A Dynasty Is
Last season, after the Brookline Knights
nine year old team introduced themselves to the SSYFL by going 12-0, amassing
a combined 263-34 point differential and crowning it all with their first
Super Bowl triumph, people began to wonder, "How good can this team be?"
Having already captured a WPSYFL crown in 2004, and then an SSYFL crown in
2006, anticipation was high entering the 2007 season. Now Brookline would
see how good these Knights could really be. They were not disappointed.
Beginning with a 34-0 thumping of
Char Valley in Game One and ending with their 22-6 Super Bowl triumph over Baldwin
in Game Twelve, this talented group of Knights slashed and burned their
way through the opposition with an uncanny ease and a thirst for destruction.
The only blemish on their stellar resume was a 2-0 loss to the rival Southside Sabres
that was more like a mutual thrashing with no definitive outcome.
The Knights ball control offense, led by
quarterback Connor McGinnis, featured a multi-faceted attack with running
backs Khalil Sanders, Michael Roper, Zach McGrail and Chad Gregorius, and receivers
David Suwalski and Joey Kalsek providing the firepower. This arsenal kept opposing
defenses running for cover. The high powered offense rode the backs of the offensive
linemen, who time and time again battered opposing lines into submission. The Knights
amassed a grand total of 302 points for the season, a healthy 25.2 points per game
average, and a 39 point increase in productivity over last season.
The defense featured many of the same
faces, and they lashed out at opposing offenses with the same fury, only from
a different angle. Adept at limiting the opponent to the bare minimum four
downs per possession, this defense overwhelmed even the staunchest opposition.
Shooting for a shutout season, these Knights Templar strangled the enemy
for 35 consecutive quarters, not allowing even a hint of a score, and finished
the season with only 18 dents in their armor*, only half as many hits as last
Led by Coach Don Helman, the Knights
advanced to the Division Championship, saving their best football for the
post-season's Big Dances. Both the Division Championship and Super Bowl games
were classic grind-it-out, in-your-face battles. With the defense playing to
a high level and the offense riding their dependable horse, Connor McGinnis,
the Knights disposed of North Hills, 14-6, then excorcised any demons by
thrashing Baldwin, 22-6, in the Super Bowl. McGinnis rushed 18 times for 115
yards and a touchdown against North Hills, then carried 27 times for 136 yards
and three touchdowns against Baldwin.
Even the special teams play this season
was stellar. Placekicker Tyler Parees and the entire kickoff team had this knack
of pulling off onside kicks that kept opposing coaches scratching their heads.
It was a successful onside kick in the Super Bowl that led to the Knights
third touchdown and was the blow that sent Baldwin to the canvas.
With three titles now in four years,
Coach Donnie's Kids have a legitimate claim to a true dynasty. They have won
more championships in less time than any previous Knights team, and they still
have three more years of competition left in the SSYFL. Their four year record
stands at 36 wins and six losses. The sky is the limit for this "Green Machine."
We can't wait for next year, but for now let's enjoy the moment and savor the
sweet taste of victory. Three truly is a charm!
* Eight of the opposition's 26 points were
scored against the offense with a safety and a fumble return.
The Brookline Knights
2007 SSYFL Champions!
Bryan Bergener (65), Joey Kalsek (21),
Malik Petite (41), Joe Bonnar (85), Tony Manuel (18), Michael Roper (14), Zach Booth (63),
Terrin Hampton (60), Garrett Martin (76), Logan Salicce (25), Brendan Cunningham (52),
Connor McGinnis (23), Khalil Sanders (32), Giovanni DeMarzo (87), Zach McGrail (6),
Marty Shulik (54), Cody Drischler (49), Troy Newton (74), Martino Stein (17),
Gino Foster (56), Julius Noel (30), David Suwalski (36), Chad Gregorius (20),
Billy O'Malley (58), Joey Tongel (40), Tyler Thornton (64) and Tyler Parees (39).
The coaches are Don Helman, Bill O'Malley and Sean Stein.
Meghan Hanlon, Nicole Niemiec, Jamie Stanizzo,
Brianna King, Jenna Olander, Hailey Willard, Danielle Maxwell, Megan Recker,
Lindsey Maiorano and Hannah Ritemour. The coach is Val Stanizzo.
Coach Donnie and his Green Machine
2007 SSYFL Super Bowl Champions
A quilt was made for the coaches, a gift
from the appreciative moms!
Stacey Salicce, Anita Kalsek and Sharon Bergener