Charles “the Gar” Garfinkel graduated from Bennett in 1956. He is considered by many to be the greatest all around racket sports star to have ever competed in Western New York. “The Gar” was the first racket sport athlete selected to the Greater Buffalo Hall of Fame.
During his tennis career at Bennett, Charlie was All High first team in 1955 and 1956, winning twenty two straight matches. Bennett captured the Bapst Trophy, emblematic of city tennis supremacy, both years. His 1956 team made Buffalo public school tennis history by completing a perfect season, winning all team and individual matches, a feat unprecedented in 39 years of competition.
In 1956, Garfinkel also played on Bennett’s varsity basketball team.
Charlie’s feats as a racket sports star are legendary. Over the years, he won 24 national racquetball titles, 14 city championships, 32 state titles, and 25 eastern championships. He played on the men’s pro tour for 6 years and was ranked as high as number 5 in the world.
In tennis he won 3 national titles, 4 city singles titles, 11 city doubles titles, and 26 Muny titles, more than any present player.
In 1969, he won city championships in tennis, squash, and racquetball. By his accomplishments, he became the only player WNY history to win all three titles.
Charlie is now a member of 7 Hall of Fames. Included are the Greater Buffalo Hall of Fame, National Racquetball Hall of Fame, the International Masters Racquetball Hall of Fame, the WNY Racquetball Hall of Fame, Buffalo State College Hall of Fame, Jewish Center Hall of Fame, and tonight, the Bennett High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Garfinkel, a Buffalo State College graduate, resides with his family in Amherst. He is an elementary school teacher in the Buffalo Public School System.
Arthur had an outstanding tennis career at Bennett. He was All-High and undefeated for three straight years,winning 33 straight matches. He played first doubles during his sophomore and junior year, and second singles his senior year.
Bennett won the city tennis championship in both 1 955 and 1 956. Arthur was also an outstanding baseball player as a youngster, and could have had an equally outstanding career in that sport if he had continued to play. However, tennis was his first love.
He received his pharmacy degree from the University of Buffalo, but didn’t play tennis in college due to personal and work commitments. However, he won five City of Buffalo doubles titles, four with his twin brother, Jim, and one with Jack Sunderland.
Some local experts felt that Arthur and Jim would have been ranked nationally if they had been given the opportunity to travel and play against the best players in the country. Regardless, they are regarded as one of the finest doubles teams to have ever competed in Western New York.
Jim was a two sport star at Bennett. He was All-High in tennis three straight years, going undefeated in 33 consecutive matches. Jim played first doubles with his twin brother, Art, as a sophomore, and played first singles his junior and senior years. Jim was regarded as the finest public high school player in the area during his junior and senior years. His serve and volley game was powerful and consistent.
In basketball, Jim was third team All-High as a senior, averaging 1 5.2 points per game. Like his brother, he was also an outstanding baseball player during the summers, but chose tennis as his high school spring sport.
After high school, Jim starred at the University of Buffalo at first singles in tennis. In addition to winning city doubles titles with his brother and Lloyd Tack, Jim won many doubles titles in senior divisions.
Jim retired after a long career as a physical education teacher in the city of Buffalo, and is recognized as a fine amateur golfer in the area today.
Jerry Carp starred at Bennett High School in tennis in 1955-56. In 1956 he teamed up with Charlie Garfinkel at first doubles to go undefeated in 10 straight matches and achieved Hall High honors. he was part of the only Buffalo High school tennis team to ever go 5-0 in 11 straight matches; with every player on the starting team achieving All High honors. Jerry went on to play tennis at Penn State from 1959-1960 and was team captain in 1960.
Although his post college tennis career has been limited to local and regional tournaments he achieved a monumental feat of reaching the National Men’s Open Singles finals in 1974 in the American Tennis Association Championships.
After graduating from SUNY Law School in 1963 he now resides in New York City where he continues to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Florida specializing in trust and estates, tax planning and fiduciary litigation.
Tennis runs in his family. His wife Ellen, whom he met on a tennis court, played for the University of Miami’s women’s tennis team; one of the strongest teams in the country. Jerry is also the father of Dylan and Jordan. both of whom live in San Francisco, and play recreational tennis.
Jerry was also an outstanding musician who played the oboe in high school.In New York, he has played as the principle oboist in numerous community and civic orchestras throughout the New York city area. He has also acted as counsel for many of the orchestras he has played in, doing so on a volunteer basis.