Brookline Knights Football Association
The 1998 Midgets
Champions! Champions! Champions!

The 1998 Brookline Knights Midget football team finished the season with a perfect 12-0 record and their third straight league championship. Coaches Brian and Joe Nicholas proudly proclaimed this the best football team in their years with the Knights. Anyone who witnessed their advance to the league title would find it hard to disagree.

After losing many of their star players from the 1997 championship squad, the Knights began the season with an untested team playing in a new league. Beginning with a 38-28 victory in the opener with Steel Valley, the young Knights came together and started an unprecendented winning streak that ended eleven weeks later with a 12-6 title triumph at Mount Oliver. In between, the Knights stormed the bastions and took no prisoners as they laid waste to their W.P.M.F.L. opponents.

1998 Midgets

Coach Nicholas' offensive warriors were led by running backs Jo Jo Lamonde and Tim Hamilton, quarterback Anthony Doria, and recievers Chad Flora and Tyler Makstutis. The well-rounded scoring machine featured an offensive line led by Rich Nagy that pancaked opposing defenses, leaving gaping holes that propelled Lamonde to twenty-seven touchdowns, tying the record set in 1996 by future NFL star Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone.

The hard-hitting defense featured linebackers Ryan Giegucz, Lamonde, and a "Steel Curtain" replica of a front line that stifled the opposition and gave no quarter. Only once, in a 6-0 slugfest at Swissvale was a game even remotely in doubt against the mighty Knights.

It will be many years before Brookline fields such a dominant team as this group. The high school, college, and possibly the professional ranks will benefit from the raw talent emerging from this corps of young men. One thing is for sure. The 1998 Midgets have cemented their place as one of, if not the, greatest Brookline Knights teams of all.

1998 Midgets

The Brookline Knights Midgets
1998 WPMFL Champions

First Row: Anthony Petruzzi, Anthony Doria, Justin Heinrich, Jo-Jo Lamonde, Chad Flora, Jim Fitzsimmons, Jason Nee, Tyler Makstutis.
Second Row: Equipment Manager "Pops" Lamonde, Rich Nagy, J. VanMersbergen, Steve Berry, Coach Frank Makstutis.
Third Row: Chris Droney, Zach Ferguson, Chris Booth, Jesse Ingold, Dan Ruscitto, Ryan Giegucz, Lazzaro Tantalo.
Fourth Row: Coach Joe Nicholas.
Fifth Row: John Elk, Pat Walters, Anthony Mihelcic, Corey Atkins, Dan Nardozzi, Matt Reiche, Corey Teitz.

Game-By-Game Summary

Game 1 - Brookline 38 <> Steel Valley 28
Game 2 - Brookline 28 <> Duquesne 0
Game 3 - Brookline 52 <> West Mifflin 26
Game 4 - Brookline 28 <> Swissvale 6
Game 5 - Brookline 22 <> Mount Oliver 6
Game 6 - Brookline 36 <> Steel Valley 14

Game 7 - Brookline 32 <> Duquesne 12
Game 8 - Brookline 30 <> White Oak 12
Game 9 - Brookline 6 <> Swissvale 0
Game 10 - Brookline 56 <> Clairton 8
Playoff - Brookline 41 <> Steel Valley 0
Finals - Brookline 12 <> Mount Oliver 6

Semi-Final Wrap-up

Coach Joe Nicholas' undefeated Brookline Midgets (11-0) toyed with Steel Valley's Ironmen (5-6), in a lopsided 41-0 win. The Midgets powerful offense was led by fullback Jo-Jo Lamonde's four touchdowns (two running and two receiving) and the accurate passing of quarterback Anthony Doria, who threw for three touchdowns. Receiver Chad Flora caught the third Doria touchdown pass and running back Tim Hamilton accounted for Brookline's sixth score. Repeating the formula they've mastered throughout the year, the Knights offense rode the "Lamonde Express" to an early lead, then watched as the defense shut down the opposition. Once in command, the offensive scoring machine gingerly marched up and down the field. With the exception of a close 6-0 win at Swissvale in Game 8, that has been the story of the Brookline Blitz that has overwhelmed all in its path.

Lamonde's four touchdowns tied him for the season record of twenty-seven set in 1996 by Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone. Coach Joe and the Knights advance to take on Mount Oliver (9-2) in the title game next Saturday. Mount Oliver reached the title game with a victory over Swissvale (8-3). Brookline's Midgets are shooting for their third straight league championship, and from the looks of things, nothing can stop their march to glory.

Photos from the Championship game.
* November 7, 1998 *

Jo Jo Lamonde tied the Knights scoring
record with twenty-seven touchdowns.
Brookline rode the legs of Jo Jo Lamonde to a championship.

Offensive lineman Rich Nagy clears another flea
from the back of Jo Jo Lamonde. The trench
warriors deserve much of the credit for the
Knight's potent offensive attack.    Linebacker Ryan Giegucz helped keep the Mount Oliver
ball carriers with their heads to the ground all day.
Rich Nagy clears big holes on offense (left) and Ryan Giegucz keeps the runners to the ground on defense.

The Knight's tough defense gave no quarter as Mount
Oliver never mounted a serious offensive threat.
As they did all season long, the defenders
dominated the war in the trenches, pounding
their opponents into submission.
The Knights defense played a strong game against Mount Oliver, holding them to six points.

Head coach Joe Nicholas gives the next play
 to quarterback Anthony Doria. The Knights play
 caller kept the offense ticking with his
 heads up play and nice passing touch.    Receiver Tyler Makstutis applies a textbook stiff
arm in the pursuit of additional yardage. Tyler,
along with his partner Chad Flora, played a
critical role in the Knight's lethal passing attack.
Coach Joe Nicholas and QB Anthony Doria (left) and Tyler Makstutis (right) giving a classic stiff arm.

The Mount Oliver running attack is
again bottled up by linebacker Ryan
Giegucz and the swarming Brookline defense.    Jason Nee gets caught up in the championship
string frenzy as teammates Jesse Ingold,
Dan Nardozzi and Rich Nagy look on.
Ryan Giegucz led the Knights swarming defense (left); Jason Nee, Dan Nardozzi and Rich Nagy with the string.

Coaches and players celebrate after the final gun.
Brookline's 12-6 victory gave them their third straight
Midget football championship, putting them 'A Cut Above.'
Coaches and players celebrate after Brookline's 12-6 championship victory over Mount Oliver.

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS !!!    The Big Three-Oh, Jo Jo Lamonde pauses for a moment
before resuming his two-way duties as linebacker and
running back. Offensively, Jo-Jo's legs were the
Knight's ticket to ride. The multi-talented scoring
machine had 27 touchdowns to his credit by season's
end, tying the all-time Knight's record,
held by Raymond Ventrone.
The Knights hoist their championship trophy (left) and touchdown record holder Jo Jo Lamonde.

Championship Wrap-up

The undefeated Brookline Midgets pounded their way past a stubborn Mount Oliver squad for a 12-6 win. The scoring opened in the second quarter with a touchdown pass from Anthony Doria to Chad Flora. The conversion failed, leaving the score at 6-0. The Knights second score came late in the third quarter on a twenty yard burst by Tyler Makstutis. Again, the conversion failed and the Knights were on top 12-0.

Brookline's stifling defense swarmed all over Mount Oliver the entire game, while the offense rode the legs of fullback Jo-Jo Lamonde. The low-scoring effort seemed a change for the free-wheeling Knights, but a tenacious Mount Oliver defense was equal to the challenge and refused to break under the relentless Brookline attack.

Late in the fourth quarter, Mount Oliver finally got one in the endzone but failed on the conversion. The score stood at 12-6 and there was still time for a miracle. An on-side kick was attempted, but the ball failed to travel the required ten yards. The Knights took possession and ran out the clock.

For Coach Joe Nicholas and his Midgets it was the third consecutive year that they've walked away with the title firmly in their grasp. For Vincent's Pizza in Greentree it was a really busy night, and for the Knight's football program it was another excellent season and further proof that Brookline football is a dominant force in Southwestern Pennsylvania.


The Cheerleaders

1998 Cheerleaders

Nicole Nicholas, Dara Varady, Gabriella Vachino, Dana Masullo, Ashley Haggerty, Krystle Collavo, Amanda Sero, Jessica Gozur, Jamie Nicholas, Lindsay Nelson, Kimberly Drischler, Laura Smith, Kristy Tondolo, Shauna McDaniels, Megan Mandarino and Lindsey DeCarlo.

* Photos courtesy of Barbara Giegucz *

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