Richard Syracuse

Richard Syracuse

Class of 1989

Sport(s): Soccer

Year Inducted: 2011

The Syracuse twins, Jack and Richard were the prime movers in getting varsity soccer brought to Bennett H.S. In 1987. Soccer was played as a “club sport” in the Buffalo high schools, but not yet at Bennett. When the skilled soccer playing brothers were asked by a friend to play with him at Lafayette H.S., another team in the league (Hutch Tech ) protested that the players should only be allowed to play for Bennett, which of course did not have a team. The brothers took the issue to the Buffalo Board of Education. The Board then decided that if the boys could get a commitment from 30 other players at Bennett, they could enter a team in the league. Jack and Richard prevailed, got their 30 plus signatures on a petition, and soccer was born at Bennett H.S. Bennett joined the club soccer league, with the boys father as volunteer coach. In 1988, soccer became a regular interschool varsity sport in the City of Buffalo. Bennett was represented with the late Wally Thompson as head coach.

The brothers soccer prowess soon came to the fore. Both Richard with 23 goals and Jack with 16 goals finished 1 – 2 in the league in scoring. Both were named first team All-High and All-WNY selections in soccer after the 1987 and 1988 soccer seasons.

After high school, the brothers attended Ohio Northern University where they played soccer for one year, after which they returned home to tend to the family business. Today they are the proprietors of Gecko’s Bar and Grille, 1462 Hertel Ave. Jack and his wife Rachel have a son, Santonio, aged 4. Richard and his wife Diana have three children, Talia 9, Ariana 7, and Enzo aged 3.