The Anatomy of an Amateur
The following is a short clip from
The Brookline Journal featuring one of Chuck Senft's best boxers, Carlos
Schrader, who was one of the more fearsome of Chuck's "Angels." Carlos
is the owner of several Golden Gloves titles, and his dedication to the
boxing program continued even after his fighting days were over.
A full-time Pittsburgh Police Officer,
Carlos returned year after year to assist Coach Senft with the boxing workouts
and now assists the Center's new Director Michelle Underwood in keeping the
tradition of the Brookline Boxing Club alive and growing. A lot of Brookline
kids are better prepared for the rigors of the ring, and for that matter life
itself because of your efforts. This one's for you, Carlos.
* Copied from the
Brookline Journal, April 2, 1987. Photos by Bob Greico *
Brookline Boxing Club - 1976/77
The Brookline Boxing Club in
during the 1976/1977 season.
The 1976/77 season was significant
for the Brookline Boxing Club in two ways. This was the year that the
blockbuster movie "Rocky" hit the theaters in November, and it was
also the year that the team captured their 12th city championship.
Riding the wave of pugilistic
excitement created by both Rocky Balboa's fictional exploits on the
big screen and the club's reputation for success, and playing off the
title of another hit television series from the time, the club boxers
were given a nickname, one that would become synonymous with success,
Soon, being one of Coach Chuck
Senft's "Angels," and becoming the next Rocky Balboa, was the thing to
In addition to carrying on the
club's winning legacy, these "Angels of the Ring" also witnessed the
birth of another memorable Brookline Boxing tradition.
First, the "Rocky" theme song,
"Gonna Fly Now," became the musical score played most by Chuck to get
his fighters in the mood for a good, hard workout.
Another selection was added to
the workout repertoire in 1982, when the theme song from "Rocky III" hit
the charts. Chuck wanted his Angels to have that "Eye Of The
* Photos provided by
Tommy Zucco *
Championship Awards Banquet - 1977
Here are some photos from the
1977 Brookline Recreation Center Track and Boxing Awards Banquet. The
Boxing Club had won their 12th City Championship and the Recreation
Center track team had claimed it's 5th overall championship.
* Photos provided by
Tommy Zucco *
Championship Awards Banquet - 1978
Here some photos from the
1978 Brookline Recreation Center Track and Boxing Awards Banquet. The
Boxing Club had won their 13th City Championship and the Recreation
Center track team had claimed it's 6th overall championship.
Recreation Center Director
Chuck Senft was the Master of Ceremonies, and guest speakers
included Brookline Area Community Council President Elva McGibbeny,
Phylis Carver, State Representative Mike Dawida, Recreation
Superintendent Bill Scalzo, Recreation Supervisors Archie
Herron and Bernice Stewart, and Leonard Duncan.
Brookline Little League
President Angelo Masullo the trophy and jacket presentation with
a special award for eleven-year old Donna Caterino. Representing
the Brookline Recreation Center in the Jesse Owens Track and Field
Games in the baseball throw competition, Donna advanced all the way
to the National Finals in California. There, the young fireballer
set a World Record with an incredible toss of 195 feet, 8
Individual track and boxing
awards were then handed out to the many kids who made up Brookline's
1978 title teams. Staff members Michelle Trapolsi and Jack
Doyle, along with John Forester and Tony Sirabella, had the honor
of presenting the trophies, medallions and trophies to the proud
Also honored were the 1978 Brookline Knights Mitey-Mite football team, who won the Western
Pennsylvania Athletic Conference championship, the first title for
the football program.
* Photos provided by
Tommy Zucco *
Blasts From The
"Monk" Trapolsi is ready to rock after a few words from Coach
Senft between rounds. Monk was one of Brookline's best fighters.
Chuck Senft and "Charlie's Angels" accepting their 1977 Golden Gloves team
championship trophy. This was just one in a long string of team titles
claimed by the Brookline Boxing Club. It was, however, one of the first
for this generation of talented boxers. Individual and team champions
Bob Healy and his brother David are holding the jackets.
Bob and Dave Healy training for the Golden
Gloves. The Healy Brothers blazed a path through the ranks of the Pennsylvania State
Golden Gloves tournaments for several years, both winning multiple individual
Bob "Muscles" Healy, shown here in 1977, was one of the Brookline Boxing Clubs best overall
boxers. He was a multiple Pennsylvania State Golden Gloves champion. In later
years Bob returned to coach alongside his mentor Chuck Senft. He went on to
form the South Park Boxing Club and trained several successful
Coach Chuck Senft and his
Angels in the gym at the Brookline Rereation Center in 1977.
Golden Gloves champions Bruno "Boo" Riccardi
and Jake Ratay get some pre-fight instructions from Coach Senft. Chuck liked to
teach his fighters to jab, through punches and box. He saw how other club's fighters
liked to grab and wrestle. His "Angels" knew the boxing fundamentals and how to
Pittsburgh Press - May 3, 1981: Mayor Richard
Caligiuri presents Press Silver Gloves AAU team title trophies to Brookline and Kay's
Boxing Clubs. Shown here are Brookline boxers Kevin McAndrews, Michael Garrubba, Tom
Alexander, Mayor Caligiuri, Kay's Boxing director Don Smith and Brookline boxer Phil
Keeping it in the family are
the Chalmers twins, Paul and Phil, along with younger brother Vince,
shown here picking up a few punching tips from Coach Chuck Senft in
1985. Paul and Phil were both Junior Olympic champions, two of the
hundreds of champions that wore the traditional black and white
trunks of "Charlie's Angels."
Contenders for the 1985 Silver Belts
titles are Bill Anderson (165lbs), Gerald Desmuke (139lbs) and Carlos
Schrader (lightweight cruiser). Boxers like Bill, Gerald and Carlos are
what made the Brookline Boxing Club one of the most fearsome, and
successful, teams in Western Pennsylvania for nearly a half a
Long-time Angel Billy Anderson
spent more than a decade, from 1970 through the mid-80's, in and out of
the ring promoting the tradition of excellence that is synonymous with
the Brookline Boxing Program. Billy was one of the best fighters to step
into the ring from Brookline, with six Golden Gloves championships and
several other awards to his credit.
Tommy "Altar Boy" Alexander was one
of the Brookline Boxing Club's champions who went on to a professional career
from 1989 to 1994. His record as a professional welterweight was 18-7. One of his biggest bouts was against
future IBC Welterweight champion Hector "Macho" Camacho at the San Diego Sports
Arena, promoted by Don King Productions.
Calabrese, Bob Healy and prize fighter Mark Daley in November 2015.
All three began their boxing careers with the Brookline Boxing Club
and went on to become Golden Gloves champions.
Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Hall of Fame
Chuck Senft - April 16, 2010
In April of 2010, Chuck Senft was
elected to the Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Hall of Fame, along with
John D. Robinson, Tony Tarentino and James Gruber. Together, these
four legendary coaches were known as "The Four Horsemen." They are the
winningest coaches in Golden Gloves history. The inscription on the
award read: In recognition for your unselfish commitment to the
Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Program and the spirit which you have
helped it to grow in Pennsylvania. - April 2010.
Left - The Four Horsemen - John
Robinson, Tony Tarentino, Chuck Senft and James Gruber;
Right - Chuck Senft, Mike Bayens and Bob Healy.
Chuck celebrates with friends and
former boxers, including Mark Daley, Dave Healy,
Bill Anderson, Michelle Underwood-Trapolsi, Bob Healy and Mike
Mike Bayens - April 2013
Mike Bayens and Michelle
Robert Healy Jr. - March 31, 2018
On March 31, 2018, Brookline
Boxing Club Champion and Former Instructor Bob Healy was inducted into the Pennsylvanian Golden Gloves Hall of
Fame. He joined Chuck Senft and Mike Bayens as the three members of
the Brookline Boxing Club in the prestigious hall.
Bob "Muscles" Healy and friends (left); Bobby III
talks about his father's influence on his life.
Bob "Muscles" Healy Jr speaks about his life
in boxing (left); Bob Jr and his proud mom Toxy Healy.
Bobby III, Mickey Trapolsi and Muscles (left)
and a Hall of Famer with some of his Brookline boxing friends.
Toxy Healy and her sons Dave and
Bob Healy Jr.
The Final Round
Before he passed away on July 26, 2016,
Brookline Boxing Coach Chuck Senft had one last get together with some of his
favorite "Angels" in November 2015. This time the occasion was filmed by students
from Duquesne University, whose instructor was, ironcally, Robert Healy III. It
is nice to see and hear Chuck talking with pride about his former fighters, and
listening to them talk about the lasting impression that Chuck and his boxing club
made on their lives.
In attendance on that day with Chuck Senft
were Bob Healy Jr, Dave Healy, Bill Anderson, Bob Anderson, Bruno Riccardi,
John Ladasky, Joe McGee, Joe Calabrese, Mike Trapolsi, Mark Thornhill,
Marty O'Toole, Mike Bayens and Mark Daley.
<Ten Minute Video of Chuck and His Angels
- November 2015>
A Lasting Tribute To Chuck Senft
On Saturday, May 5, 2018, the late-Chuck Senft was
honored once more with the installation of a bronze memorial plaque at the Brookline
Recreation Center, where he was Recreation Director from 1971 to 2003. The building was
his home away from home, and a place where he worked so diligently for the community of
It was a great day for the Senft family, his wife
Rosella and daughter Terry, Chuck's former co-workers and his beloved Angels, many of
whom were in attendance wearing the black Brookline Boxing Club shirts. Several speakers
took some time to talk about the effort and dedication Chuck put into both his job and
his boxing club, each speaking from the heart. Councilman Anthony Coghill then presented
Mrs. Senft with a proclamation declaring May 5, 2018 "Chuck Senft Day" in the city of
After the speakers had finished, the crowd moved
to the Recreation Center lobby for the unveiling of the bronze memorial. When the paper
cover was removed, the crowd cheered and the tearful look of joy in Mrs. Rosella Senft's
eyes said it all. It was one final victory for the coach, and a moment that will last
in the minds of everyone present.
The thought that Chuck will forever be a part of the
Recreation Center, and his motto "a winner never quits and a quitter never wins" can now
inspire future generations of Brookline kids the same way it did for all of those who
were taught by the Hall of Fame coach and mentor. The only thing missing from the
dedication was the theme from "Rocky" playing in the background.
Sponsored by the City of Pittsburgh, Councilman
Anthony Coghill, Donald Dorsey, Michelle "Mickey" Trapolsi-Underwood and Clint Burton,
designed by Doug Brendel and cast locally at Matthews Bronze*, the plaque will stand as
a reminder to everyone who visits the Community Center of what a fine man Chuck was,
and how much he meant to his friends in Brookline. Others who contributed to the
creation of the memorial were Moira Kaleida, Mike Radley, State Representative Harry
Readshaw, State Senator Wayne Fontana, U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle, Kathy Rudolph, Joe
Szymanski, Bobby Mazzeo and Citiparks Director Ross Chapman.
* The bronze plaque was
cast with love and affection by one of Chuck Senft's former boxers,
and now an employee of Matthews Bronze, Kevin McAndrews.
The Pittsburgh Boxing
Since the reopening of the city
Recreation Centers in 2005, the Boxing Club was resurrected under new
leadership, and a new name, the Pittsburgh Boxing Club. Under the direction of Michelle Underwood
and former Brookline boxers Mike Bayens, Robert Brown and Carlos
Schrader the club once again attracted local area youths hungry
to learn the skills of the ring and yearning to continue the tradition
of Brookline boxing excellence.
Under their skillful guidance the
Brookline Recreation Center once again offered communitys boxing hopefuls
the same sort of skillful and talented instruction that we came to expect
from the club's founder and spiritual leader, Chuck Senft.
Pittsburgh Boxing Club founders Mike
Bayens, Robert Brown and Carlos Schrader with some of their
new fighers, including Golden Gloves champions Wade Lipscomb and
Hugo Garcia in 2010.
After a couple years the club moved
from the Recreation Center to two seperate locations. One was located in the
old Overbrook firehouse, administered by Mike Bayens, and the other was at
Dilworth Park in Mount Washington, under the direction of Robert
After a few years at the helm of the
Overbrook location, Mike Bayens retired and Ted Mrkonja became director. As
of March 2018, Robert Brown is still in charge of the Mount Washington location.
The Pittsburgh Boxing Club, now in its 13th year, has trained several Golden
Gloves champions and a few professional boxers, building a tradition of it's
own worthy of it's predecessors, the Moore Park and Brookline Boxing