1969 Clippings 1969 Game Photos 1970 Clippings
1970 Game Photos The Royals Players
The Brookline Royals were one of
the Sandlot football teams that represented the Brookline community during
the late-1960s and early-1970s. Formed in 1966, the team was first known as
the Brookline Sabres under coach Greg Kail. In 1967, the name changed from
Sabres to Royals.
In the late 1950s-early 1960s Brookline
had a sandlot team that also went by the name Brookline Royals (click here to see photo of
1960 Royals). This name was resurrected a couple years later by Brookline's next group
of gridiron warriors, and soon the name Brookline Royals was once again the talk of the
Brookline's new Royals were first sponsored Pat's
Pizza, and later by Dabaldo's Pizzaria. They went on to become one of the premier
teams in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Sandlot Conference. From 1967 through 1970, the
team compiled an unprecedented 33-1-2 record, including two undefeated seasons, three
league championships and a 19-game winning streak.
During their unbeaten 1968 season, the
Royals competed for bragging rights against another community team, known as
Quaills, a team that spent only
one season in the league. The West Brookline-East Brookline intra-neighborhood
rivalry produced two memorable games. In 1969, Ron Cibrone took over as coach.
After the 1971 season, the team moved into a local semi-pro league and became
known as the South Hills Royals.
Below we have some game photos and individual
player photos, and a few Brookline Journal articles, written by Dan McGibbeny of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Joe Barack, that document some of their 1969 runner-up
season and much of their 1970 undefeated season.
Streak To 18
Broadway Tony Guarino, operating without
his pet receiver Frank Semplice, flipped three touchdown passes as the Brookline
Royals ran their Metropolitan Football Conference winning streak to 18 games by
blasting the Northside Chargers, 26-14, at Moore Park last night.
Guarino connected with Jimmy Martorella
for 32 and 27-yard touchdown passes. He also hit Bobby DePhillips on a nine-yarder
and DePhillips romped 13 yards for the other six-pointer. Guarino passed to
Dave Calabria for a two-point conversion.
Tame Lions 26-14
The Brookline Royals raised their record
to 8-0 by defeating the Northside Lions, 26-14. Sponsored by Dabaldo's Pizzaria
and coached by Ron Cibrone and Neil Szamary, the Royals maintained first place in
the Metropolitan Football League and padded their winning strak to 18 games over
two seasons. They had to come from behind to do it, however.
After Brookline had a 50 yard touchdown
pass called back, a blocked punt set up a 21 yard touchdown pass for the Lions.
The conversion run gave Northside an 8-0 lead at the end of the first
The Royals took the ensuing kickoff and
moved 55 yards to the Northside 12, where a fumble stopped them. Their defense
then forced two turnovers to turn the game around. Jim Kerins intercepted a pass
on the Northside 38, and Tony Guarino then threw a 32 yard touchdown pass to Jim
Martorella. A run for 2 points failed, and Brookline still trailed 8-6. Frank
Loskot kicked off into the end zone, and Jim Cibrone recovered a fumble on the
Lion's 15 on the next play. The Lions were kept in the hole, and a punt was
downed on the Northside 40. Guarino then threw another touchdown pass to
Martorella, this time for 27 yards, and to Dave Calabria for the conversion.
The Royals led 14-8 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Mike Maioriano
recovered a fumble at the Northside 10, setting up Guarino's third touchdown pass,
for 9 yards to Bob DePhillips. The conversion failed, and the Royals led
Following the kickoff, a 4th down run by the
Northside punter, after a bad center snap, was stopped on the Lions 20. The Royals
scored in two plays. George Mahfood gained 7 yards, then Bob DePhillips ran 13
yards to score through a huge hole opened by Fred Wyrostek, Gino Parse and Tony
Aguglia. The run for conversion was smothered, but Brookline led 26-8 at the end
of the third quarter.
With a minute left to play, the Lions
scored on a 1 yard sweep after a 55 yard drive, but the two-point conversion run
was stopped by Parse, DePhillips, Charlie (Bonehead) Marratto, and Tony (Fuzzy)
Barack, leaving the final score at 26-14.
Even without starting fullback Frank
Semplice, the Royals' offense was well balanced. Quarterback Tony Guarino fired
three touchdowns passes, while running backs Frank Berberich, Bob DePhillips,
George Mahfood and Jim Martorella gained over 100 yards on the ground. The
defense was even more effective, forcing two interceptions, recovering two
fumbles, and setting up three touchdowns.
The Royals are headed for a championship
game with the 2nd Ward Angels at West Penn Field in the season finale. The Angels
are currently 7-0, and haven't lost a home game in two years, so both teams will
have winning streaks, as well as a title, at stake.
Win 19th In A Row
Brookline's Royals extended their
Metropolitan Conference winning streak to 19 games by routing the Uptown
Rams 20-8, at Magee Field last night.
Jimmy Martorella ran 15 yards on an
end around for a touchdown, Bobby DePhillips scooted nine for another and the
Royals completed their scoring on a five-yard aerial from Broadway Tony
Guarino to Bobby Berberich. Guarino passed to Dave Calabria for a
Note: The defending
champion Royals went on to the championship game in 1969 to defend their title,
only to fall to the 2nd Ward Angels in sudden-death overtime, ending their winning
streak at 19 games.
The Brookline Royals 1969 Season
The 1969 Brookline Royals
Front Row - (37) Frank Dedo, (32) Bobby DePhillips,
(71) Tony Barack, (11) Rich Joseph, (12) Tony Guarino, (26) Frank Loskot, (31) George Mahfood;
Middle - Coach Neil, (60) Charlie Marratta, (??) Tony Aguglia, (65) Gino Parse,
(42) Frank D'Amico, (19) Dave Calabria, (27) Johnny Dedo, (44) Jim Martorella,
Head Coach Ron Cibrone; Back - (70) Frank Semplice, (68) Mike Cooney, (52) Nick Pappas,
(??) Mike Maiorano, (56) Mike Rossman, (72) Jim Cibrone, (79) Jack Sieg,
(67) Fred Wyrostek, (43) Tony Crunchione, (20) Frank Berberich, Tony Bucci.
Results and Newspaper Clippings
Brookline 28 <> Oakland 12
Brookline 20 <> 2nd Ward 0
Brookline 18 <> Uptown 8
Brookline 14 <> Crafton 0
Brookline 12 <> 1st Ward 0
Brookline 26 <> Crafton 14
Brookline 20 <> Northside 12
Brookline 18 <> 2nd Ward 0
Brookline 12 <> Uptown 6
Brookline 8 <> 1st Ward 6
Runs Wild As Brookline Royals Win In Opening Game 28-12
The Brookline Royals opened their season
a week later than the rest of the Metropolitan Football league, but made up for
lost time with an explosive display of scoring power at Moore Field last Friday
night. Coached by Ron Cibrone and Vito Galati, the Royals overcame opening game
jitters to defeat the Oakland Rams 28-12, as Steve Featherstun returned two
kickoffs for touchdowns.
The team looked impressive in new blue
and silver uniforms purchased by their sponsor for the second straight year,
Pat Dabaldo, of Dabaldo's Pizzaria in Capital Avenue. (Dabaldo's has expanded
to include a second location on Potomac Avenue.)
The Oakland Rams had a tremendous
advantage in size, but were out-rushed by the Royals' smaller, quicker offensive
linemen: center Mike Betrose, guards Tony Barack, Tom Richtar and John Rossman;
tackles Gino Parse, Butch Flaherty and Johnny Davis; and ends Jim Martorella,
Steve (Abby) Abbondanza, and Frank (Topo) D'Amico. Quarterbacks Tony Guarino,
Rich Joseph and Dave Calabria had fine pass protection, and running backs Bobby
Rich, Steve Featherstun and Bob DePhillips tore through good holes for most of
the Royals' 120 yards rushing.
Defensively, the Royals showed unusual
depth: ends Bob Sobesky, Ray Schweinberg and Bill (Slats) Gray; tackles Charlie
Marrato and Johnny Davis; linebackers Frank Semplice, Tony Aguglia and Mike Maioriano;
and defensive backs Frank Berberich, George Mahfood, Terry A'Hearn, Jim Draper,
John Maloney and Frank Loskot. Against them, the bigger Rams gained 102 yards
rushing, but the only real lapses came in the second quarter, when an over-anxious
secondary yielded two touchdown passes. They rallied to shut out Oakland in the
The first quarter was scoreless. The Rams
stopped a 47-yard drive when a 30-yard field goal attempt failed.
The Royals scored first in the second
quarter when Guarino passed 10 yards to Abbondanza to end a 33 yard drive.
Loskot's kick made the score 7-0. Oakland drove 95 yards with the ensuing kickoff,
scoring on a 55 yard bomb. A run for the conversion was stopped by Draper,
Semplice and Maioriano to keep the score 7-6. After stopping the Royals on the
Oakland 35, the Rams moved 65 yards to take the lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass.
After a pass for the conversion fell incomplete, the Royals trailed
Steve Featherstun then turned the game
around on a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The key block was thrown
by Butch Flaherty. A pass from Guarino to Bob DePhillips for the 2-point
conversion put the Royals ahead 15-12 at halftime.
Featherstun then highlighted an
unbelievable individual performance by returning the second half kickoff 90
yards for another touchdown, sprung loose by D'Amico, Berberich and Barack.
In his first start with the Royals, Featherstun had 182 yards on two kickoff
returns, 43 yards on four running plays, and a pass reception for 37 yards.
The total was 262 yards and two touchdowns after handling the ball only seven
After the second kick return, the kick
was wide, and the score stood at 21-12. Four plays later, Frank Berberich
intercepted a pass and returned it to the Oakland 29. On the next play, DePhillips
scored on a 29 yard dash through left tackle. Loskot's placement put the Royals
ahead 28-12 at the end of the third quarter.
There was no scoring in the last quarter.
Loskot ended one threat with an interception on the Brookline 11. Reserve
quarterbacks Rich Joseph and Dave Calabria both looked impressive in leading the
team on late drives which stalled inside the Oakland 30.
The win came through a complete team
effort, but special mention must go to Featherstun, whose blazing speed broke
open a close game, and to DePhillips, who was the game's leading rusher with
68 yards on 8 carries.
Next Friday, the Royals face the defending
champion 2nd Ward Angels, the only team to beat them last year.
Royals Rout 2nd
Brookline's Royals, still stinging from
last year's sudden-death playoff game loss, trampled the Second Ward Angels, 20-0 at
West Penn Recreation Field last night.
Bobby DePhillips galloped 17 yards for
the first touchdown, Tony (Honey) Gaurino flipped a 25-yard pass to Steve
Abbondanza for the second and Bobby Rich took a pitchout from Rich Joseph to romp
10 yards for the final six-pointer.
Jars Crafton 14-0
Tony (Honey) Guarino flipped touchdown
passes of 23 yards to Jim Martorella and 20 to Bobby DePhillips as the unbeaten
Brookline Royals whipped Crafton, 14-0, in the Metro Conference at Moore Park
The Royals, winning their fourth straight,
also made a two-point conversion on a pass from Richie Joseph to Steve
Topple Peacemakers 12-0 For Fifth Win Of The Season
A late schedule change pitted the
Brookline Royals against the 1st Ward Peacemakers at Moore Field last Friday
night. The result was a 12-0 victory for the Royals, their third shutout in
For the second consecutive week, the
Royals were held to a scoreless deadlock at halftime. The Peacemakers threatened
almost immediately, returning the opening kickoff 43 yards to the Brookline 40.
After passing for its only first down of the game, 1st Ward was stopped when Terry
A'Hearn picked off his second interception of the year and returned it 23 yards
to the Peacemaker's 49. The Royals were held, and Johnny Davis punted to the 1st
Ward 20. He averaged 32.5 yards on three punts and kept 1st Ward in poor field
position for most of the game. After two losses and a penalty pushed them back
to the 10, the Peacemakers were forced to punt, but they retained possession when
the punt was fumbled away at their 21. A punting duel followed, and the first
quarter ended scoreless.
With four minutes left in the first half,
Bobby DePhillips returned a punt 25 yards to the Brookline 45. Richie Joseph,
starting at quarterback for the first time, drove the Royals from there into
position for a field goal attempt on the last play of the half. The center snap
was bobbled, and place-kicker Frank Loskot threw to Jimmy Martorella, who was
tackled short of a first down as time ran out in the scoreless first
The Royals broke the ice in the third
quarter and drove 85 yards with the second half kickoff for a 6-0 lead. The
touchdown came on a short pass from Tony Guarino to Steve Featherstun, who went
24 yards down the sideline to score standing up. He is now the Royals' season
leader in rushing with 253 yards, and in scoring with 24 points. He finished the
game with 50 yards on 7 carries.
The conversion failed, but 1st Ward was
stopped and punted to the Brookline 25 as the quarter ended.
Starting the last quarter, Dave Calabria
came in at quarterback and drove the Royals 75 yards for the clinching score.
The drive began with a 20 yard burst up the middle by fullback Bob Rich, the
game's leading rusher with 58 yards on 10 carries. Calabria kept the drive alive
with a 40 yard pass to Jimmy Martorella on 3rd down. Martorella led in receiving
with 5 catches for 76 yards. After a penalty put the ball on the 1st Ward 15, the
Royals stayed on the ground. Five plays later, Bob Rich scored from the two
through a hole opened by Tony Aguglia. The conversion failed again, and the game
The statistics were lopsided, as the
Brookline defense topped last week's great performance. It yielded only one first
down and picked off an interception, while 1st Ward could complete only 3 of 10
passes for 32 yards. On the ground, the Peacemaker's netted minus 20 yards to
finish with only 12 yards in total offense. Offensively, all three quarterbacks
saw action: Tony Guarino, Richie Joseph and Dave Calabria. All three moved the
team well. The Royals completed 6 of 13 passes for 100 yards and one TD. Steve
Featherstun, Bob Rich and Bob DePhillips gained most of the Royals' 135 rushing
yards. The team racked up 10 first downs and 235 yards in total
The Royals linemen were tremendous during
the entire game. Playing both ways were Gino Parse, Tony Aguglia, Butch Flaherty,
Jim Cibrone, Johnny Davis and Denny Hood. The other linemen responsible for those
long drives were Mike Betrose, Tom Richtar, Steve Abbondanza and Jim Martorella.
The defenders who completely smothered the Peacemakers on the ground included
Frankie Semplice, Nick "Niko" Pappas, Tom Quinn, Mike Maioriano, Charles Marratto
and Ray Schweinberg. Another fine performance was turned in by the Royals' secondary:
Jake Foerster, John Maloney, Frank Berberich, Terry A'Hearn, George Mahfood and
Jim Draper. They have yielded only 16 completions in 58 passing attempts and have
stolen seven interceptions.
Sponsored by Dabaldo's Pizzaria and
Restaurant, and coached by Ron Cibrone and Vito Galati, the Royals are alone in
first place with a 5-0 record.
Grab Title In 8-6 Comeback Win Over 1st Ward
In the Metropolitan Football League
championship game at South Stadium on December 20 the Brookline Royals won their
3rd title in four years by overtaking the 1st Ward Peacemakers 8-6 in the final
two minutes of play. The win gave the Royals a 10-0 record, while 1st Ward
finished 7-2-1. The Peacemakers were the only team to hold the Royals to one
The team is sponsored by Dabaldo's Pizzaria
and Restaurant, and coached by Ron Cibrone and Vito Galati. Cibrone's two year
coaching record is 19-1-2.
The first quarter ended scoreless, despite
a lost fumble and a pass interception which gave the Peacemakers the ball at the
Brookline 20. A pass reception was ruled out of the end zone, and Brookline took
over at its 8 early in the second quarter.
The defensive struggle continued,
highlighted by the game's longest punt, 38 yards by Johnny Davis, and a
pass interception by Terry A'Hearn. The Peacemakers broke the deadlock on the
final play of the first half with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Bill McGrath
to C. Teeners. After the missed conversion 1st Ward led 6-0.
The Royals took the second half kickoff
and reached the 1st Ward 25 on a 52 yard pass from Tony Guarino to Jimmy
Martorella, but the drive ended there. Interceptions ended two more Royal
threats, and the Peacemakers still led 6-0 as the last quarter began.
The Royals threatened again when Dave
Calabria hit Steve Featherstun with a 55 yard bomb, but 1st Ward held Brookline
at the 15. The Royals got the ball back after a bad punt at the 1st Ward 31,
and they finally scored two plays later. Guarino hit Steve Abbondanza for 25
yards to the 6, and then Featherstun swept left end for the most important
touchdown of the season on the next play, sprung loose by a shattering block
from Bob Rich. A run for two points was stopped, leaving the score tied at 6-6.
On the Royals next possession, they lost the ball on an interception at the 1st
Ward 10. With 1:10 left to play, Johnny Davis nailed the Peacemaker quarterback
for a safety, enabling the Royals to run out the clock for an 8-6
For the first time this season, the Royals
were outgained on the ground, 87 yards to 72. 1st Ward led in first downs, 8 to
7, but the Royals had a 148 to 56 edge in passing yardage, and 220 to 143 in total
offense. The Royals completed only 6 of 17 passes, and the Peacemakers 8 of 18.
The game's leading rushers for the Royals were Steve Featherstun, with 32 yards,
and Bob Rich, with 30, both with 7 carries.
Featherstun is the team's leading scorer
with 48 points, and has gained 1004 yards for the season on kick returns (12 for
395), pass receptions (6 for 147), and rushing (52 for 462). Bob DePhillips was
the season's rushing leader with 485 yards on 65 carries, and was second in
scoring with 42 points. He was followed in rushing by Featherstun and Bob Rich
(50 carries for 287 yards, 2 TD's). Other ball carriers were George Mahfood,
John Maloney, Joe Barack, Steve Abbondanza, Jimmy Martorella, and quarterbacks
Tony Guarino, Dave Calabria and Richie Joseph. Guarino led in passing, completing
37 of 85 for 513 yards and 7 TD's, Calabria was second, completing 9 of 19 for
232 yards and 2 TD's, followed by Richie Joseph's 5 of 13 for 70 yards. Combined,
they threw for only six interceptions.
Receivers were led by Martorella, who
caught 20 for 405 yards and 30 points, followed by Abbondanza, with 13 for 180
yards and 22 points, and DePhillips, with 11 for 60 yards and 1 TD.
In 10 games, the Royals gained 1245 yards
on 218 running plays for a 5.7 yard average, completed 51 of 120 passes for 817
yards, made 77 first downs, and scored 176 points thanks to a fine effort by the
interior offensive line: Denny Hood, Mike Betrose, Jack Sieg, Chuck Bucci, Tom
Richtar, Gino Parse, Butch Flaherty and Tony Barack.
Vito Galati coached a defense which
yielded only 58 points and 53 first downs. Ten opponents totaled only 509 yards
rushing through the defensive line and linebackers; Frankie Semplice (2
interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked punt, 2 TD's), Mike Maioriano (1
fumble recovery, 1 interception, 1 TD), Jimmy Cibrone (2 fumble recoveries),
Denny Hood (3 fumble recoveries), Johnny Davis (1 safety, 1 fumble recovery),
Tony Aguglia, Charlie Marratto, Tom Quinn, Nick Pappas, Ray Schweinberg and Van
Swanson. Their pass rush helped to limit opposing quarterbacks to 41 completions
in 132 attempts, with 17 intercepted. Only 498 passing yards were gained against
the Royals secondary: Terry A'Hearn, who led in interceptions with 5; Jim Draper
and Frank Berberich with 3 interceptions apiece; John Maloney, George Mahfood
and Frank Loskot, each with 1 interception; and Jimmy Martorella (1 fumble
recovery), Jake Foerster, Topo D'Amico and Mike Cooney.
Johnny Davis and Richie Joseph each
averaged about 33 yards punting. Kickoffs were handled by Frank Loskot, who
also kicked 2 of 3 extra points.
The Royals had great support from the
Brookline community all season, and the team takes this opportunity to express
its deep gratitude to its sponsor, Pat Dabaldo, who financed new uniforms and
the rental for South Stadium; to The Brookline Journal, for its generous coverage
throughout the season; to waterboys Kevin Scarf, Glenny Marratto, Dicky Lewis
and Eddie Cirigliano; and finally, to a hard core group of fans who attended
every game and gave great moral support: Mr. and Mrs. Russell Semplice, Robert
Berberich, Mrs. Sara Rich, Sam (President) Parrotto, Joey Borik, Piercie Marratto,
Johnny Mahfood, and dozens upon dozens of others whose names, unfortunately, we
could not obtain when this issue went to print.
The Brookline Royals Game
Versus Crafton Heights - November 1970
The Brookline Royals Championship Game
Versus 1st Ward - December 20, 1970
The Brookline Royals before the Championship
Game at South Stadium December 20, 1970.
Front - (1) Frank D'Amico, (5) Rich Joseph, (19) Dave Calabria, (90) Charlie Marratta,
(85) Mike Betrose,
(66) Tony Aguglia, (31) George Mahfood, (23) Frank Berberich, (20) Joe Barack; Back
- Sam Parrotto,
Coach Ron Cibrone, (42) Jimmy Draper, (44) Jim Martorella, (18) Tony Guarino, (74)
(86) Johnny Davis, (??) Tony Barack, (?6) Mike Cooney, (51) Tony Bucci, (78) Jim Cibrone,
(28) Joey Balestra, (32) Bobby DePhillips, Coach Vito Galati, unknown.
Other faces in the crowd: between 18-74 Frank Semplice, between
74-86 Tommy Quinn, kneeling between 19-90 Terry Ahearn.
Russell Semplice, Team Sponsor Pat Dabaldo and
Royals Head Coach Ron Cibrone.
Frank "Topo" D'Amico
Bobby "Boo Boo" DePhillips
Tony "Fuzzy" Barack
Nick "Niko" Pappas
Charlie "Bonehead" Marratto
Tony Guarino and Gino Parse
Johnny Davis and family
The Mahfoods and Tony Bucci
Broadway Tony Guarino
and Coach Cibrone
Joyce Guarino, Jim Martorella
and Bob DePhillips
* Photos and information
provided by Tony Guarino and Tommy Zucco *
Thanks also to Dino Guarino and Mark Zucco