Brookline Knights Football Association
The 2012 10-Under Brookline Knights
SSYFL Record: 11-0, Final Record: 14-0

Stampeding Through The SSYFL
Coach Don and his Wild Stallions

Brookline's ten-year old Knights, capped off an undefeated season with a convincing 22-6 SSYFL Super Bowl VII victory over the Thomas-Jefferson Jaguars on November 17, 2012. The championship win was the fulfillment of a dream that began one year ago, after a heart-breaking triple-overtime loss in Super Bowl VI. This year, the Knights were determined to return to the Big Dance and avenge that defeat. After tanning the Jags in the title game, Brookline's warriors proudly hoisted the Super Bowl trophy and proclaimed themselves as the best team in Pittsburgh's South Suburban Youth Football League.

Returning veterans Nick Roell, Marques Watson, J.B. Nelson, Dominic Leonard, Aidan Logan, Quinn and Ambre Hunter, Dante Douglas, Jahmaine Hatten and Zachary Munn were bolstered by the addition of newcomers Mason Ventrone, Demetri Bose and Jack Sullivan to form the backbone of this powerhouse team. Led by Head Coach Don Helman, who returned to the sideline after a one-year absence, along with assistant coaches Jerry Tuite, Joe Tongel and Mike Ventrone, this herd of wild stallions stampeded through all that stood in their path. When these horses hit their stride, nothing could stop them.

Brookline's offense stampeded through the competition, averaging four touchdowns per game.

Offensively and defensively, these sturdy steeds demonstrated a propensity for overwhelming their opponents with hard-hitting, bone-blasting, fundamentally sound football. On offense, quarterback Nick Roell marched his teammates up and down the field with consistency, utilizing the power runner Marques Watson as a battering ram and his speedy counterpart Mason Ventrone as the breakaway back. Dominic Leonard was an excellent lead blocker, and the front men in the trenches controlled the line of scrimmage.

Roell also displayed a nice passing touch, with Aidan Logan, Jack Sullivan and Ventrone as his primary receivers. With most games safely in control by halftime, backup quarterback Sullivan, and reserve runners Jahmaine Hatten and Dante Douglas, got plenty of quality playing time. The second-teamers contributed several late game scores. All together, these thoroughbreds galloped to forty-five touchdowns in eleven games.

The Knights defense recorded seven shutouts and allowed only three touchdowns all season.

On defense, the Knights were absolutely fearsome. The front line, consisting of J.B. Nelson, Quinn and Ambre Hunter, Aidan Logan and Zachary Munn were like a steel curtain. Linebackers Nick Roell, Marques Watson, Mason Ventrone and Dominic Leonard were adept at plugging gaps, and safeties Jack Sullivan and Demetri Bose kept the airways clear.

The Brookline defenders squashed every threat and held opposing teams to negative yardage on most occasions. Over eleven games, these starters allowed just one touchdown, and the oft-employed reserves yielded only two scores. Led by Nelson and his penchant for aggravated assault, these Big Dogs completely stomped the opposition.

Brookline's Wild Stallions hoist the 2012 Super Bowl Trophy.

When the final buzzer sounded to end the Super Bowl game, Coach Don and his Wild Stallions had avenged last year's disappointment and proven beyond a doubt that they were the top ten-year old team in the SSYFL, and possibly the premier team in this age group to ever wear the Green and Black of the Brookline Knights.

The Knights outscored their opponents 356-24, and the defense posted seven shutouts, in route to their 11-0 campaign. Mason Ventrone and Marques Watson combined for thirty-four touchdowns (seventeen apiece) and each recorded multiple 100-yard games, often in the first half alone. By comparison, the 2007 ten-year old Super Bowl champion Knights, also led by Coach Don, went 11-1, outscored their opponents 302-26 and posted eight shutouts. Which team is the best in the annals of Brookline Knights football will be a source of reflection for many years to come.

   The Knights coaching staff: Carl Roell,
Joe Tongel, Head Coach Don Helman,
Jerry Tuite and Mike Ventrone.
Coach Don Helman has five Super Bowl victories as a Brookline Knights Head Coach, and six titles overall.
The 2012 coaching staff: Carl Roell, Joe Tongel, Don Helman, Jerry Tuite and Mike Ventrone.

For Coach Don Helman, this was his fifth SSYFL Super Bowl win as a head coach (2006-2007-2009-2010-2012), He posted his first championship season in 2004, with a WPSYFL Twerp title. This puts him one ahead of the legendary Knights Coach Joe Nicholas, who has recorded five overall championships. Coach Don was also part of the coaching staff of the 1998 Mitey-Mite champs. He is a proven winner and one of the top instructors in the history of the Knights organization.

With three more years to play in Prep League football, the future looks bright for this group of Knights. If these wild horses remain together, it is a certainty that the road to the Super Bowl will run through Brookline for the next few years.

The Players and Coaches

2012 10-Under Team

The Brookline Knights 10-Under Team
2012 SSYFL Champions!

Demetri Bose (23), Jahmaine Hatten (17), Nicholas Roell (6), John Slebrich (44), Hassan Davis (30), Ambre Hunter (40), Jack Sullivan (85), Joshua Davis (89), Quinn Hunter (52), Nick DelMastro (76), Dominic Leonard (20), Marques Watson (32), Dante Douglas (25), Aidan Logan (87), Shane Woodhall (58), Dominic Elliott (36), Zachary Munn (74), Mason Ventrone (21), Ryan Elliott (41), James "J.B." Nelson (18) and Ronald Verbonach (56). The Head Coach is Don Helman. The Assistant Coaches are Jerry Tuite, Joe Tongel, Carl Roell and Mike Ventrone.

Game Results

Game 1 - Brookline 44 <> Carlynton 0
Game 2 - Brookline 20 <> Baldwin 0
Game 3 - Brookline 40 <> Brentwood 0
Game 4 - Brookline 28 <> T-Jefferson 0

Game 5 - Brookline 26 <> W.Allegheny 6
Game 6 - Brookline 34 <> Montour 0
Game 7 - Brookline 48 <> West Mifflin 0
Game 8 - Brookline 30 <> North Hills 6

<Photos - Brookline vs Baldwin - September 9, 2012>

<Photos - Brookline vs Thomas-Jefferson - September 22, 2012>

<Knights News and Game-By-Game Scoring Summaries>

SSYFL Opening Round Playoffs

Brookline 24 <> Southside 0

SSYFL Semi-Finals

Brookline 36 <> North Hills 6

<Photos from the Semi-Final Game - November 11, 2012>

SSYFL Super Bowl

Brookline 22 <> Thomas-Jefferson 6

<Photos from the Super Bowl - November 17, 2012>


The Cheerleaders

2012 Cheerleaders - 10-Under

Lexie Bouchard, Mariah Green, Farrah Love, Cassandra Cagey, Nina Hammock, Kassidy McKown, Rebecca Carrozzi, Jaida Heidkamp, Mackenzie O'Toole, Rhiannon Carrozzi, Anai Jimenez, Rylee Roscoe, Alyssa Darden, Anna Kosslow, Brogan Victor, Shiloh Dougherty, Roberta Liddle and Breonna Williams. The Coaches are Pam Carrozzi and Christina Cagey. The Junior Coach is Megan Falce.

Brookline cheerleaders perform
at the Super Bowl - 11/17/12

Brookline cheerleaders at the Super Bowl - 11/17/12

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

Coaches Jerry and Joe keep the balls dry.    Coaches Jerry and Don weather
a hail storm in West Mifflin.
Coaches Jerry and Joe (left) do whatever it takes to keep the footballs dry when the rains from Hurricane Sandy
began on October 27; The ponchos do little to shield coaches Jerry and Don from getting pelted with hail stones
during a game at West Mifflin (right) the week before. They improvised, they adapted and they overcame.
By season's end, these Knights had played in blazing heat, bitter cold, snow, driving rain and hail.

Coach Donnie and his Wild Stallions
2012 SSYFL Super Bowl Champions

The 2012 SSYFL Super Bowl Champions!

Mid-Atlantic Classic Series Holiday Tournament

On Thanksgiving weekend, November 23-25, 2012, the SSYFL champion Brookline Knights ten-year olds traveled to Canonsburg, Pennsylvania to participate in the Mid-Atlantic Classic Series, a three-day holiday tournament that included teams from across the Mid-Atlantic region. As they did all season long, the Knights swept through the competition in route to the M.A.C.S. championship. They began the weekend with a 26-0 victory over Canon-McMillan on Friday, followed by a 41-6 thrashing of the West Buffalo New York Bears.

Brookline vs Canon-McMillan.    The Knights after winning game one.
The Knights opened the tournament with a convincing 26-0 victory over the host team, Canon-McMillan.

Brookline gathers before the game.    Dominic Leonard, Ambre Hunter,
Demetri Bose and Marques Watson.
It was snowy and cold for Saturday's 41-6 win over the Bears from West Buffalo, New York.

Brookline met the Bethel Park Hawks in the championship game. The Knights jumped off to a 13-0 halftime lead, then turned to their defense to hold back a strong Hawk attack. Quinn Hunter, Dante Douglas, Jahmaine Hatten, Jack Sullivan and J.B. Nelson all stepped up their game and kept the Hawks in check to preserve Brookline's claim to the M.A.C.S. 2012 title. At the awards presentation, Mason Ventrone was chosen as Outstanding Player and Quinn Hunter received Honorable Mention for his play on both the offensive and defensive line.

The Brookline Knights gather for
one last team photo - November 25, 2012.
The 2012 Brookline 10-year olds gather before their final game - November 25, 2012.

The Knights take the field for
the M.A.C.S. championship game.    The Knights defense recorded their ninth shutout.
The Knights take the field to play Bethel Park (left); The Knights defense recorded their ninth shutout.

Aidan Logan and Ambre Hunter have
their eyes on the Bethel quarterback.    Timeout
Aidan Logan and Ambre Hunter draw a bead on the Bethel quarterback (left) and a huddle on the sideline.

Mason Ventrone runs for tough yardage.    A Bethel runner looks for daylight.
Mason Ventrone runs for some tough yardage (left) and a Bethel runner looks for a hole.

Jack Sullivan makes a fine stop on a
breakaway runner to perserve the shutout.    Quinn Hunter sacks the Bethel quarterback.
Jack Sullivan make a fine stop downfield (left) and Quinn Hunter records one of his two sacks.

The two teams shake hands after the game.    Brookline's Knights at the award presentation.
The two teams shake hands after the game (left) and the Knights accept their championship ribbons.

The fans.    The fans.
Thanks to the fans who braved the cold weather to cheer their Knights on to victory.

Mason Ventrone was voted Outstanding Player.    Coach Don addresses his Knights for the
final time after the championship game.
Mason Ventrone was voted Outstanding Player (left) and Coach Don congratulates his champions.

For the record, Marques Watson's six touchdowns raised his season total to twenty-three, and Mason Ventrone's four scores brought his tally to twenty-one. This is the first time Brookline has had two players on the same team with over twenty touchdowns. The three tournament victories brought the 10-Under Knights complete 2012 season record to an incredible 14-0, including nine shutouts. The fourteen wins are the most in Brookline Knights history, and further proof that this is one of the elite teams in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

M.A.C.S. Game Results

	Friday - November 23, 2012

	Game #1                      @ Chartiers-Houston High School

	BROOKLINE         14 -  6 -  0 -  6    26
	Canon-McMillan     0 -  0 -  0 -  0     0

	Scoring Summary:

	Mason Ventrone 29 pass from Nick Roell (Dominic Leonard run)
	Marques Watson 2 run (Nick Roell pass from Mason Ventrone)
	Marques Watson 1 run (conversion failed)
	Marques Watson 16 run (conversion failed)

	Interception: Jack Sullivan


	Saturday - November 24, 2012

	Game #2                      @ Chartiers-Houston High School

	BROOKLINE         14 - 14 -  7 -  6    41
	West Buffalo       0 -  0 -  0 -  6     6

	Scoring Summary:

	Mason Ventrone 46 run (Marques Watson run)
	Marques Watson 4 run (Dominic Leonard run)
	Mason Ventrone 42 run (Aidan Logan pass from Nick Roell)
	Marques Watson 4 run (Dominic Leonard run)
	Marques Watson 19 run (Aidan Logan pass from Nick Roell)
	Demetri Bose 75 run (conversion failed)

	Fumble Recovery: Marques Watson, Aidan Logan


	Sunday - November 25, 2012 - TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

	Game #3                                @ North Strabane Park

	BROOKLINE          7 -  6 -  0 -  0    13
	Bethel Park        0 -  0 -  0 -  0     0

	Scoring Summary:

	Mason Ventrone 5 run (Dominic Leonard run)
	Nick Roell 1 run (conversion failed)

	Fumble Recovery: Mason Ventrone, Quinn Hunter, J.B. Nelson
	Interception: Jack Sullivan

	* Note: In tournament play a conversion was worth one point.
	        Photos courtesy of John Munn and Linda Hackett.

The Brookline Knights gather for
one last team photo - November 25, 2012.
The 2012 Brookline Knights 10-year olds - M.A.C.S. Champions - November 25, 2012.

The Ventrone Brothers - Knights in the NFL

On September 29, 2012, the ten-year old team was treated to a visit by two current NFL players who got their start playing with the Brookline Knights. Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone and his younger brother Ross visited McGibbeny field to watch their cousin Mason and his team take on the West Allegheny Indians. The Brookline players were thrilled to get to meet their NFL brothers and went on to earn their respect with a 26-6 victory.

Ross, Mason and Ray Ventrone.
Ross, Mason and Ray Ventrone; Three Brookline Knights.

Ray was the star halfback of the 1996 Brookline 13-Under championship team, scoring a then-record twenty-seven touchdowns. Ross played for both the 1998 Mitey-Mite and the 1996 Termite championship teams. Now, young Mason is working hard to carry on that winning tradition. Mason's seventeen touchdowns and fine play on defense helped lead his 2012 10-Under Knights team to a title.

The Ventrone brothers went on to play their college ball at Villanova University. As a junior in 2003, Ray was selected to the All-Atlantic 10 Conference first team and finished his college career with 251 tackles, two sacks, and five forced fumbles. Ross recorded 64 tackles and one interception in 2007, 61 tackles and four interceptions in 2008, and was part of the Wildcats' NCAA Division I FCS Championship in 2009, when he recorded 73 tackles and three sacks.

Ray Ventrone - Cleveland Browns    Ross Ventrone - New England Patriots
Ray Ventrone of the Cleveland Browns and Ross Ventrone of the New England Patriots.

Ray's NFL career began in 2005. He's a former member of the New England Patriots (2005-2006, 2007-2008) and the New York Jets (2007), and has been with the Cleveland Browns since 2009. He was on the Patriots roster for Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, where he recorded his first NFL tackle on special teams.

  Video - Ray Ventrone making a tackle during Super Bowl XLII  

Patriots coach Bill Belichick commented, "No one works harder than Ray. He's a smart football player. He puts his heart and soul into it every time he steps onto the field. It doesn't matter if it's a regular season or postseason game or a walkthrough practice. He has that same intensity and same level of competitiveness on every single play. You've got to love that about Ray. He's a tough kid. He's got good speed. He's got good quickness. He's strong for his size. He's not a real tall guy, but he's well put together. He's got good power and he plays very aggressively. That stuff will carry a long way."

Ray Ventrone at Super Bowl XLII.    Ross Ventrone at Super Bowl XLVI.
Ray Ventrone at Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix and Ross Ventrone at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

The Patriots signed Ross to their practice squad in 2010. In 2011 he was activated for eight regular season games, recording one tackle on defense and two on special teams, and was present in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI. Ross has gained a unique distinction in the Boston area, where he is known as "Mr. Transaction." He's become famous for being repeatedly released and re-signed by the team, either to the active roster or the practice squad. His latest release was on August 26, 2012. It was the 29th transaction since Ross first joined the Patriots on April 29, 2010. He's currently a free agent.

2012 10-Under Team with their
NFL brothers Ray and Ross Ventrone.
September 29, 2012 - Brookline Park.

So many of our Brookline football players dream of an opportunity to play in the NFL some day. Ray and Ross Ventrone had that same dream, and it started right here playing football for the Brookline Knights. Through hard work and dedication, both in the classroom and on the playing field, they made their dream come true. That was the message they gave to our young players, along with the motto of the brotherhood, "Once a Knight, Always a Knight."

Year-End Banquet - December 9, 2012

We're #1.
The 10-Under team gathered one last time at the 2012 Banquet to celebrate their super season.

'Curse You, Red Baron.'
South Suburban Youth Football League Logo

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