THE DECISION

(Part 2 of 4)

This is the second installment on Jack Kelly; his memories of playing football down Farragut Road.

Gerard Trapp, who played QB for Farrell’s had this to say about Jack as a player:

“Jack was an excellent pass rusher. He was smart with a lot of heart. I will always remember Farrell’s vs McBears championship game. Jackie breaks past left side guard makes a tag on me that put me on my butt, head knocked against cement and put me out of game on first series of plays.”

Before Jack switched over to play with his friends at McBears, I asked Jack about that tough decision:

Container Diaries: What made you stay with Farrell’s when your friends from seventh avenue out together a team?

Jack Kelly: In 1979 McBears formed a football team by the 7th avenue guys but I stayed on Farrell’s that year and didn’t join the team until the next year.  John Devaney and Mike Marona were great to play for and the guys I played with were the best on the field and off. I didn’t want to leave Farrell’s. I enjoyed playing with those guys they were good friends. They were also good teammates, every one of them.  But after the year was done I knew it was my last year on Farrell’s. Heck, how often do get to play with your brother?

I would like to mention that the year I left Farrell’s they won the championship. The guys on Farrell’s  playfully reminded me of that every day.  They knew I loved being on Farrell’s so they knew it killed me every time they reminded.

Container Diaries: What was it like being a member of McBears, now facing your former team, Farrell’s?

Jack Kelly: As a member of McBears the games against Farrell’s were great to play in and prep for. The neighborhood was buzzing the whole week before the game, it was a rivalry like no other.  I remember my first game against Farrell’s which ended 6-6.  After Farrell’s scored a touchdown in the first half we scored three safeties in the second to tie the game.  That was the closest we came to beating them, that is until the 1982 Championship game when we came out on top 19-7.

Some people on 9th avenue still won’t accept it but I have the Championship Trophy sitting in my house if they would like to see it!

As I get older and there are more years behind me then ahead I find myself more often looking back on those days and I begin to smile thinking of old friends.

-Steve

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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108 Responses to THE DECISION

  1. richie k says:

    Jack, the memories will never leave, thinking about those days actully gets the heart pumping lollllllllll

  2. Eddie Matula says:

    Great memories. I grew up on 10th between 16th and Windsor. Step off my stoop, make a left , then a left on 16th and up the block to Farrell’s. Step off my stoop, make a right and maybe a slightly longer walk, I hit McBears. When I was a kid I remember my uncle Charlie “Chubby” Hopkins played a little for Farrells. I also remeber early 80’s him taking me and my brother to Farragut Road to see farrell’s Play McBears in the championship. I recall hanging with Ricky Kawas and watching his brother Charlie run a kick-off back for Farrells. I played forMcBears myself in the Staten Island Rough Touch leage from 90′-92. Mike Kelly coached us—played with a ton of great guys, all older than I who had been on that team for years. Steve—I still owe you a picture of my dad’s jersey from back in the 70’s, although I was wrong about the bar. It wasn’t Sonny’s from 10th and 17th—-it was Swannies or Swannys which I think was on 7th or 8th somewhere. Now that the summer is done I can climb up to the attic and find it—–and I’ll take a picture of my McBears jersey too !

  3. Eddie Matula says:

    correction—-Swannies jersey from the mid-late 60’s

  4. Don C says:

    Anyone remember the Kyle Rote/Pop Warner Football games in Prospect Park and the Parade grounds?. Big Neighborhood rivalrys between K of C BKLYN 60 Pioneers and St Saviour
    . Also the Cummings Bros Knights vs Knute Rockne from Bay Ridge

    • hoopscoach says:

      Donnie,

      Yes I do…

      Always wanted to play for those teams; especially Brooklyn 60.

      What did the “60” stand for?

      Also remember the Pioneers. And if I recall, they had cheerleaders.

      Hope you are well.

      • Don C says:

        60 was the Knights of Columbus post number. I played for St Saviour in 1975 even though the Brooklyn 60 post was right up the block from me on 19th St. In 1976 I played for the Cumming Bros KNIGHTS. You may remember their logo painted on their equipment door on the corner of 9th street and PPW. Right next to Lewnes. All of those teams had cheerleaders and when they played each other they attracted 6 to 7 hundred people to the Parade grounds for games

      • hoopscoach says:

        YES!

        Now I recall the Logo…

        Great memory.

        I thought Brooklyn 60 and The Pioneers were cool names for a Football team.

    • ed mecner says:

      I have fond memories of playing for St.Saviour’s Intermediates and later Cummings Bros Knights.I thin k it was the 1974 season where we played Rockne and lost 24-22 after leading 16-0 at half,second game we won 14-12 a and third championship game we lost 8-6. Sadly Joe Shaloub QB,Howie Bischoff RB,and Jimmy Jones RB from that team are no longer with us ,but I have many Great memories of these great ballplayers.

      • Red says:

        Ed,

        Those teams were amazing. Nothing like that anymore.

        Hope all is well.

      • Patrick McHale #45 says:

        Ed “MECK OF TECH” Mechner, I don’t know if you would remember me, but I lined up right behind you defensively on that 74′ team. I remember the coaches setting up a blitz for our first ever game with Rockne. The coaches had noticed that when the flanker lined up tighter than usual, they were running a quick sweep. I remember when the flanker lined up tight, my eyes almost popped out of my head and I tapped you on the butt. We snuffed out the play. Good times.

      • eddie Mecner says:

        Thank you Pat,I absolutely remember remember you and even remember you were#45.I have always felt guilty that Rockne scored their final 2 points on a quick pitch to my side that gave them the win.That was one of my all time favorite teams,great chemistry,teamwork,coaches and some pretty good players.I have recently contacted Tim Poturny ,one of the Woodside guys on our team,he has a site on FB under Woodside Kings.ery nice touching base with you again,look forward to any response,take Care Pat.I also remember you were close with Wagglionne #44 i think.

  5. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    lol, I was a cheerleader for the Pioneers- after the games, we would have a party in the post on 6th Ave across from the Library bet 8th and 9th- it seemed so far away.. It’s an apartment now- like Sonny’s and the Windsor Pub!

  6. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    maybe 66 or 67? I recall Billy Myler and Timmy Mullins being on the team, also Cliffy Wallace..

  7. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    oh, Don- it was waaay before your time, lol- did they still have the orange and black uniforms? I always felt like I was headed out for Halloween!

  8. Pam May says:

    I was a cheerleader for the Knights, Red white and blue. Anyone remember us?

    • Tom Puleo says:

      Hi Pam, my name is tom puleo, I played for Couch Pete on the Knights, along with Oppie, Frankie Maresca, Kevin Boyle, Richie,Louie Cacura ect. ’69-’70 seasons Red white & blue ….Great Teams, Great Memories.

      • Larry L says:

        I played for the Knights but injured and was out the whole ’69 season during the first game. Coach Pete was terrific. I remember a running back on our team named Curtis McLoud. Fast and small but he could hit a hole. As I recall we didn’t lose a game all season until our last game against a team from Staten Island.

  9. #32 says:

    I played for the pioneers then the kc knights back in the day

    • #32 says:

      I meant the cb knights…. any body hear from George or Mike… the coaches?

      • hoopscoach says:

        What position did you play and what was your jersey number?

        Tell us some of the things that were different back then when you played as opposed to today.

        Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  10. Ed says:

    HI, I was just searching on the Knights of Columbus to see if there were any mention of the football team and I was surprised to find this. I did play on the Pioneers in 69 and 70. I was 14. 1969 was the year we won the title beat I think it was Midwood at the Parade Grounds. We had an awards dinner at a restaurant up Flatbush Avenue. Funny thing, I don’t have one picture of any football games. The head coach was Ralph, cant remember his last name and one of the other coaches was a cop. I lived on Second and 7th and we would walk up to 9th street and practice in the baseball fields. One guy I do remember was Billy Breland, only because he went on to play for a Brooklyn High School and was making a name for himself before he got hurt. Any info to added would be nice to see.

  11. #32 says:

    #32

    I wore #32 for the pioneers as well as the cb knights. I played fullback and inside lb for the pioneers… I played tailback for the knights…

    back in those days… you did what you were told… if the coach said run into a wall.. you did it…. now a days.. players talk back to coaches….

  12. donnie tighe says:

    Great reading about the pioneers. Does anyone remember losing to st saviors in the rain. They wore illegal cleats. Boy we cried like babies. Whats up Red?

    • hoopscoach says:

      Donnie,

      You’re the best.

      Where you living these days?

      Still playing ball?

      Still riding your bike?

      • donny tighe says:

        The wife and I have twins. Grantland and Mali.We are in Queens. I am still at bklyn hospital. The children will be seven next week so riding is coming soon playing ball too grant is already making shot got the hoop in the yard. hope things are ok by you. hearing those guys names reminds me of the great times we had growing up would not trade them for anything.jackie ryan ,Gerald burns ziggy what characters .just found out that my great uncle jimmy Farrell was a hero on the titanic look it up later red

    • #32 says:

      of course I remember….. like yesterday…. we were winning 8-0 at the half… and jimmie jones (RIP) my class mate in elementary school, ran for 2 TDs in the 2nd half….. see you at work….

  13. donnie tighe says:

    Remembering jimmy hodgers ,prendagass cline otis wilson mitchell anthony callamonicer, anyone remember more?

  14. Patrick McHale says:

    I played for St. Saviours against number 32 and played for the Knights with number 32, assuming number 32 is one Mr. Ray Goodrich.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Good stuff Patrick…

    • #32 says:

      you are correct sir…….

      • Patrick McHale #45 says:

        Ray, you were the tallest tailback that I ever played with and Everett Branch was the shortest. Everett was tailback for St Saviours and nose tackle for Knights. You don’t see many people play both of those positions. Great times.

      • hoopscoach says:

        Thanks Patrick,

        Good stuff.

        Enjoy the day

      • Patrick McHale #45 says:

        Ray, I also remember your brother Mitch was a hell of a center and linebacker. I hope you are both well. Sorry to hear about Jonesy passing. I played with him on Saviours. Unfortunately I also remember all to well losing to the long island tomahawks at hofstra university. I believe we never adjusted to their blitzes.

    • Ed Mecner says:

      Hi Pat yeah Ray was #32 I remember you were a DB,I was #77 on that same team Great memories and a Great team.Eddie Mecner.

  15. Mudge says:

    I just yesterday read your blogs on St Xavier and Brooklyn 60. Bloggers brought up names and games that I was very familiar with. It made my old heart feel good. I coached Bklyn 60 from its beginning till its end. Some of the names & some of your blogs were asking about the last name of coach Ralph – Ralph Scotto and also coach Pete – Pete Kallinacos. The mention of some names brought back memories especially Breelan & Stevie Wallace. So I decided to add some names, I am sure, you will remember. Sammy Gentile (the real fastest player to play for Bklyn 60), Joe Trafano, Kevin King and Joe Demick. John Mark, Richard Thomas & William Ferro which I hope covers all the Ferros. Timmy & John & Kevin Godfrey, Eddie Hall, Artie Lee Kerry & Shawn McKeon, Pat McNiff, Chris O’Donnell, Donald Tie, Otis Wilson, Melvin, Vincent & Kenny Askew. Scott Greenfield, George Johnson, Charlie Kawas, Chris Hanna, Todd Wilson, Mark Clyne. Jimmy Haske, Frank Fazio, Kevin Boyle, Frankie LaPorta. I know I am missing some names but maybe you guys can fill in some. Here are some coaches – Ralph Scotto, Frank & Joe Pappio, John Colligan, John Buscemi, Jim Stretton, Nick & Frank LaPorta, Joey LaBarber, Billy Brown, Buckey Skelly & Bill Beasley as well as myself – Bill Mudge.

    Hoping that you guys that played and were involved will respond and help me with other names.

    And now I would like to mention another name Tony Sarour (not sure of spelling). If not for this man, there would be no Brooklyn Pioneers or St Xavier’s football teams. He founded both programs. My relationship with Tony, over the years was really strange. The first time I met him, he pulled a knife on me. When the candy store owner came to break it up and asked why we were fighting, I said ‘he pulled a knife on me’. You would have thought I shot Santa Claus. “Not Tony” was his answer. Tony would never do nothing like that. Tony went on to start a football team from guys on his block – 9th St & 8th Av – which he called The Knights & whose rivals were The Raiders from the circle on 15th Street. Most of which became customers of Farrell’s Bar.

    We struggled in leagues that Tony got us into not understanding their rules & how they were constructed. One year the Commissioner of the league was also the coach of the Gremlins. His rule was 145 lb avg. We difficulty understanding that they could put a kid on at 80 lbs and have another kid at 210 lbs. Rules of this nature – we had difficulty competing against in the next few seasons. We finally started having winning seasons when we got to 18 yrs old to 30 yrs old. Tony finally put together a winning season in football which after starting Bklyn 60 and St Xaviers continued from that point on. I coached Bklyn 60 and Tony coached St Xaviers. He would always get mad at me thinking I was pulling unethical stuff which I can tell you is not true. Even tho Tony & I were friends for a long time, it seems I knew him better than he knew me. One of things when I played for him on the Knights vs. the Raiders, the Raiders always wanted to start trouble with us but knowing I was on the Knights and all of the Raiders knew I was with a gang and i would not let that slide. So they behaved themselves.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Billy,

      John Godfrey was my main man…

    • Ed Mecner says:

      I would like to help out with some of the Coaches as well,St.Saviour Intermediates 1969 Tom Cahill,1970 Jackie DiMurro from St.Mary’s Rams,Jackie Canavan who I did not see for about 30 years recognized me at my firehouse one day around 2003 or so.Andy Panda and Mike :Spook” Riccio also coached the intermediates. Mr.Shaloub and Mousy also some of the coaches I can recall.I rremeber running with Jimmy Hodgens trying to get faster in Prospect Park

  16. Mudge says:

    Just want to correct the spelling for Donny Tighe I was dictating the blog to my wife she must of thought I ment something you wear around your neck.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Donnie is aces…

      One of the nicest people I have ever hung out with.

      Riding my bike with him to and from Manhattan Beach was a treat.

  17. Ed says:

    HI all, nice to read all your stories and trips down memory lane. It seems to me that most of you hung out at Farrell’s and probably know just about everyone in that neighborhood, hopefully someone can help. I am looking to connect with a good friend I had in High School, his name was Bobby Burke, we both went to bishop Loughlin HS. I remember him telling me stories about Farrell’s and the guys who hung out there so I hope someone knows him. I was corresponding with him up until several years ago when he just stopped answering his email. I recently got an alumni news letter from Bishop Loughlin and it listed him and several others as “missing”, meaning they couldn’t verify an address. If anyone knows about Bobby, please post some info. Thanks to all.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Ed,

      Bobby is a good dude. He visits the blog, I believe. We cahtted a few years ago over the phone.

      Hopefully he reads this but I doubt it because this entry was written a while ago.

      The mighty Lions of Bishop Loughlin…

  18. #32 says:

    Bishop Loughlin 1975 CHSAA BASKETBALL CHAMPS!!!

    My senior year…..

  19. Mudge says:

    I thought number 32 was Sammy Gentile the best runner any of those teams had. he and Joe Tafano who played fullback were the best combination I have ever seen . One of the problms was they both went to highschools that did not have football.

  20. Mudge says:

    Maureen I keep reading your blogs on the regular CONTAINER DIARIES and reading todays blogs I realize we,ve known each other for along time.may I also add BROOKLYN 60 had the best looking cheerleaders. I could not say that back then or I would get arrested for being a dirty old man

  21. Ed Mecner says:

    Thank You for all these Great memories.I played for St.Saviour Intermediates 1969 1970 knew most of the guys on Pioneers.Thanks for bringing up all the Coaches names as well I remember most of them and Billy Mudge as well.George Arce and Mike Ming ,Panda were some of my coaches on the Knights

  22. Ed Mecner says:

    I had the good fortune to play with Jimmy Jones and Everett Branch on Sayiours,later on the Knights and than at BC with Branch

  23. Mudge says:

    Swannys was on 10th. ave. and 17th. St. Thank you for this blog I had a great time reading though it. I am. still trying to picture Maureen . With all the places and events she mentions we had to know eachother.

  24. Mudge says:

    Ed Mecner you and Maureen I keep reading your blogs and I can’t get a face to go with a name.We have been in to many placers at the same time not to have known each other. Ed if you run into Toni Sarour please give him my fondess regaurds him and his family and his brouther Ray . We know each other over 65 years. As for Panda I see him at least once a year and some times Spook I see them at George Najjars memoreil barber que.

    • Red says:

      Panda is the man…

      Tell him Red said hello.

    • Ed Mecner says:

      To Billy Mudge,you may recall me if you saw me I was always around,I remember standing with you in the baseball diamonds where the Pioneers,Saviours and the Knights used to practice one time probably in the late 70’s it was a November morning and there werent any teams around I just remember it as a sad moment.Because you were one of the Coaches I still remember you with good memories.I do run into Mr.Srour every so often and will give him your regards..I remember Joe Tafano and Sammy Gentile as legends in the neighborhood as they were a bit older than me.I think some of these names may be familiar to you Louie Dewsberry,Jackie Tibona for the Pioneers eddie velazquez and Eddie Conroy for St.Saviours. I look forward to your excellant memory and recolections of those great times .I spoke with Joe “Pancho” Demick a few years ago he was also with FDNY at the time.

      • Red says:

        Pancho was the man…

      • Jack Pivnick says:

        Thank you for jarring my memory when your old and can’t remember its scary . Pancho and I were great buddys always worried about him. The news he was with the fire dept. makes me feel better.I also apprecate you passing my regards to Tony. Sammy Gentile is a neighbor in Jersey and I got to coach both his sons in football things have gone pretty good for me.Now that you cleared my mind a little I will be looking foward to your blogs

  25. Mudge says:

    Da mouse alias Frank Faragasso one of my best freinds served the kids of park slope So. Brklyn. and Red hook for over fifty years. He was Grand Knight of Bklyn. 60 KC. and I was his Deputy we spent I bet thousands of hrs. bull shitting in those days. I wish I had some of those hrs. to do again

  26. Mudge says:

    You and I hit on this subject once did they take out the best sliding pond in bklyn.between the esculators on smith and ninth.

  27. Mudge says:

    Yes Godfrey was a great kid and a fine young man.

  28. Mudge says:

    Red you knew Pancho?

  29. Mudge says:

    Did you also know Tony Sarour

  30. vinny larosa #52 says:

    vinny larosa here played for pioneers with my cousins joseph and philip my cousin joe labarbera very good memories

  31. Mudge says:

    I am. sorry to hear about Joe Labarbera . The coaching staff at bklyn. 60 was pretty close

    • Red says:

      Brooklyn 60 was a cool name for a team.

      I liked the Pioneers too.

      The Bonnies.

      Ty Cobbs

      Youth Service

      All cool names for a team.

  32. Mudge says:

    Brooklyn 60 and the pioneers are the same team. Bklyn.60 was the first council in the state ofNew York hence the pioneer council.

  33. Mudge says:

    If it was up to me I would have 10 teams Iam. most happy when Iam. playing or teaching football

  34. ed mecner says:

    I think I can still picture Joe LaBarbera and Ralph SCOTTO EVEN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

  35. Mudge says:

    Ed didn,t you play for St. Savoirs.

    • ed mecner says:

      I played for St.Saviour Intermediates1969,1970 then went to HS .I meant to say I still think I can recall Joe LaBarbera and Ralph Scotto from the practice fields

  36. Mudge says:

    We had coachs that coached for both . Ralph and Joe were not one of them . You must have spent a lot of time up in the meadows you knew coachs from both teams

  37. Mudge says:

    Wish I could remember Larosa 52 its strartlng togiveme a head ache.

  38. ed mecner says:

    there’s Fall in the air,the smells remind me of so many different football seasons and the wonderful memories of all involved

  39. larosa52 says:

    Mudge I was outside linebacker for scotto and labarbera teams played with otis Wilson one year had three cousins Philip and Joseph LaRosa and Philip Bracco .Bracco went to St Francis prep ahead of us he was there qb Philip and his followed I went to xaverian older cousin vin also LaRosa played for Sooners after graduating from lincoln we were all from second place.I am calling my cousin Doris joes wife to see if he still has his films

  40. Mudge says:

    Your name was familar so were the other names situations I was just having differculty put a face to a name. That being said I am. extreamly happy to hear from you. you just have to have a little charity for my english and my spelling. please keep writing when you think of things.

    • Red says:

      Mudge you’re doing great…

      Glad to know you are being hooked up with people from the past.

      Keep posting your memories.

  41. Patrick McHale #45 says:

    Here’s one from the “it’s a small world dept”: 1974 Cummings Bros Knights blew 16 point halftime lead against the highly touted Knute Rockne Juniors. Our first time the playing pop warner champs. We were not that impressed with them by halftime and had a serious let up in 2nd half. The league mvp, Andrew Galletta scored the winning touchdown by out jumping me in the end zone and catching the pass. He straddled the line like players of today’s game routinely do. Needless to say I argued profusely to the ref. Anywho, I was doing IT work at a medical conference recently and one of the presenters was Dr. Andrew Galletta. I didn’t know if it was the same guy so during his Q&A session I went to the microphone and asked him if the words Cummings Brothers Knights meant anything to him. You should have seen his face. He said ABSOLUTELY it means something to me. I turned to the audience and told them of this play. He remembered and described the play to a tee. He then told me something that I and maybe most of my teammates didn’t realize. Apparently, Everett Branch separated Galletta’s shoulder during our playoff game and our trainer ( I just can’t remember his name ) came up with some kind of rigging that allowed him to play the final game against the Tomahawks. Galletta told me that we had a class organization and he will always have the utmost respect for us. Folks, the moral of this story is that the guy that scored the winning TD is a brain surgeon and the guy that gave up the touchdown, is the IT guy. STAY IN SCHOOL,KIDS.

    • Red says:

      Patrick,

      Great story. Appreciate you.

    • eddie Mecner says:

      Hi Pat,I absolutely remember you and remember you were #45.I always felt guilty that Rockne beat us on a quick pitch for the 2 point conversion around my end,still bothers me.That was a Great team players,teamwork ,coaches dedication with Great memories even now so many years later.You have some good memories and i enjoy your stories.I recently came across Tim poturny one of the woodside guys,he has a site on FB under Woodside Kings a pretty interesting site.Look forward to hearing from you again.

      • Patrick McHale #45 says:

        You have some memory Mr. Mecner, I was best friends with #44 Mike Waglione. He and I went way back to 3rd grade and played our pee wee and intermediate football for the Holy Cross Crusaders and those teams also played their home games at the parade grounds. When I first tried out for St. Savior Juniors, I was very intimidated as I really had never played ball with people that weren’t from my school or neighborhood. I guess St Savior Juniors to me was like going off to college for the first time.

      • Ray #32 says:

        hey eddie!!! I remember you… I remember wags too… didn’t his brother play with us as well? don’t bring up Rockne… I might start crying at work..;-)

        I have pics of all of us at my parents house… I remember taking pics in our different units… receiver, lineman, backs, etc… I have a pic of us playing the tomahawks at Hofstra… you can see coach George way up in the press box… today… I can still hear him yelling… “what are you doooooiiiiing…..” ;-0

        hope all is well…. those were the good old days of football!

      • Steve says:

        Yo Ray, that’s good stuff my man. Gold bro, simply Golden.

  42. eddie Mecner says:

    Glad you went thru St.Saviours and then the Knights ,those were very special times for all of us involved.Once again good hearing from you Pat #45

  43. Mudge says:

    Point of information Maureen mentions Billy Myler that is Dick Bavettas nephew. Dicks brother Joe and I were best friends.

  44. Mudge says:

    Steve my problem is if you gave me one more weekend I would want one more and so on and so on. I was always a spoiled brat.

  45. eddie Mecner says:

    Sorry I dont check in here often enough,good to touch base Ray its been a long time and I remember our team very well and have much respect,love and appreciation for the whole organization,the players ,coaches,cheerleaders and equipment guys.Very special times and memories that brought us together as a team.Always good to hear from you,I got in touch with Tim Poturny on FB he has a site on the Woodside Kings and some good stuff on CBK.Also some fotos of Mike Ming

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