This weekend the Syracuse Orange will host their final jersey retirement of the year. We’ll get into more details but with the honoring of Roy Simmons, Jr, Gary Gait and Katie Rowan this weekend Syracuse completes a year where they finally honored a women’s athlete in this manner.
There is a bit of a challenge comes in the fact that not every sport plays in the Dome and the Ring of Honor location seems to limit how many legends can be recognized there. We suggest that Syracuse Athletics set up a true Hall of Fame and use the Carrier Dome concourses to showcase those athletes, coaches and administrators.
Now that Felisha Legette-Jack, Anna Goodale and Rowan are recognized, there is progress towards more formal recognition of sports outside of football, men’s basketball and lacrosse, so who should be next?
Here’s a list of candidates to start:
Administrators: Jake Crouthamel and Doris Soladay.
Men’s Basketball: Hakim Warrick.
Women’s Basketball: Kayla Alexander
Men’s Crew: Thomas Darling
Women’s Rowing: Natalie Mastracci
Field Hockey: Alyssa Manley
Football: Dwight Freeney
Cross-Country/Track and Field: Justyn Knight and Katie Hursey Zafares
Men’s Lacrosse: Paul Gait and the Powell Brothers
Women’s Lacrosse: Michelle Tumolo
Wrestling: Gene Mills
Swimming and Diving: Miroslav Vucetic and Liz Vilbert
Softball: Jenna Caira
Tennis: Jana and Nicole Strnadova
Men’s Soccer: Alex Bono
Women’s Soccer: Erin O’Grady
Volleyball: Kelly Duan
It’s a bit awkward that Syracuse is honoring Gary Gait without also honoring his brother Paul. They should probably avoid this in the future by doing single ceremonies for the Powells and Strnadovas and of course all the Cooneys.
If I had to pick a list for 22-23 I’d go with this group: Paul Gait, Gene Mills, Dwight Freeney, Doris Soldaday, Kayla Alexander and Alyssa Manley. We should have both Gaits honored so let’s fix it as soon as possible. Gene Mills was one of the most dominant athletes in Syracuse history. The Syracuse football program could do more to highlight Freeney’s career both in Orange and in the NFL. Doris Soladay was instrumental in the introduction and growth of women’s athletics at Syracuse. Kayla Alexander is the women’s basketball program’s all-time scoring leader and helped the program take the next step in their growth. Alyssa Manley was one of the leaders of the Orange’s only women’s NCAA Championship squad- a team which should also have a banner in the Dome (if there’s a concern about space we can move the Billy Joel banner to Manley).
Some of you are probably seething at the apparent omission of Riley Dixon but we prefer to think he’s going to spend his off-season sculpting his own statue to be placed outside the future Football operations center.
Now it’s your turn, who do you think should be up next for recognition?