Academics and Athletics are All in the Family
by Cate Murway

Both Pinelli Bristol High School senior students / athletes, listed in the Super 2007 Basketball Class: Pennsylvania [] have a genuine heartfelt appreciation for life on McKinley Street in the historic community of Bristol Borough. They “know everyone; there’s no cliques of friends;” but they have stated that they have a sincere desire to travel. Both have the initials “M.A.P”. The older twin by 20 minutes, Matthew Austin, President of his Class and Michael Anthony, Captain of the football and basketball teams were born right before Thanksgiving in November 1988. 

Their parents, track & basketball athlete Gregory Ernest, BHS ‘73/BCCC ‘75/Kutztown ‘80 and Lori Ann [Sterner], Kutztown ’82 [cum laude], originally from Hamburg, a charming old fashioned town with a modern flair, near Reading, met at a KU college party and were married July 11, 1981. Mrs. Lori Pinelli, a 5th grade Springfield Township, Montgomery County School District teacher, coaches the sports for which she was inducted into the Kutztown University Hall of Fame in 1992: Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball. Mr. Greg Pinelli, BHS Athletic Director, coached the very successful basketball team for 12 years. Mike and Matt have an older brother, 6’1 Gregory Lee, a Business Management major who is the football quarterback at Utica College, Oneida County in the residential section of West Utica, NY. Per the website, UC is a college of “tradition, opportunity and transformation”. Their older sister, Stephanie Marie will graduate this spring with a Psychology degree from The Pennsylvania State University, one of the nation's finest universities in the integration of teaching, research, and service, in University Park, PA. 
The youngest of the Pinelli clan, Anthony Taylor, is a BHS sophomore student/athlete who participates in football, basketball and baseball.

Grandpop Ernest A. Pinelli [1920-2005], predeceased by his wife Emily [Sak] in November ‘98, a member of the St. Ann Church, the 5th Ward Italian Mutual Aid and the St. Ann Athletic Association, was the past President of the Bristol Borough Little League. He along with Mike Manto and Junior Fields made that facility what it is today. He is also proudly remembered as a 2-term member of the Bristol Borough School Board and a past member of the Bristol Borough Democratic Committee. He was a World War II Army Veteran who served as a Sergeant in the European Theatre and received two Purple hearts and one Bronze Star for his service.

Their maternal grandfather, Larry L. Sterner Sr. [1937-2000] was an organizer and director of the Hamburg YMCA. One of their favorite 5th grade memories is of winning 2nd place dressed as “hobos” in the Christmas King Frost Parade near their grandmother, Shirley A. [Huntsberger] Sterner’s home in Hamburg. 

Lineman #89 Matthew and quarterback #15 Michael displayed dominating performances that helped the Warriors win their way into the postseason for what was the first time for nearly all of the seniors, clinching a season sweep of their Bicentennial Athletic League rivals. They earned a spot in the PIAA Class A tournament v. St. Pius X for Bristol 's coach, George Gatto. Two years ago, they won the B.A.L. title in their final home game. Coach Gatto nominated Mike for the “Mini Maxwell Award” from Maxwell Football Club (the organization that presents Maxwell Award to the nation's outstanding college player). The award is presented in honor of Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell, the legendary Chicago native college player who died at the age of thirty-seven.  In 1937, Maxwell’s friend, Bert Bell founded The Robert W. Maxwell Memorial Football Club in Philadelphia.  A broken nose, eyes swollen nearly shut, and a face closely resembling steak tartare after playing guard for Swarthmore College, was how Maxwell made a major impact on the game of football. “According to gridiron historians, a newspaper photo of his face so shocked President Theodore Roosevelt, that in a meeting with major college representatives, the President demanded that they "clean up football," or he'd ban the game outright.  Rules were changed to double the yardage required for a first down from five to ten, reduce playing time to sixty minutes, add restrictions against roughing, establish a neutral zone on the line of scrimmage the length of the football, and to legalize the forward pass.” Mike has earned the honor of being recognized at the banquet on January 11th to vie for the Jim Henry Award [named for the late James J. Henry who served as Director of Athletics at LaSalle College], based on his student/athlete’s academics as well as his contributions to the school and the community. 
Matt, who’s “favorite sports do not include running”, qualified for the District 1 Track & Field Competition at Coatesville Area High School, competing in the ancient sport of the 3 lb 9 oz discus throw and the modern athletic discipline of the javelin throw.  

Off the fields, Matt and Mike are ranked in the top 20 of their class. As members of the Italian Club, they showed their school spirit and support in the Columbus Day festivities in Bristol Lions Park and Wharf and marched with their peers in the Christmas Parade in November. They recalled being understandably surprised to locate a “dead fish in a tree” while they removed debris, raked and swept in the teacher-organized Canal Clean-Up. Both have been nominated and elected to the Student Council all 4 years of H.S. and they have willingly helped organize and run the blood drives coordinated by the service organization, Tri-Hi-Y under the guidance of high school nurse, Cheryl Rigby.
On Sunday, they donned their “athletic apparel” and assisted sixty underprivileged Lower Bucks children while they chose gifts for themselves and their families. They shopped with them in the Wal-Mart in the Bristol Commerce Shopping Center, using the donated $10,000.00 in the annual “Shop with a Cop” charity event sponsored by the Bristol Lions Club. From the Courier Times article [12/9/06], “It feels good to help these children because they are always watching our every move and we can leave them with a good impression of high school athletes,” Mike said.
Their “M.A.P. quest” re: continuing education doesn’t necessarily involve the same scholastic institutions. Kutztown University is a mutual choice but Matt, who’s favorite sport is basketball, is looking at LaSalle University, Philadelphia and Penn State, which will be his sister’s Alma Mater; while Mike has his sights on playing baseball at Bloomsburg University of PA or King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. Whether together or apart, they jointly shared, they  “are always looking for fun and never like to just sit around.” Family Wildwood, NJ vacations include wiffleball games, a variation of baseball invented by David N. Mullany in 1953; water skiing; knee boarding, where the riders sit on their heels on the board at a planing speed behind a motorboat; wake boarding, created from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques; and boat jaunts on Uncle Larry and Uncle Jeff’s “Chippedy Whistle”. 
They agree wholeheartedly on a favorite food, their PopPop’s vodka rigatoni recipe, complete with roasted peppers and salty prosciutto dry-cured ham.  If they’re eating out, Mike prefers Caesar’s Pizzeria’s cheese steak sandwich and fries. Matt loves Olive Garden’s grilled chicken Alfredo. 

As for their “M.A.P. blast” to the future, Matthew sees himself no longer carrying his suitcase, ultimately retired from his “suit business”, living on one of Florida’s most beautiful and natural barrier island beaches or an idyllic world on a Bahamas beach, enjoying his wife, kids and grandchildren. His vehicle of choice for sheer driving pleasure is a dark blue BMW. Michael visualizes a potential outlook as an established retired teacher, living in the country, away from the hubbub of urban life with lots of land, enjoying his wife, kids and grandchildren. He pictures a Chevy Suburban, a full-size, 4-door SUV, or a vehicle that looks utilitarian but doesn't drive that way, a BMW SUV. Life truly is, for the Pinelli clan, “All in the Family”!

Recommend a Spotlight: e-mail


End of the Line

Bucks County Courier Times
November 26, 2008 7:12 AM  

Anthony Pinelli is the youngest. The kid. The little guy. So he hears it. All the time. “They always say,” he said of his three older brothers, “our teams were better.”    
But Pinelli, the senior quarterback on the Bristol football team, does have a pretty solid comeback at the ready.  
“I can say,” he said, “we were the ones that won a playoff game.” 

That’s the sort of sibling rivalry that exists between the brothers Pinelli.    
First there was Greg, who quarterbacked the Warriors for three seasons from 2001-03. Then there were the twins, Mike and Matt, with Mike following Greg as the quarterback, while Matt played tight end. 

And now there’s Anthony, who on Thursday will play his final game under center, ending the long run of Pinelli quarterbacks at Bristol when the Warriors (5-6) play at Morrisville (2-8) in the storied 80th meeting of the old Thanksgiving Day rivals. 

“That was my big thing,” Anthony said. “I thought football was the greatest thing, and I saw my brothers playing and I couldn’t wait to get my own opportunity. 

“Since I was a little kid, I was going to practice. I just enjoyed being around the players and being around the coaches. I saw how much fun all the guys had and it just made everything really fun and great for me.” 

The boys’ father, who is also named Greg and who is the Bristol athletic director, has said his three older sons have long had what he called “a friendly rivalry” with Anthony. 

“They don’t give him any leeway,” the elder Pinelli said. “They’ll come right back at him. But they have fun with it.” Anthony’s argument always comes back to last year, when the Warriors beat Calvary Christian, 14-12, to advance in the PIAA Class A playoffs for the first time. “They just tell him that doesn’t count,” the elder Pinelli said, laughing. Greg Pinelli went on to play Division III football at Utica. Mike is playing D-III baseball at Marywood University. Matt is a student at Kutztown. All three will be in the stands Thanksgiving morning, cheering on their brother along with their parents, Greg and Lori, and their sister, Stephanie. 

All four Pinelli brothers do have something else in common on the football field: None has lost on Thanksgiving Day to Morrisville. Bristol has won the last eight games in the series, its last loss coming in 1998. 

Anthony hopes to move on to Kutztown or East Stroudsburg next year, where he hopes to play baseball or basketball. He’s fairly certain Thursday will be his last football game. 

At Bristol, it certainly will be the last for the Pinelli brothers. 

“I guess if you want to call it the end of an era or whatever,” said Greg Pinelli, the boys’ father. “But it was fun. We had a lot of fun.” 

Contact Dom Consentino at


Posted on Thu, Feb 26, 2009  
Pinelli recognized by the NIAAA  
The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) has announced that Greg Pinelli, Athletic Director at Bristol Junior-Senior High School, has been recognized by the association as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator.

To earn this distinction, Pinelli had to demonstrate exemplary knowledge, contributions and ongoing professional development in the field of interscholastic athletic administration.

The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of the candidate's educational background, experience, NIAAA leadership courses and professional contributions. It is culminated with a practical written project.

Greg is one of a very elite group of inter-scholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.

The NIAAA is a national professional organization consisting of all 50 state athletic administrator associations and more than 6,500 individual members. It is dedicated to promoting the professional growth of high school athletic administrators and preserving the educational nature of interscholastic athletics and the place of these programs in the secondary school curriculum.
Bristol's Anthony Pinelli (center) is the last of a long line
 of Pinelli brothers who played football at Bristol High. 
Here he is with brothers Mike (left) and Matt.
Gregory Ernest Pinelli
September 24, 1955 - March 10, 2017

Gregory Ernest Pinelli 61, of Bristol Borough passed away suddenly at home on Friday, March 10, 2017. Son of Ernest and Emily Pinelli, Greg graduated from Bristol Jr. Sr. High in 1973, where he stayed to teach and raise his family. Early in his tenure at Bristol High School Greg served as vice principal for a brief period of time before returning to the classroom where he worked as a Special Education teacher and Athletic Director. After 35 years, Greg retired from teaching Special Education. He continued his position as Athletic Director after retirement. His passion for sports and his dedication to student athletes is being honored March 23, 2017, where he was being named active President of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association and was slated to be the recipient of the NIAAA State Award of Merit; presented for his outstanding leadership and meritorious service and achievement in the vocation of interscholastic administration. Greg’s love for others started at home. His wife, Lori, and five kids were his world. Anyone who had the chance to talk with Greg would have quickly learned about his daughter’s CrossFit gym, the ball he didn’t shank while golfing with his sons and the families weekly Wednesday pizza nights. He was proud of the life he created. His family, his town, his students all felt the passion with which he lived his life. Greg did not just go to work every day, he truly loved what he did. He had this way of bettering others and would go above and beyond for all he came in contact with. He was a great father, friend, teacher, coach and mentor. He has touched the lives of many with his ability to provide hope and guidance. His welcoming smile brightened the day for those that had the pleasure of knowing him. Greg was preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Emily Pinelli; and will be greatly missed by his wife Lori Ann (Sterner) Pinelli, his children Stephanie Pinelli and her fiancé Kevin Larrisey, Gregory Pinelli, Matthew Pinelli, Michael Pinelli, and Anthony Pinelli; his brother John Pinelli and his wife Kathy; his nephews Christopher Pinelli and Michael Pinelli; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, colleagues, students and close friends. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Friday after 6pm, and Saturday, 10am-11am, at Galzerano Funeral Home, 3500 Bristol-Oxford Valley Road, Levittown, PA 19057, where a funeral service will begin at 11am. Interment will follow.