Pat Thayer was a multi-talented athlete who lived in the Buffalo University District. She was extremely well known for her athletic ability at her local playground besides school.
During the time that Pat attended Bennett, there was no funding for any girls’ interscholastic athletics in the entire city of Buffalo. However, Pat was a prime example of uncoached raw talent.
She was incredibly enthusiastic and instrumental in pushing for girls’ sports and was heavily involved in both intramural and pre-Title IX team activities. In 1969, students were notified of a petition asking for girls’ sports. Signatures were presented to Mr. Sikora, the principal, who essentially responded in a disregarding manner.
From 1969 to 1973, Pat was a staunch 4-year member of the Bennett bowling club. She continued bowling into her adult life and excelled tremendously.
Pat also played four years of intramural Volleyball. In her senior year, Physical Education teachers Miss Blue and Mrs. Henderson, entered a team into the Erie County Recreation Department Volleyball tournament. This was the girls first “real” competitive opportunity.
The third sport Pat was involved with was the pre-Title IX Basketball team. Pat was only one of four girls to play all four years. In her freshman year, Nottingham High School invited the girls to play their first and only game. The entire team had to walk to that school to play. Each year, more and more games were added. In her senior year, she played on the undefeated girls Bennett team that was 12-0.
Her fourth high school sport included two years of Pre-Title IX Softball. She was always a solid and dependable contributor to her team. All practices were held by Coach Mary Righetti at Shoshone Park.
Pat continued bowling after graduating, for 30 plus years and had her first perfect “300” game at Abbott Lanes in December 1996. She was the first female to bowl a “300” at Abbott Lanes and rolled games of 257, 300 and 200 for a 757 series. Pat was a member of the “Buffalo 600 Club” and finished in second place with a 286-688.
Pat was a fantastic Pre-Title IX athlete at a time when there was no “girls” Buffalo Public School funding, coaching, uniforms, practice time or transportation. WHAT IF?!