This award is given to a deserving athlete that performed at Bennett at a high level in the competitive spirit of the late Earle Hannel, but technically is not eligible for our Bennett Sports Hall Of Fame. In George’s case, he started his secondary academic career at Bennett and was selected to enroll at the new “city honors” wing at Bennett. Three years later City Honors became a high school onto its own, and that is where George actually graduated from.
From the perspective of athletic achievement, George should have been selected much earlier that this. Among his achievements, Lewis was an All-High runner on two undefeated “Columbia Cup” cross country championship teams. In 3 years of varsity track, George ran every event and relay from the 220 yard dash to the 2 mile run. All three Tigers squads were undefeated in “Scalp & Blade” competition. Although All-High in several events, George’s specialty turned out to be the 880 yard run. George was not only All-High, but SectionVI individual champion, and finished 4th in the New York State track meet, winning his heat with an admirable time of 1 :53.1 clocking, a school record. Coach Veronica recalls of George, “the hardest worker in practice that I ever coached in track, bar none”. George Lewis’ success in track was due to his intense preparation and hard work, words that would make Earle Hannel very proud.
Lewis continued his running career at Buffalo State College after high school, and is a long standing employee of Niagara Mohawk (National Grid).
Emery Fisher is an ideal candidate for this award named in memory of former Bennett athlete and charter member of this Sports Hall of Fame committee, Earle Y. Hannel. Emery’s contribution to the local sports scene includes that of an athlete, coach, cross country, track and swimming official, and director of several amateur sports events in our area.
As an athlete, Emery was a hurdler and sprinter at Bennett, finishing 3rd in the All-High meet as a junior, and 2nd as a senior. It must be noted that this was the era of post-graduate students, which means Emery competed agaist 5th year athlete during his 4 year career. Emery continued his sprinting and hurdling career after Bennett in the army, and then at the U. of Buffalo. Emery was a varsity athlete at U.B. from 1947 -1951 .
Emery’s coaching career included a 21 year stint as cross country and track coach at the U. of Buffalo. His teams at U.B. had a winning record during his tenure there.
Anyone that ran track in the Buffalo Public Schools would recognize Emery as the starter for the “Scalp & Blade” track meets. Emery was the official starter for the league from 1974 – 2005. Emery was also an official for high school and college competition in cross country, track and swimming. Emery was also a starter and finish judge in numerous local road races. Emery’s lengthy resume also includes former president of the N.Y.S. Collegiate Track & Reid Association, regional officer of the Jesse Owens Games (1967- 1984), and the World University Games in Buffalo.
Emery was also head official for the Olympic Marathon trials in 1980 and 984, and started the “Big E” Relays in W.N.Y. Emery was a huge contributor to W.N.Y. sports as an athlete, official, and director, in the true sprit of Earle Hannel.
The Bennett Sports Hall Of Fame Committee was pleased to select a high achiever in Bennett sports history, Trevor Ruffin, to receive the first annual award named after another high achiever in Bennett history, Earle Hannel.
Trevor was the outstanding basketball player of his era at Bennett. Trevor was the “Main Man” in the Tigers undefeated 1987 Yale Cup champion squad that went on to play at the N.Y.S. high school championship tournament at Glens Falls, NY. Trevor went on to set two amazing basketball records one magical February afternoon at Seneca V.H.S. By games end, Trevor had recorded 76 points, including 12 three point shots. Both were W.N.Y. schoolboy records at the time. The Tigers set a team record for most three point shots, 12, and all were scored by Trev.
Following his high school career, Trevor played a year at the junior college level before earning a basketball scholarship to the University of Hawaii. Trevor led Hawaii to become a big time power in NCAA college basketball. Following his remarkable career at Hawaii, Trevor played pro basketball in the NBA, primarily with the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers. Trevor also played pro basketball overseas. Currently, Trev has signed a contract with the Buffalo franchise in the new pro basketball league to commence this season.
Good luck Trevor Ruffin.
Vince McCarthy Sr. was selected as the “Earle Y. Hannel Memorial Award” recipient for this year. McCarthy Sr. is the second “Bennett Sports Booster” to be so honored. ( Jennie Di Pirro Brummer being the first). In the true spirit of the late Earle Hannel, the McCarthys did a lot for Bennett High and Bennett sports. Vince and Barbara McCarthy sent 7 children to Bennett High. Diane, Kathy, Mary Lou, Debbie, Vince Jr., David and Danny. Kathy, Vince Jr. and David are Bennett Sports Hall of Fame inductees.Diane’s tenure preceeded girls sports, and Danny was an All-High swimmer, but finished his academic career at Sweet Home H.S., where he is now varsity swim coach.
McCarthy Sr. had a hand in coaching all of his children in swimming at a local swim club, the “Water Buffalos”. Over the years, McCarthy Sr. was present at many of Bennett swim meets and practices, supporting his children and the teams.
McCarthy Sr. and his wife Barbara did much over the years to promote Bennett sports. They served as President of the Home School Association, raised funds for student activities by running a concession stand at Bills games at Rich Stadium. This required a lot of time and work. The McCarthys participated in other fund raisers as well, including selling of “tee ” shirts. For their efforts, Vincent McCarthy Sr. was honored as “Parent of the Year” by the Ctizens For Quality Education” group.
McCarthy Sr. was self-employed, and is now retired. The McCarthys presently spend their time between Buffalo and Florida. They are very proud of their children’s accomplishments at Bennett, justifiably so.