Roger is a rare selection to our Sports Hall of Fame due to the fact that he had only one varsity sport, swimming. The achievement that caught our attention is that Roger was All-High in swimming all 4 years at Bennett. Roger was the backstroker on the All-High freshmen medley relay team, and followed that as the All-High 100 yard backstoker in his sophomore, junior and senior years. roger earned a 5th All-High medal on the medley relay team as a senior in 1951 .
Roger was voted “Best Athlete” in the senior class in 1951 , and attended Michigan State University after graduation from Bennett.
NOTE -Tireless efforts to locate Roger have been fruitless. If any alumnus has information on Roger’s whereabouts following high school, the committee would appreciate the information.
Teresa participated on 8 varsity squads at Bennett from her sophomore year through graduation, 2 volleyball, 3 swimming, and 3 girls track teams. Of these 8 teams, amazingly, 7 of them won the city championship in their sport. Individual accomplishments include All-High awards in swimming for the 100 yard breaststroke and the 1 60 medley relay. The times of 1 :1 9.1 for the breast stroke and 1 :41 .7 for the relay were both city records.
In track, Teresa was All-High in the 880 yard run, the 2 Mile relay, and the high jump. Played a large role with 3 undefeated track teams, Teresa set city records again in the 880 run with a 2:30.5 clocking, and the high jump with a leap of 5’4″. Her effort in the high jump earned her a place in the N.Y. State track meet in 1 981 , representing Section VI. Teresa was voted “Outstanding Female Athlete” at Bennett in 1981.
After high school, Teresa attended Alfred U. and Canisius College. She continued her athletic career by participating in volleyball and track in college
Vincent McCarthy may go down in Bennett H.S. history as the most prolific swimmer ever. Brother of 2005 Hall Of Fame inductee Kathy McCarthy Grilliot, VJ, Kathy, along with sister Mary Lou and brothers Dave and Dan, the McCarthy’s were known in the 7O’s and early ’80’s as the “first family” of Bennett H.S. swimming. Coached by his father Vince and 2006 Bennett Sports Hall Of Fame inductee Coach Byron L. Vickery, VJ is the most celebrated male swimmer in school history.
In the years 1977 – ’79, no one dominated the Buffalo Public School league like VJ. Totalling 8 All-High medals, VJ was All High as a sophomore in both the Individual Medley and 100 yard Butterfly stroke. In his junior season, VJ captured three All-High medals, defending both of his sophomore titles, and adding the 200 yard Freestyle Relay. For his senior season, VJ once again gained All-High recognition in the 200 yard Freestyle Relay, Butterfly, and also added a Buffalo City record as a member of the 400 yard Medley Relay.
Following graduation, VJ went on to Buffalo State College and earned a B.A. degree in Political Science. Currently, he is the Assistant Supervisor of pools for the Erie County Parks Dept. VJ is also the assistant head coach for Sweet Home H.S. boys and girls swimming teams. His brother Dan is the head coach. VJ is also the head coach of the Sweet Home Aquatic Swim Club, and the W.N.Y. swimming team that competes every summer in the Empire State Games.
Fate brought the ever popular Coach Vickery to Bennett HS. After finishing graduate school in Iowa, Byron was making his way East on his way back home to his native Wales, G. B. A stop-off to see Niagara Falls was a must. During his stopover in our area, Byron stopped at City Hall and inquired about a job. Byron was immediately put to work at school #6 and in 1963 came to Bennett. At Bennett Byron became a consistently successful educator. Byron’s teams won championships in cross-country(? Columbia Cups), swimming(4 Syracuse Cups) and tennis(3 Dr. Bapst trophies). Byron also had a short stint coaching his favorite sport, soccer. Nichols School benefited from Byron’s expertise, with a 33 wins, no losses in the early 60’s.
The highlight of this brilliant coaching resume’ has to be the year 1978. Byron’s teams went undefeated in all three of his sports, winning the boys and gins championships in cross country, swimming and tennis, surely any coaches dream.
The star athletes Coach Vickery developed are too numerous to mention here. It must be noted however, that Byron was the first coach to use females on a boys varsity team. Byron helped “revolutionize” Buffalo city sports when Kathy McCarthy and Lydia Manuel swam on the varsity swim team in 1971.
Jerry came to Bennett in 1964 replacing a legend, Elmer Rosenthal. Jerry taught physical education and health, and kept busy coaching three sports a year. In the fall season, Jerry coached cross country, was an assistant football coach and head football coach from 1971 until his retirement.
In the winter season, Jerry coached either boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming or bowling. The spring season saw Jerry coach track and field or baseball. Jerry experienced championship teams in football(1 ), track and field(3), but his biggest success came in baseball. Jerry guided Tiger teams to Cornell Cups in ’74,’76,’81,’82 and ’85, not a big surprise since Jerry himself signed a pro baseball contract with the Philadelphia Phillies right out of Burgard HS. Jerry’s career was defined with the high moral and ethical standards he set for his athletes, and the sense of humor he brought to work everyday.
Best wishes for a long happy retirement in Leesburg, Florida, where Jerry still plays softball today.