Click Here for a review of the 2014
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Brookline Knights website designed
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The Knights News * Seasons In Review
2014 <> 2013 <> 2012 <> 2011 <> 2010 <> 2009 <> 2008
2007 <> 2006 <> 2005 <> 2000 <> 1998
including Rosters, Photos, Game Results and more.
A New Beginning
The 2014 season marks the beginning of a
new chapter in the 41-year history of the Brookline Knights football program.
After the SSYFL folded following last year's Super Bowl celebration,
the Knights joined with other local organizations to form the Parkway
Youth Football League. Brookline will face many of the same opponents as before,
along with a couple new faces.
Along with the transfer to a new league
comes a few other changes in the Knights organization. Due to the league format,
there will be no 12-13 year old age group. The three Brookline Knight football
teams will be formed using dual age groups (11-10, 9-8, 7-6), a throw-back to
the days of the Mitey-Mites, Termites and Twerps.
Perhaps the most notable change in
the 2014 Brookline Knights program will be the absence of Joe and Lisa
Nicholas as the leaders of the organization. The Nicholas' retired from
their leadership role following the 2013 season, after nineteen years
at the helm.
The Brookline Knights are now
led by first-year president Steve Mescan, a full-time member of the
Pittsburgh Police S.W.A.T. team. Coach Steve will have his hands full
this year, but the new Knights Board of Directors are looking forward to
continuing the tradition of pride and excellence that has become the
hallmark of Brookline football.
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 13-Under Midget team celebrates after
a playoff win in 2000. These Knights went on to win the WPSYFL title.
The Knights enter the 2014 season
as a founding first-year member of the new Parkway Youth Football League
hoping to carry on that winning tradition. In the club's history, Brookline
Knights teams have claimed twenty-one league championships in forty
In eight years of SSYFL football (2006-2013),
the 2006 9-Under, 2007 10-Under, 2009 13-Under, 2010 13-Under, 2011 11-Under, 2012 10-Under, 2013 11-Under and 2013 13-Under teams combined to bring home a total of eight Super Bowl championships.
The 2006 8-Under team
added a Conference championship, finishing as Super Bowl runner-up. Brookline's 2012 9-Under team also felt the thrill of Super Bowl competition.
The Brookline Knights 1979 WPMFL Termite
champions went 9-0. They were Brookline's first undefeated team.
Prior to joining the SSYFL, from 1974
to 2005, 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). Along with these distinguished title holders, the Knights fielded
several teams that finished runner-up in league championship games.
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
"Let's Go, Knights!"
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.
Coach Joe And Lisa Nicholas
For the first time since the start of
the 1995 season, Joe and Lisa Nicholas will not at the helm of the Brookline
Knights organization. After nineteen seasons as the President and First Lady
of Brookline football, Coach Joe and his wife Lisa will be taking a back seat,
having passed the mantel of leadership on to first-year President Steve
This does not mean that the two
most familiar faces in Brookline football will be taking a permanent leave
of absence. Coach Joe will continue in his 22nd year on the sideline, leading
the 11-Under team. He will also be active behind the scenes in his role as
Past-President. Lisa, too, will be working in the background providing the
guidance that comes from two decades of dedicated service.
Coach Joe Nicholas and Coach Joey will
be back for another season as leaders of the 11-Under team.
It's great to know that the two
people who have personified Brookline Knights football for so many years
will still be visible and most welcomed guests on Brookline football
weekends. Under their steady leadership, the program has become one
of the best in the City of Pittsburgh.
A Family Affair
The Brookline Knights would like
to acknowledge the entire Nicholas family for their many years of tireless
dedication and devotion to Brookline Knights football. This includes
Joe's brothers, Brian and Rick, and their respective families.
Also involved as both players and
cheerleaders, then club officers and coaches, were the Nicholas children,
Nicole, Jamie, Gina and Joey. These kids grew up as Brookline Knights, and
as adults worked hard to carry on their proud Knights tradition. The entire
Nicholas clan will forever be recognized as the First Family of Brookline Knights
Joe, Nicole, Gina, Jamie, Joey and
Lisa Nicholas in February 2014.
In honor of their years of service
to the Brookline community, the Nicholas' were selected as local recipients
of the 2013 Jefferson Award, considered to be the Nobel Prize for Voluteerism. It was
well-deserved recognition for a family that has done so much for the
neighborhood they call home.
Many Years Of Dedicated Volunteers
The 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. Once a Knight, always
It's this sort of dedication and
devotion to the ideals which built a solid foundation for Brookline football
that will ensure the future of the Knights program. The Brookline Knights
are one of the many things that makes the community
of Brookline a special place.
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 Brookline football 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
Other former players
to achieve NFL status are two-time collegiate football National Champion Don Graham of the
Knights, and Ross Ventrone of the
Currently, Ray Ventrone is a member of the
San Francisco 49ers. Bruce Gradkowski and Ross Ventrone both wear the Black and Gold
of the Pittsburgh Steelers!
The Ventrone Brothers - Knights in the NFL
Danny McGibbeny Field
All Knights home games are
played at McGibbeny Field in Brookline Memorial Park, located along the 1400 block of Brookline Boulevard. Back in the
1970s, the Knights games were held at Moore Park, located on Pioneer Avenue.
The Knights home field is named for a
Brookline man, Danny McGibbeny, who spent several years working with the
neighborhood kids before passing, in 1977, at the age of twenty-six.
The Brookline Park complex was founded
in 1947, when the land was purchased from the Anderson family. Take a look back
through the decades to 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 1980s.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'd be glad to include this information here on our website.