Over Bennett High School’s eighty three year existence, there have been a few student athletes that contributed immediately as freshmen. Of those few, Jeff Arnone certainly stands out. In his first season as a member of the Bennett Tiger baseball team; Jeff started at shortstop, hit several home runs, RBl’s and scored in every game played. His overall performance was a significant contribution to a team that won the 1976 Cornell Cup.
During his sophomore year, Jeff continued to flourish as the starting shortstop for the baseball team and joined the football team as the back up Quarterback. It was during his junior year that Jeff took over the starting position at Quarterback and led the team to its first win of the season, defeating Emerson 12 to 8. The following spring, the third year starter at shortstop was named captain of the baseball team and was selected to the first of three All High Honors (two for baseball, one for football).
Jeff”s senior year was magnificent. In football as the starting quarterback and safety, Jeff led his team to a 5-1 -1 record. In baseball Jeff was part of a memorable season that included a second place finish in the Cornell Cup and an upset victory over three time sectional champion Dunkirk. With the help of his teammates Jeff scored the winning run that sealed the victory and put Bennett High School in its first sectional championship game.
Throughout his entire baseball career, Jeff was solid hitter as well as an excellent defensive player. He continued to play baseball after high school. He was an active participant on both legion and MUNY ball clubs, and played college baseball at Buffalo State; where he was named captain in his final season.
Today Jeff is a twenty year veteran of the Buffalo Fire Department. He is married to his wife of 23 years, RoseMary, and they live in North Buffalo with their three children Jeffrey, Carlie and Tom. Jeff Arnone credits coach Jerry Berkman for teaching him how to be a good sportsman; and for passing on important life skills that he continues to reinforce as a parent, little league coach, and firefighter.