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Brookline Knights website designed
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The Knights News * Seasons In Review
2013 <> 2012 <> 2011 <> 2010 <> 2009 <> 2008
2007 <> 2006 <> 2005 <> 2000 <> 1998
including Rosters, Photos, Game Results and more.
Tradition and Excellence
The Brookline Knights Football
program has a long-standing tradition of gridiron excellence. This legacy
dates back to their inception in 1974, a year when another Pittsburgh
football team, the Steelers, began their first reign as Super Bowl
Champions. Although the Knights may not be as well known as the men in
Black and Gold, these Brookline kids have risen to the top of the local
youth football scene time and time again over the past forty
The Knights entered the 2013 season
as an eighth-year member of the South Suburban Youth Football League hoping
to carry on that winning tradition. Prior to joining the SSYFL, Brookline's
list of past champions included: Midgets (2000, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1990),
Mitey-Mites (1998, 1978), Termites (1996, 1990, 1979) and Twerps (2004, 2001, 1980).
The Brookline Knights 1979 WPMFL Termite
champions went 9-0. They were Brookline's first undefeated team.
Since joining the SSYFL, the 2006 9-Under team became the Knights first Super Bowl winner, and the 2006 8-Under team captured a Divisional championship.
The 2007 10-Under team repeated as SSYFL Super Bowl champions, then returned
in 2009 and 2010 to capture and successfully defend the 13-Under crown.
The 2011 11-Under team added their nameplate to the official bronze trophy, followed
a year later by the 2012 10-Under team. Most recently, the 2013 11-Under and 2013 13-Under teams became the Brookline Knights seventh and eighth Super Bowl
The 13-Under Midget team celebrates after
a playoff win in 2000. These Knights went on to win the WPSYFL title.
The Brookline Knights have won eight Super Bowl
championships since joining the SSYFL in 2006.
The 10-year old Brookline Knights repeated as
Super Bowl champions in 2007. These Mighty Knights
returned to win the title again in 2009 and 2010, making them four-time
In addition to the girdiron warriors,
there's also the generations of talented cheerleaders. Year after year, these
girls have kept the fans engaged with an assortment of sideline cheers, zany
antics and fabulous halftime routines. Their spirit and dedication add color
and charm to the Brookline Knights gameday festivities.
When the fall colors bloom,
the men in Black and Gold capture the hearts and minds of the Steeler
Nation. But, here in our little corner of the 'Burgh, it's the boys and girls
wearing the Black and Green of the Brookline Knights that capture the spirit
of our proud community.
The Knights program is headed by
Joe Nicholas, who entered his 19th year as President of the Brookline
Knights Football Association in 2013. Nicholas joined the program in 1993 as
a coach and in 1995 began his tenure as Chief Officer. Under his steady
leadership the program has become one of the best in the City of Pittsburgh.
During his term in office and years on the sideline, Brookline Knights teams
have captured seventeen league titles and several runners-up. Many of
these teams were led by Coach Joe himself.
It could be said that the Nicholas
clan has become the First Family of Brookline football. Joe's wife Lisa is
the organization's Vice-President and Treasurer. She is also the creator of
"Lisa's Almost-Famous Hot Sausage," one of many culinary delights available
at the concession stand. Brother Brian shared the coaching duties for
fifteen years from 1993-2007, and returned to his familiar post on the
Knights sideline for the 2013 season.
The Nicholas' children are also
involved with the program. Nicole is team Secretary and for many years
moonlighted as coach of the 13-Under cheerleaders. Gina and Jamie help
with concession sales. Joey's eight-year playing career ended as Super Bowl
champion in 2009. Now known as Coach Joey, he can be found stalking the
sideline alongside his father. Granddaughter Jaedyn is already an accomplished
cheerleader. Rumors have it that her first words were "Go Knights." The
Brookline Knights are a top-notch organization run by a first-class
This kindred spirit has always run
strong in the Knight's organization. Generous assistance from decades of
community-minded volunteers, along with a long list of talented coaches,
past and present, round out the Knight's staff. It's this sort of dedication
that will ensure the future of the Brookline Knights football program, and
it's one of the many things that makes the community of Brookline a special
In the Beginning - The Brookline Bears
The Brookline Knights Football
Association has its roots in the Brookline Bears
Football Association, started in 1974 by John Dowling and Jim Raimondi. After the first season, the team changed it's
name from Bears to Knights. Others who figured prominently in the birth of
the Knights program were Chuck Senft, Bud Cambest, Jim McGrath, John Boris,
Tony Ravoli, Sam Achille, Mike Betrose, Ted Gielas and Don Tarr. These
founding fathers helped establish the solid foundation from which Brookline
Knights football has grown over the years.
From the first Bears team in 1974
to our present-day Knights, the organization has earned a strong reputation
for turning out top quality players, ready for the rigors of High School
football. The 1996 Knights took that a few steps further, boasting
two future NFL players, Bruce
Gradkowski and Ray
Ventrone. Other former players
to achieve NFL status are two-time collegiate football National Champion Don Graham of the
Knights, and Ross Ventrone of the
Knights. Currently, Ray Ventrone
is playing for the San Francisco 49ers. Both Bruce Gradkowski and Ross Ventrone are
wearing the Black and Gold of the Pittsburgh Steelers!
The Ventrone Brothers - Knights in the NFL
All Knights home games are
played at Danny McGibbeny Field in Brookline Memorial Park. Back in the 1970s, the Knights called Moore Park home. The Brookline Park complex began in 1947, when the land
was purchased from the Anderson family. Take a look back through the decades
and see how Brookline Park has evolved from a twenty acre farm
into the multi-purpose park in use today. Let the "Brookline Park Renaissance" be your guide.
The 1977 Brookline Knights Termite team
gathers for a photo after the final game of the season.
Youth football in Brookline
has its origins long before the Knights program was introduced.
Dating back to the 1930s, Brookline fielded a sandlot team called the
Brookline Merchants, who played in the city leagues. American Legion Post
#540 sponsored a sandlot team for many years, dating back to the 1940s.
City High Schools fielded teams as far back as the 1920s. Even local
elementary schools, like Resurrection, St. Pius and Brookline,
had varsity teams from the 1940s through the 1970s.
Two local sandlot teams whose
heyday was the late-1960s were the "West"
Brookline Royals and the "East"
Brookline Quaills. It was an intra-neighborhood rivalry that still evokes
emotions from those who slugged and slogged it out in the mud at Moore
Park. These games were classic Brookline bone-crunching gridiron
The Bellaire Place 13-Under football
team from 1964, sponsored by "The Golden Cue" bar and grill.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Brookline
also sported teams that were organized by the kids themselves. Coaches
were recruited and sponsors helped with equipment costs and referees.
These were neighborhood teams, like the Lynnbrook Lions, Jacob Jets,
Bellaire's Golden Cue and the Milan Eagles of 1964. They formed their
own league. These match-ups only lasted a year or two until the players
moved on to sandlot ball. The memories have lasted a lifetime.
Here are a few
pictures of youth teams from the Brookline area:
1930 - South Hills High School
1932 - The Brookline
1947 - American Legion Post #540
1951 - Resurrection Elementary
1952 - Resurrection Elementary
1953 - Resurrection Elementary
1954 - Resurrection Elementary
1954 - South Hills High School
1960 - Brookline Royals Sandlot
1964 - "The Golden Cue" 12-13 year
1965 - South Hills Catholic
High School Freshman Team
1968 - Brookline Quaills Sandlot Team
1966/1971 - Brookline Royals Sandlot Team
1975 - St. Pius X Elementary
1976 - South Hills High School
The 1974 St. Pius X Saints varsity team.
This was one of the last Brookline Diocesan football teams.
If anyone has information on
the Brookline Knights or other Brookline teams from
the pre-Knights era, please contact us at email@example.com.
We'd be glad to include this information here on our website.