This article appeared in the January 19, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 01/19 edition

A snow-shovel workout, and a life lesson for high school football players

Larry Roberts/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/AP/File
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown prepares to hand off the ball to youths during his Antonio Brown Football ProCamp at Bethel Park High School in Pennsylvania on July 23, 2017. The school's football coach, Brian DeLallo, observes from behind.

The snow hadn’t started falling yet. But on Sunday afternoon, before settling in to watch his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, Brian DeLallo revised a Monday workout. 

The Bethel Park High School football coach sent this tweet to players: “Due to expected severe weather, Monday’s weightlifting workout has been cancelled. Find an elderly or disabled neighbor and shovel their driveway. Don’t accept any money – that’s our Monday workout.” 

Barbells were dutifully traded for snow shovels. In doing so, the football players got not only a workout but also a lesson in generosity and community spirit. Throughout the day, some 25 players texted Coach DeLallo photos as they cleared driveways and walkways of about 6 inches of snow in Bethel Park, a suburb of  Pittsburgh.

“They’re surprised that we’re not taking money,” junior and team captain Gavin Moul told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. “It’s not only helping them, but it’s helping us to become a better team.”

Braedon Del Duca, who plays guard on the team, told WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh that this was a chance to thank the community for its support

Coach DeLallo recognized, too, that for players to experience the power of helping others is more valuable than pumping iron. “You get a lot more out of this than ‘did you bench press 300 pounds today?’ This is really cool,” he said. “It’s a chance to connect with the community and you don’t get many of those.”  

At least not until the next big snowfall.

This article appeared in the January 19, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 01/19 edition
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