adding that this type of charity “makes me feel like a part of something bigger than myself.”
Shelpman and 17-year-old Aiden Campbell were just two of the 40, but they cleared four driveways together, taking about five hours, and then Shelpman spent two more hours clearing two more driveways.
While DeLallo and his kind team have been placed in the limelight, DeLallo said the original idea for the unusual workout came from his predecessor, head coach Jeff Metheny. It’s not everyone who has the vision to combine a routine part of training with a way to help others out, but Metheny was one of those people.
This received much more attention than we ever expected. I must give any credit for the idea to Jeff Metheny, who was Head Football Coach at Bethel Park for 25 years before me. We are simply carrying on 1 of the many great traditions he established. Thanks, Coach Metheny! https://t.co/LEnwMbcvPr
— Brian DeLallo (@BDeLallo) January 18, 2022
“Jeff had always had our kids do this,” DeLallo said. “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.”
He added that it was a bonus to be able to have the kids give back to the tight-knit community.
“We have really good community support here,” DeLallo continued. “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.
“It’s really nice to be able to do that.”
And based on the comments, most people would agree.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.