Pennsylvania Football Coach Canceled Workout, Had His Team Shovel Snow for Neighbors Instead

by Victoria Santiago

Severe winter storms rocked Pennsylvania earlier this week. One football coach canceled practice and made his team shovel snow instead. Originally, the team was scheduled to have a weight lifting practice. Instead, they went out around their community and shoveled snow for free. They aimed to help as many elderly and disabled people as possible, or really anybody that wouldn’t be able to clear their driveway on their own.

Bethel Park High School head football coach Brian DeLallo posted about the practice cancelation on Twitter. “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 shared.

The Decades-Old Tradition Connects Athletes With Their Biggest Supporters

This has been a Bethel Park High School tradition for more than 20 years. It was originally started by the football coach before DeLallo, Jeff Metheny. “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.”

Snow shoveling effectively does two things at once: the football players are still getting a workout in, and they get to interact with their community. “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,” the football coach said. “It’s really nice to be able to do that.” The football players enjoy it, too. For one of them, helping his neighbors “makes me feel like a part of something bigger than myself.”

If Winter Weather Hits, Its Important to Shovel Snow Safely

Surprisingly, shoveling snow might increase the risk of having a heart attack for some people. The combination of physical exertion and cold weather can make arteries spasm and constrict. In turn, this could cause health complications that ultimately lead to a heart attack. Doctors say that they definitely see an increase in heart attack patients during the colder months.

So, how does one shovel snow “safely?” We know that no one wants to be outside in freezing temperatures, trying to clear their driveway while also not slipping. It’s tempting to try to get as much done as possible, but this is not ideal. The best advice for snow shoveling is to take it slowly. If you begin to feel tired, it’s okay to stop for a while and rest. On top of that, stay warm and hydrated. For those with health conditions, it’s best to skip the winter chore altogether.