Brookline Knights Football Association
The 2010 13-Under Brookline Knights
Record: 11-0

They Are, Without A Doubt, A Gridiron Dynasty
The Era of Coach Donnie and The Mighty Knights

On November 14, 2010, the defending champion Brookline Knights 13-Under team capped off another undefeated season with a 34-0 shutout victory over the Bethel Park Hawks to capture the SSYFL championship, aptly dubbed The Super Bowl. The game was held at West Allegheny High School Stadium on a rainy Sunday evening. The chilly temperature did nothing to cool the engine that propelled Brookline to their fourth Super Bowl triumph and fifth title overall. Since 2004, these Knights have scorched their way through the competition, year after year. These seven seasons will be remembered as the "Era of Coach Donnie and the Mighty Knights," and the Brookline community can proudly lay claim to a Gridiron Dynasty.

The 2010 season began back in July with high expectations. With a strong corps of veterans returning from last year's champions, the Knights were on a mission. Nothing less than total annihilation of any-and-all comers was their goal. Not only did they succeed in laying waste to everything the SSYFL could assemble in their path, they surpassed even the loftiest ambitions.

Coach Donnie is surrounded by his loyal
warriors, winners of four Super Bowls in
five years and five-in-seven titles overall.

The Super Bowl shellacking of the Bethel Park Hawks was just another in a series of weekly demonstrations in the practice of dominance and submission. As had become their trademark, the Knights offense was a ball control juggernaut, wearing down the opposition with a relentless, hard-hitting assault. Whether running or passing, Brookline had an arsenal of weapons guaranteed to assure success. The Knight attack was led by quarterback Connor McGinnis and his thoroughbred steed, running back Khalil Sanders. The other guns at McGinnis' disposal included runners Joey Kalsek, Tyion Powe, Michael Roper and Donnie West, and receivers Adam Ottaviano, Anthony Pham and Malik Petite. With a front line that resembled a battering ram, most games were a free-for-all for the Knight ballhandlers. Brookline scored 354 points in nine full games, an average of 39.3 points per game. Two of the eleven Knight victories were 6-0 forfeits.

Brookline's defense was something out of a Friday Night Fright Fest. Adept at holding teams to negative yardage, these Gridiron Gangsters sowed fear throughout the SSYFL. Their bone-bruising hits and swarming style left opposing linemen, runners, receivers and quarterbacks questioning the merits of further offensive action, oftentimes within minutes of the opening kickoff. In the nine games actually played, Brookline's defenders held the opposition to only twenty points, a meager 2.2 points per game, while amassing forty-two points of their own on fumble recoveries and interception returns. The Special Teams alone outpaced the opposing team's season production, registering twenty-four points on Tyion Powe's four kick returns.

With the exception of hard-fought mid-season games against North Hills and Bethel Park, the Saturday battles were safely in hand by halftime, giving the second team plenty of playing time. The reserve Knights always rose to the occasion, mirroring the drive and intensity of the starters. This team's depth chart was just loaded with talent.

Now that the dust has settled, it's time to reflect on what was witnessed both this season and in the six preceeding years. Never in the history of the Brookline Knights organization has a team produced such a string of successful seasons. Beginning in 2004, when these kids were first introduced to Coach Donnie's winning ways, championship quality football again became a source of pride in Brookline. A WPSYFL Twerp championship in 2004, followed by SSYFL Super Bowl triumphs in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, have earned them a spot as one of the best gridiron teams to emerge from this corner of Pittsburgh. From 2004 through 2010, they compiled a 67-8 overall record, an .893 winning percentage, and three undefeated seasons. The Knights finished the 2010 season with their 22nd consecutive victory.

For those who had the pleasure of watching this team over the years, it's safe to say that a rare phenomenon was witnessed. Somehow or another, the planets aligned and Brookline was gifted with an ultra-outstanding football team. By virtue of their incredible achievements, the Era of Coach Donnie and the Mighty Knights is now the stuff of legend. After their second Super Bowl win in 2007, it was noted that a Dynasty was Born. The next couple years proved that statement to be correct.

After their fourth Super Bowl win in 2010, there could be no question. The Mighty Knights of Brookline are, without a doubt, a Pittsburgh Gridiron Dynasty.

These Knights have a handful of championships.
Front: Coach Sean Stein, Martino Stein, Connor
McGinnis. Middle: Gino Foster, Joe Tongel, Joey
Kalsek and Garrett Martin. Rear: Head Coach Don
Helman, Coaches Bill O'Malley and Joe Tongel.
They have been together since the 2004 season.

As happens every year, the time comes to bid our Senior Knights adieu as they move on to the scholastic ranks and life after the Knights. It seems even more difficult this season, after all the title drama of the past few years. As with all teams, individual players come and go. Not all players on the 2010 season were with the Knights in 2004. The team evolved over time. Along with Coach Donnie and assistants Joe Tongel and Bill O'Malley, only six players have played on all five championship teams. Most kids are lucky to receive one title trophy. These kids have done it five times! Congratulations to Connor McGinnis, Joey Kalsek, Martino Stein, Garrett Martin, Gino Foster and Joey Tongel. These young men have lived the dream. Now their distinguished Knight careers have ended, but the memory of their achievements will live on as one of the brightest chapters in the history of Brookline football.

2010 13-Under Team

The Brookline Knights 13-Under Team
2010 SSYFL Champions!

Anthony Pham (3), Joey Tongel (40), Jeffrey Arnold (63), Dylan DiRenna (9), William Madeja (42), Tyler Thornton (66), Edward Jordan (10), Christopher Elstner (70), Billy O'Malley (75), Michael Roper (12), Brendan Cunningham (54), Garrett Martin (76), Joey Kalsek (21), Edgard Fumbula (44), Austin Reed (78), Connor McGinnis (23), Donnie West (46), Malik Petite (80), Adam Ottaviano (85), Martino Stein (50), Joey Bonnar (81), Marty Shulik (27), Julius Noel (52), Matt Haskins (82), Tyion Powe (30), Gino Foster (56), David Barlow (83), Khalil Sanders (32), Bryan Bergener (58), Taylor Thornton (84), Zacheria Sesay (34), Airshaan Warren (61), Richie Ryan (25), Michael Hennel (36), Damarko Thomas (62) and Joey Shulik (86). The head coach is Don Helman. The assistant coaches are Joe Tongel, Sean Stein, Jerry Tuite, George DelGreco and Bill O'Malley.

Game Results

Game 1 - Brookline 50 <> T-Jefferson 0
Game 2 - Brookline 44 <> Carlynton 0
Game 3 - Brookline 58 <> Brentwood 0
Game 4 - Brookline 44 <> North Hills 14

Game 5 - Brookline 22 <> Bethel Park 6
Game 6 - Brookline 6 <> West Mifflin 0
Game 7 - Brookline 24 <> Southside 0
Game 8 - Brookline 62 <> Montour 0

<Photos - Brookline vs. Thomas-Jefferson - August 28, 2010>

<Photos - Brookline vs. Carlynton - September 11, 2010>

<Photos - Brookline vs. North Hills - September 26, 2010>

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

SSYFL Opening Round Playoffs

Brookline 6 <> Montour 0
(Montour forfeited to Brookline)

SSYFL Semi-Finals

Brookline 16 <> Southside 0

SSYFL Super Bowl

Brookline 34 <> Bethel Park 0

<Photos from the Super Bowl - November 14, 2010>


The Cheerleaders

2010 Cheerleaders - 13-Under

Brooke Ammer, Meghan Hanlon, Rachel Vichie, Chanqutavia Bell, Vivienne Johnson, Ceairra White, Delaney Bord, Lindsey Maiorano, Hannah Wareham, Allana Dean, Maureen Marchese, Gabby Grayson, Gianna DeMarzo, Noel Marchese, Kylie Malobisky, Kaityln Falce, Danielle Maxwell, Gia Phillips, Tyler Grimes, Kristin Pendzich, Jessica Friedel, Briana Rainey and Kayla Sanders. The coach is Nicole Nicholas. The assistants are Colleen Dean and Sophie Kunsa.

2010 cheerleaders at the Super Bowl - 11/14/10

The Mighty Knights of Brookline - 21st Century Gridiron Dynasty.
WPSYFL Champion: 2004 - SSYFL Super Bowl Champion: 2006-2007-2009-2010.

The 2010 SSYFL Super Bowl Champions!

A Message From Coach Don

To all the Brookline fans and players:

What a ride it's been for the last seven years, one of the greatest if not the greatest in any organization. Four championships in five years in the SSYFL and five out of seven all together. This is hands down the greatest group of kids and the toughest to ever wear the Black and Green. They showed what hard work and dedication, and puttin' up with me, was all about.

A Head Coach is only as good as the people and the players he surrounds himself with, and believe me, I had the best. From my coaching staff to my players it was a recipe that couldn't lose. We were the best year in and year out. The stats show it and so do the championships.

I would like to thank the Nicholas family for always being there for me and our team. I hope as the kids get older and go their separate ways that they can reflect on the years that we all had together and it could help them to make good decisions in life and always remember no one can take this away. If I could bottle up the last seven years I've had as a coach and sell it, I would be a billionaire. This was hands down the best seven years of my athletic life.

I'm writing this to say how thankful and humbled I am. Thank you to all my coaches and players, the cheerleaders and the Brookline faithful. I will never forget this and I love you guys. I hope to watch you play in high school in the next few years and always remember ...

"Knights Forever"

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Coach Don

Banquet and Awards Presentation - December 5, 2010

Thirteen year old Knights.
SSYFL Super Bowl Champions.   A gift for Coach Donnie.
The End-of-Season Banquet was a time for celebration. It was also a time for goodbyes.
Coach Donnie had a difficult time letting go of his kids. His devoted players
presented him with a plaque to honor his seven years as their coach.

Brookline Knights Day - December 7, 2010
Proclaimed by Pittsburgh City Council

Brookline Knights Day - December 7, 2010

<Watch The Proclamation Being Read In City Council Chambers - YouTube>

Brookline Knights Day - December 7, 2010

<Past Champions> <Knights History> <Brookline History>