When heavy winter storms began moving toward Bethel Park, Pennsylvania early this week, this high school soccer coach didn’t just cancel the team’s scheduled weightlifting practice.
He also sent the athletes to shovel the driveways of their neighbors in need for free.
In a tweet on Jan. 16, Brian DeLallo, head soccer coach at Bethel Park High School, wrote: “Monday’s weightlifting practice has been canceled due to expected severe weather. Find an elderly or disabled neighbor and kick their driveway. Don’t accept money – that’s our Monday training.”
DeLallo told Fox News Digital that having a tradition of the football team having to shovel people’s driveways is something his predecessor, former head coach Jeff Metheny, started more than 20 years ago.
“Jeff had always let our kids do this,” DeLallo told Fox News Digital. “Every time we had a snowy day and the school was cancelled, he would have the kids go out and build driveways for people in the community who were older or disabled or otherwise unable to create 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 just continued 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, DeLallo said.
Campbell told Fox News Digital that he has shoveled four driveways with Shelpman, who has completed two more on his own. Shelpman told Fox he scooped about seven hours, while Campbell scooped about five hours.
After he finished shoveling driveways, Shelpman said he and his mother volunteered at a spaghetti dinner for homeless veterans.
Shelpman told Fox that helping his neighbors “makes me feel like part of something bigger than myself.”
“I certainly always feel good when I can help others,” Shelpman added.
DeLallo told Fox that a big part of ramp building for the athletes 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 athletics department. Sports are important in our community, high school sports are important. We get a lot of audience and support. So this is a way to go out and connect with them.”
“This was a good way to get them a little face-to-face with their neighbors and do something that gives back to a community that is so supportive of our program,” added DeLallo. “It’s really nice to be able to do that.”