Brookline Knights Football Association
The 1980 Twerps
Record: 10-0

"10 and Oh With None To Go"
The Cubs Post A Perfect Season

The Brookline Knights Cub Football Team, made up of 8-9-10 year olds, finished the 1980 season with an undefeated, untied 10-0 record. It was the first time that a Brookline team completed a perfect season. Coached by Jim Sestili, this talented group of young Knights overwhelmed each and every one of their opponents, registering shutouts in all ten games. Their season truly was PERFECT!

1980 Twerps
Brookline's undefeated Knights with their championship trophy after defeating the West Mifflin
Titans, 14-0, in the title game. In the front are Billy Jo Spratt (40), Billy LoNero (34),
Mike Mecurio (46) and Billy Talerico (79). Dan Kovacs is holding the football.

Below are a team photo, some random images and a few Brookline Journal articles documenting the many achievements of this amazing, star-studded gridiron powerhouse. Their undefeated, unscored upon season may go down as the single greatest team accomplishment in the history of the Brookline Knights Football Association.

The Players and Coaches

1980 Twerps

The Brookline Knights Twerps
1980 WPMFL Champion

Demetrius Rau (10), Augie Manfredo (12), Marco Fusaro (14/19), Steve Tallat (16), Randy Neuhart (18), Chris Hynes (20), Jim Mooney (22), Tony White (24), Jason Viglietta (25), Al Sickman (26), Daniel Duffy (27), Jason Greb (28), Michael Yeomans (30), Greg Sestili (32), Bob Vengilio (33), Billy Lonero (34), John Ryan (36), Karl Kalbaugh (38), Billy Jo Spratt (40), Mike Mercuri (46), Tony Falce (48), Jody Self (50), Bob Leonard (52), Bill Hamilton (54), Dan Kovacs (56), Cary Ball (58), Brandon Duffy (60), Michael Spath (62), Brian McNeil (64), Ron DelDuca (66), Bob Sacco (68), Sean Reilly (70), Jim Ferrieri (71), Pat McDonough (72), Mike Leute (73), Joey Tonkovich (74), John Barker (76), Ray Scherer (78), Bill Talerico (79), Jeff Kobistek (80), John Mannarino (82), Walter Daley (83), Jeff Coury (84), J.J. Scholl (86) and Ken Deamer (88). The Head Coach was Jim Sestili and his assistants were Bill Lonero, Pat Reilly, Jim Scholl and Frank Battista.

Brookline Knights Helmet Logo

1980 Twerp Lineup Card

Game-By-Game Summary

Game 1 - Brookline 10 <> Greentree 0
Game 2 - Brookline 28 <> Crafton 0
Game 3 - Brookline 6 <> Duquesne 0
Game 4 - Brookline 8 <> Elizabeth 0
Game 5 - Brookline 12 <> Clairton 0

Game 6 - Brookline 8 <> West Mifflin 0
Game 7 - Brookline 38 <> W. Jefferson 0
Game 8 - Brookline 38 <> Steel Valley 0
Game 9 - Brookline 14 <> East Allegheny 0
Finals - Brookline 14 <> West Mifflin 0

1980 Twerps


GO KNIGHTS!

The Cheerleaders

Photo of 1980 Cheerleaders

The 1980 Brookline Knights cheerleaders were: Donna Bucci, Nikki Marunich, Keri Deemer, Lisa Cambest, Roseanne Moffat, Debbie Pribik, Sue Pribik, Lisa Glotzbach, Linda Mierzwa, Maureen Maloney, Jennifer Dye, Judy Lutes, Lisa Tallat, Renee Hart, Madeline Sciulli, Dawn Schilling, Michelle Egers, Lori Bova, Danielle Rose, Denise Schilling, Lori Zucco, Kathy McConnell, Dianne Stauffer, Mary McCarthy, Tracy McKeever, Christine Malley, Patti McDonough, Annie McDonough, Bobbilynn Mahoska, Kelly Wallace and Shelly A'Hearn. The coaches were Patti Marunich and Dina Griffith.


Championship Game
Cubs Capture Crown

Brookline 14 - West Mifflin 0

It all started last August. Long practices, planned strategy, positive attitudes and dreams of glory were key ingredients in piecing together this championship squad. A strong offensive line to open holes and a staunch defensive wall to stop the opposition was molded. A big, strong fullback, slashing halfback and fleet tailback was essential. Linebackers to plug the gaps, in addition to accepting pass coverage responsibility, were necessary. Safeties who could pass cover and come up on the run had to come forward.

Last Saturday afternoon, at Honus Wagner Field in Carnegie, the Brookline Knights Cub Football Team added the largest jewel to their crown as champions of the Western Pennsylvania Midget Football Conference with a dominating 14-0 victory over an inspired West Mifflin team. The stars were out in the daytime once again as the amazing Cubs overwhelmed the Trojans with yet another display of football expertise. The club was inspired by a multitude of fans, including Bill Lonero with his colorful signs and traveling fireworks show.

First quarter action found Billy "White Shoes" Lonero streaking to the outside, eluding tacklers and weaving his way twenty yards for a touchdown. On the first play after the kickoff, West Mifflin's quarterback was crunched by Billy Joe Spratt, resulting in an errant throw which was alertly picked off by John "Mad Dog" Barker at the West Mifflin thirty-seven yard line.

Brookline moved the ball downfield on a thirteen yard pass from quarterback "Galloping Gus" Manfredo to "White Shoes" Lonero, and a penalty that put the ball on the Trojan thirteen yard line. From there, Billy Joe Spratt blasted off right guard, pushing off tacklers and spinning all the way to the one yard line. Billy Joe then bulled his way into the endzone for a touchdown. "Tough" Tony Falce added the two point conversion on a slashing burst over left tackle for a 14-0 lead as the first quarter ended.

Although the Knights were shut out the rest of the afternoon, they were able to provide some additional offensive fireworks. Near the end of the first half, "Galloping" Gus hit fullback Billy Joe with a perfect pass that was good for twenty-three yards and left the ball on the West Mifflin forty-three, but unfortunately there was time for only one more play.

"Tough" Tony intimidated runners all day long in addition to covering on pass plays. "Mad Dog" Barker and "Rough" Bob Leonard played outstanding outside linebacker. Safety men "White Shoes" Lonero and Augie Manfredo were sterling on passes and made several tackles against the run. Give that defense fourteen points and the game is over.

Bob Vengilio, Joey Tonkovich and J.J. Scholl keyed the kick coverage team, which was led by "Mad Dog" Barker on nearly every occasion.

The least glamorous life in any football league is the life of the offensive lineman. Without them, the backs don't run to glory, the ends don't have time to get downfield for spectacular receptions and the quarterback gets sacked. They are the unsung heroes who block but rarely get noticed by the fans. The linemen hear the cheers which are hardly ever directed at their effort. Here then is a tribute to the boys in the trenches who are vital to any successful team. At Center: Rough" Bob Leonard. Right Guard: "Dangerous" Dan Kovacs. Left Guard: "Mean" Mike Spath. Right Tackle: "Jarring" Jason Viglietta. Left Tackle: "Killer" Kenny Deemer along with ends Jeff Coury and Walter Daley. Those boys did a great job all year long. "Bronco" Bill Talerico was super.

The coaching staff must also be congratulated for long hours of teaching, pleading, applauding and overall bringing out the best in a group of highly skilled youngsters. Head Coach Jim Sestili frequently took time to realize that underneath that thick helmet was a young mind and behind that forbidding face mask was the angelic smile of an enthusiastic ten-year old. Dan Kovacs worked hard with the offensive line while Frank Battista molded a superior defense. Pat Reilly and Tony Viglietta, along with Jim Scholl, added to the skilled staff.

The team is now "10 and Oh with none to go." They were undefeated and unscored on. They gave up an average of less than one first down per game. The Brookline Knights Cub Football Team are the 1980 champions of the Western Pennsylvania Midget Football Conference.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - November 13, 1980 - Written by Jim Spratt *

1980 Twerps
Billy "White Shoes" Lonero, who scored the Knights first touchdown,
and his grandfather Joe Lonero after the championship game.

Cubs Capture Conference

Brookline 14 - East Allegheny 0

The Brookline Knights Cub Football Team finished its regular season with a perfect record of eight consecutive wins and one forfeit for a 9-0 record. The greatest Cub team of all time wound up the season undefeated, untied and unscored on.

It didn't take long for the Knights to assert their superiority. On the first play from scrimmage, Billy Joe made a super sixty-three yard run, blasting off guard, running over tacklers, cutting expertly to the outside and racing out of the grasp of the frustrated East Allegheny players. For all practical purposes the game was over after that initial gem.

In the second quarter, Billy "Whiteshoes" Lonero took a handoff from "Galloping Gus" Manfredo and ran twenty-one yards for another touchdown, his nineteenth of the year, a new Cub record. With the score 12-0, Billy Joe "Dallas" and "Mean" Mike Spath crunched the East Allegheny quarterback in the endzone to bring the final score to a convincing 14-0 over a team that had yielded only eighteen points for the entire season.

The offensive line was led by "Dangerous" Dan Kovacs, "Rough" Rob Leonard, "Mean" Mike Spath, Walter Daley, "Killer" Kenny Deamer, Jason Viglietta, Jeff Coury, "Blastin'" Billy Talerico and Ron DelDuca. The coaching staff has been well pleased with the steady progress of the offensive front wall.

Defensively it would be easy to run out of superlatives for the brilliant "Green Gang." Billy Joe Spratt led the charge with three quarterback sacks while "Tough" Tony Falce had a sack and made several key stops. Outside linebackers "Mad Dog" Barker and Rob Leonard were outstanding, while "Mean" Mike, Walter Daley, "Joltin'" Jeff Kobistek, Demetrius Rau, Ron DelDuca, Jeff Coury, Augie Manfredo and Billy "Whiteshoes" stopped the East Allegheny team cold. "Mad Dog" Barker was credited with a touchdown saving tackle on East Allegheny's only successful offensive play.

The fans have been great all year and a focal point has been Bill Lonero's signs, which add fire to the crowd's enthusiasm. The Cubs appreciate all the moral support from their fans and will need them more than ever in the championship game.

J.J. Scholl led the "special" teams with some fine kick coverage and John Ryan also played well on the kickoff teams. The Cubs motto for the rest of the year will be "Nine and Oh with one to go."

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - October 30, 1980 - Written by Jim Spratt *

Brookline 38 - Steel Valley 0

The greatest group of talent ever to represent Brookline on a Cub Football level had their own way with Steel Valley this past Saturday afternoon. Even the muddy field conditions could not deter a galaxy of stars that illuminated the dreary day with an expert display of football skill. The halftime score of 30-0 was achieved with ease because of a total team effort.

The final score of 38-0 exhibited a mature sense of controlled football. The Cub Knights had no reason to "rub it in" and resorted to a ball control offense that showcased the blocking of "Dangerous" Dan Kovacs, "Mean" Mike Spath, "Rough" Robbie Leonard, "Joltin'" Jeff Kobistek and "Killer" Kenny Deamer.

The fullback, Billy Joe Spratt, has been outstanding as a bone crunching blocker and continues to lead the other backs into daylight. Walter Daley must also be credited with fine blocking from his end position, and Jeff "The Jet" Coury continues to catch everything thrown his way.

The Cubs first touchdown was set up by "Amazing" Augie Manfredo, who returned a punt to the opposition's six yard line, setting up the first of "Tough" Tony Falce's three touchdowns. "TD" Tony electrified the overflowing stands with additional bursts of fifty-nine and forty-seven yards. Pitt had it's own "TD" Dorsett and now Brookline lays claim to young Falce.

"Whiteshoes" Billy Lonero added scores on runs of twenty-seven and eight yards, increasing his season touchdown total to seventeen. Extra-point conversions went to Walter Daley on a pass from Amazin' Augie. "Touchdown" Tony and Billy "Whiteshoes" also added two-pointers. Billy Joe Spratt wrapped up the scoring with a jarring smash up the middle for the final two points of the contest.

The "Green Gang" defense went through their fifth game without allowing a first down. Frank Battista, defensive coach, has assembled a group of youngsters who take away more yardage than they allow. Demetrius Rau, "Mean" Mike, Walter Daley, Jeff "The Jet," "Mad Dog" Barker, "Rough" Robbie, "Amazing" Augie, "Tough" Tony, "Joltin'" Jeff Kobistek, Billy "Whiteshoes" and "Bad News" Billy Joe amaze spectators with their refined skills.

J.J. Scholl, Ron DelDuca, Jason Viglietta and Joey Tonkovich have been the leaders of the "special" teams, which is vital to any successful team.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - October 16, 1980 - Written by Jim Spratt *

1980 Knights Game Program

Brookline 38 - West Jefferson 0

The Brookline Knights Cub Football Team rolled over an out-manned West Jefferson squad, coming away with a rewarding 38-0 victory. The Knights coaching staff admired the outstanding effort from a determined group of players. The first score came on runs of six yards by Tony Falce and Billy Joe Spratt that set up a thirty yard scamper by Billy Lonero. The second touchdown came a minute later when Billy Joe Spratt tipped a pass into the hands of Lonero, who raced untouched for a twenty yard score.

West Jefferson's offense was unable to move the ball. After a short punt, Brookline moved the ball to the West Jefferson six yard line, where Billy Joe Spratt blasted up the middle for yet another Knight touchdown. Three successful extra point conversions came on passes from quarterback Augie Manfredo to Walt Daley (1) and Tony Falce (2).

A well designed pass play from Tony Falce to a wide open Billy Lonero produced the fourth touchdown, with Billy Joe Spratt bursting up the middle for the extra points to leave the score at 28-0. A short time later, Billy Lonero returned a punt twenty-nine yards for another six points. The conversion attempt was again successful, leaving the final score at 38-0.

The offensive line play of Billy Talerico and Dan Kovacs led the way for the Cub backs to pile up yardage in large chunks. Jeff Kobistek, Jason Viglietta, Mike Spath and Walt Daley added punishing blocks to free the backs.

The defense was devastating as they held West Jefferson in check. Billy Joe Spratt and Tony Falce plugged up the middle from their linebacking positions while Walt Daley, Jeff Coury and Jeff Kobistek stopped anything from going around the ends. Demetrius Rau contained anything coming his way along with able assistance from J.J. Scholl.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - October 9, 1980 - Written by Jim Spratt *

Brookline 12 - Clairton 0

Billy "Whiteshoes" Lonero raced forty-seven yards for a first period touchdown and Augie Manfredo proved to be a successful "bandito" while picking off a pass and returning it forty yards for another Brookline touchdown as the undefeated, untied, unscored on Brookline Knights Football Team overwhelmed Clairton, 12-0.

The offensive line of the Knights was led by strong blocking by Danny Kovacs from his right guard position.

"Kovacs was opening holes all day for the running backs," fullback Billy Joe Spratt related after the game.

For his part, Billy Joe took advantage of Kovac's blocking for an eight yard burst up the middle while Tough Tony Falce blasted off tackle for steady yardage. Robby Leonard cleared out the defensive linemen from his center positions. Ron DelDuca, Billy Talerico, Kenny Deamer and Walter Daley also blocked well.

Kovacs picked up where he left off in the Elizabeth Forward victory a week ago during the Knights 8-0 shutout. If it's what's up front that counts, Kovacs and his mates on the offensive line will continue to show the way so the running backs can find their way to the opponents endzone.

The Cub dee-fense has been nothing short of fantastic. For the second week in a row they did not yield a first down to the opposition. Clairton never crossed midfield and when they decided to pass, Augie Manfredo and K.C. Kalbaugh were around to intercept. Trying to run up the middle proved futile with Billy Joe Spratt and Tony Falce crashing over the center.

Mike Spath had another outstandng defensive effort. John Barker and Robby Leonard trapped Clairton runners in their own backfield on several occasions. Leonard and Barker, both outside linebackers, were jewels in the defensive treasure of talent. Billy "Whiteshoes" Lonero supported well from his safety position while Jeff Kobistek was super on defense.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - September 25, 1980 - Written by Jim Spratt *

Brookline 28 - Crafton 0

The Brookline Knights Cub Football Team raced around and through the Crafton Green Hornets on their way to an impressive 28-0 victory. After the initial kickoff was returned to the Crafton forty-four yard line, the little Knights marched down the field, where Tough Tony Falce blasted off right tackle for a nine yard score. Billy "Whiteshoes" Lonero glided around left end for the two-point conversion.

Augie Manfredo and John Barker made two key interceptions that led to touchdown runs of forty-two and thirty-seven yards by Lonero. Late in the third quarter, "Whiteshoes" raced for another touchdown run of twenty-six yards as the crowd cheered his efforts, which resulted in three touchdowns for the afternoon. Walt Daley caught a pass for the final score of 28-0. It was a well deserved result for a fine game plan.

The defense was keyed by Jeff Coury, who made several hard tackles from his defensive end position. Tough Tony was solid in the middle linebacking slot.

Field position played a very important role in the battle. Brookline never allowed themselves to be backed into a hole. The first interception by Barker could have resulted in a touchdown had it not been called back by a clipping penalty. Still, it gave Brookline great field position. The second interception allowed them the ball on the Green Hornet thirty-seven yard line.

The offensive line play of Robbie Leonard, Billy Talerico, Danny Kovacs, Jason Viglietta, Rob DelDuca and Mike Spath was encouraging to the coaching staff. If they continue to improve with each passing game, it could be a very good year for the Cubs.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - September 4, 1980 - Written by Jim Spratt *

1980 Twerps
The Twerps practiced hard all season long. They proved the old adage that "Practice Makes Perfect."

1980 Twerps    1980 Twerps

1980 Twerps    1980 Twerps

Brookline 10 - Greentree 0

Cub "A" Team

Brookline's Cub Team opened its football season with a fine defensive effort. The Knights defeated the Greentree Vikings 10-0, while holding their opponent to minus yardage for the game. The tough defense was led by middle linebackers Billy Joe Spratt and Tony Falce. Defensive end Walt Daley made several tackles and also blocked a punt that resulted in a safety for Brookline's final two points. Augie Manfredo and Billy Lonero made key hits from their safety positions.

Offensively, the team marched fifty-seven yards on its first possession, with Tony Falce going in from the twelve yard line. Billy Lonero then swept right end for a two-point conversion. Billy Joe Spratt did some fine blocking from his fullback spot and the offensive line of Rob Leonard at center, Billy Talerico and Dan Kovacs at guard, Jason Viglietta and Ron DelDuca at tackle, Walt Daley and Jeff Coury at end, played very well. Head Coach Jim Sestili and his assistants feel the key to a winning season is good offensive line play.

1980 Twerps
The Brookline Knights celebrate after winning their first regular season game.

Cub "B" Team

The Knights "B" Team is off to a fine start. Led by Coach Bill Lonero, they defeated Greentree 8-0. Coach Lonero is dedicated to instilling confidence in his chargers.

On offense, Mike Yeoman sprinted eighteen yards on an end around in the first quarter. Subsequently, Mike scored again but the touchdown was not allowed due to an unfortunate penalty. An offensive line consisting of Cary Ball, P.J. McDonough, Brian McNeil, John Ryan, Marco Fusaro, Chris Hynes and Jody Self opened the holes for quarterback Mike Mercuri and running backs Jason Greb, Mike Yeoman and Greg Sestili. Al Sickman and Marco Fusaro also filled in capably at running back.

The defense owed its shutout to the fine play of John Mannerino, Jimmy Mooney, Steve Tallat and Anthony White, Jr.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - August 28, 1980 - Written by Jim Spratt *

1980 Brookline Knights

* Photos and information provided by Jason Viglietta and Billy "White Shoes" Lonero*

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