The Dyker Heights Athletic Association aka “the Knights” was started late in Dec 1997 by Joe Terrone, Joe Girgenti, Tom Fascianella, Nick Maglio, Chris Olivero and John Deangelo. Why did these men start their own association when there were so many athletic associations out there ? There were no leagues playing in Dyker Beach Park that came from our neighborhood. Leagues from Bergen Beach and adult leagues were using the Dyker Beach Parks and our kids had no place to play. As Girgenti was quoted in the Brooklyn paper “ We decided to take a stand and develop something in our own neighborhood that welcomed all kids no matter what level their ability. The end goal was to return Dyker Beach Park back to the neighborhood kids and teach them how to enjoy sports.

dyker aa opens season

Most important to our founders was the principal for which the Knights was founded – All Kids Play. All of these men felt that the existing athletic organizations did not treat kids with the respect they deserved. Coaches and organizers in these other sports organizations were too worried about winning at all costs/making elite teams and playing only the most talented kids. They saw this as an opportunity to start an organization for all children to play. Our founding fathers were always concerned for each child that wanted to play regardless of the skill level and they wanted those children to always have a place they can feel comfortable playing and have fun.   Youth sports (ages 5-13) is about teaching sports to children. Children cannot learn if they cannot play. They cannot feel a part of the team or have a chance to learn from their mistakes if they are always watching from the bench, or from right field.
So armed with 60 or so kids for Baseball in 1998 – handing out uniforms from the back of Girgenti’s van, the Knights were born. In 1998 four age groups of kids participated in Knights baseball and the organization took off. In 1999 – the Knights added Girls Softball, Bowling and Flag Football to the sports menu and in 2001 Indoor Soccer was added. When the current President, Peter McCarthy came to the Knights back in 2000-2001 season, he found that the entire organization was being run by Joe Terrone, Joe Girgenti and Tom Fascianella . Tom was Vice President and Joe Terrone was Treasurer. Cliff Keeling and Pete Leopoldi were members at the time and did enormous amounts of work for the organization as well. From 2001 on the Knights were in all four sports seasons with kids participating in Baseball, Flag Football, Girls Softball , Basketball and Indoor Soccer. In 2001 and 2002 – the Knights Board grew by 10 people and since that time the DHAA was growing stronger each year. Currently there are 26 Board members with over 100 coaches. In 2003-2004 – The Knights merged with St. Bernadette and also became the sports program for St. Francis Cabrini, St. Finbar’s and St. Dominic’s. That same year – The Knights took control of the 17th avenue field and had the field renamed the Victor Allegretti Field. Today we now have over 750 children involved with the Dyker Heights Athletic Association that participate in five separate sports programs throughout the year. Our kids come from many different schools throughout the community. As we head into our 18th anniversary year, we look forward to running a organization that allows kids to all participate, compete, learn skills and most importantly have fun. Today our kids come to us from different schools throughout our own community, plus others, such as Bay Ridge, Carol Gardens and Park Slope. Our organization provides organized league play in Baseball, Softball, NFL Flag Football, Basketball, and Indoor Soccer. We especially seek to provide organized, well-structured recreational opportunities for all the participants in each sport.Girgenti- Our kids have no where to play

Our Baseball softball programs include-both in-house and travel baseball and softball leagues for boys and girls ages 5 and up. We teach the fundamentals of baseball in a nurturing environment. The goals, the ideas, and the plans that we have in place and planned all revolve around the players and what is best for them. Little League is only for the kids. That is why in 2008 we started our own 7-8 year old Little League that plays all of its games at Bay Eighth field 1A. This is a great learning environment for our kids at that age. Besides playing competitive games, the kids are instructed during the games as well as in the team practices that go on a couple of times per week. In 2009, we expanded to 5 teams in 7-8 and also began our own 9-10 Little league division. In 2010 and 2011, we have our own strong divisions in 7-8 and 9-10 baseball and now are looking to expand to ages 11-14. All travel kids at 9-14 must also play in our own DHAA League as well. The Knights travel teams have participated in the Kiwanis League, Parkville and St. A’s. In the last couple of years, our teams have been finishing at the top of most the these leagues thanks to our newly introduced BEST (Winter baseball training) that starts in January preparing our kids for Spring and Summer play. All our kids meet twice a week for training during the winter months in preparation for competitive league play in the Spring and Summer. All of our coaches are now certified by Doyle Academy before the start of each season.