Syracuse Orange: 15 Orange jerseys that belong in the rafters right away

Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

In another recent post, I shared six names I thought worthy of the Syracuse Orange JMA Wireless Dome Ring of Honor. In putting together that list and other recent posts, I also realized there are more names worthy of joining the greats in the Dome rafters.

Honestly, this list could be double this amount but I kept it to 12 for brevity and the opportunity for a brief explanation (I almost did 22 for the significance of that number but this is already really long as is).

I do like that it seems recently more ‘Cuse sports and names are being recognized but I think there are still many worthy names and I think waiting is overrated and unnecessary.

Here are 15 names I think deserve the love and recognition worthy of joining others in the Dome rafters of Syracuse Orange greatness.

Tiana Mangakahia

Recently I wrote about the outpouring of love for Tiana Mangakahia when she announced her retirement from basketball and in that, I proposed an idea to put her jersey in the rafters already because of her positive impact on the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball program. I stand by that idea.

Brittney Sykes & Alexis Peterson

Since these two were teammates, I’ll lump them together because it was their ability and hard work that helped lead the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team to a championship game appearance against UConn in 2016. That team was talented and special so if you want to just do something more to honor them all instead I’m okay with that but I definitely think Alexis and Brittney (who is also having a great WNBA career too by the way) deserve the honors.

Alexis, along with Tiana, is arguably the two best point guards in Syracuse Orange women’s basketball history and Brittney ranks first in games started (137) and third in overall points among many other achievements.

Justyn Knight

I used to joke on Twitter that Justyn should work for Jimmy Johns because he was “freaky fast”. Justyn Knight was a great cross country/track athlete from 2014-2018  and was even the Syracuse Orange Male Athlete of the Year in 2016-2018.

Normally I’d list his personal accomplishments here but Justyn has so many he could almost have his own post about them. But I can’t ignore the fact that he was a 2017 NCAA champion in cross country and helped the cross country team win its first national championship title in 64 years in 2015.

Powell Brothers

While Mikey Powell’s jersey is amongst the greats, my personal opinion is that all three brothers (Ryan and Casey as well as Mikey) helped the Syracuse Orange lacrosse program so much that they all earned it. Mikey was first-team All-American his entire 4 years at Syracuse so there’s no denying he’s that guy, but those 90s-2000s teams with the Powells aboard were exciting to watch and attracted people to want to play for the Orange. The Gaits and the Powells (as well as the Simmons on the coaching side) are names synonymous with Syracuse Orange lacrosse and should be honored as such.

Liz Hogan

Liz Hogan is the greatest goalkeeper in Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse history. She was a 4- year starter who graduated with the most saves and ground balls in Syracuse history. Goalkeeper is a position I find to be one of the most difficult to play in sports and she excelled. If my child wanted to play goalkeeper, I’d tell them to study her work.

John Galloway

And the men’s equivalent to Liz Hogan is definitely John Galloway. Both of these two athletes are the pinnacle and definition of how to play the goalkeeper position. The Syracuse Orange won national championships in his first two seasons in net, and he was the inaugural Orange two-time first-team All-American goalie in school history. John is the current head coach at Jacksonville University and two-time SoCon Coach of the Year.

Alyssa Manley

If Syracuse Orange field hockey had a face for the program, it’s my opinion only two names would make that list: former Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley and former player Alyssa Manley. Unfortunately, Coach Bradley announced her retirement earlier this year but she helped build a great program. And together with Alyssa in 2015 they won a national championship in field hockey.

Alyssa that season was on the ACC All-Tournament team, NCAA All-Tournament team, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and All-ACC first team. She was also a member of the Pan Am Games gold medal team and the third-place 2016 US Olympics team.

Art Monk

Art Monk did nothing but set records for Syracuse Orange football, and in his 16 years in the NFL (14 alone with Washington). He once had at least one reception in 183 games consecutively and ended his NFL career with over 900 receptions. He once had 14 receptions in one game for Syracuse against Navy in 1977. If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you knew who he was and how great he was at wide receiver.

Chandler Jones

Chandler is a guy I reference often. When people talk about the recruit star system, I remind them that Chandler came to Syracuse a 2 star some say mostly because of the success of his older brother Arthur. And yet, look at the career he had at Syracuse as well as in the NFL. I also love to remind my son, a Seattle Seahawks fan, that once upon a time, Chandler Jones made Geno Smith’s life heck by sacking him twice in one game (Geno was sacked 4 times by Syracuse in total in that game).

John Lally (Lally Complex)

Now these last three maybe weren’t as well known for their success on the field but their contributions to the SU Athletics programs deserve equal consideration. Though I’ll start with John Lally who was a 4-year starter for the Syracuse Orange football team from 1977-1981. But it’s likely his contribution in establishing the John A. Lally Athletics Complex that will leave a lasting legacy that helps improve the lives of athletes and helps encourage recruits to come to Syracuse for years to come.

Paul Pasqualoni

Coach P was beloved by many including myself and was the second-winningest coach in Syracuse Orange football history behind only Ben Schwartzwalder. Pasqualoni had 107 wins in 14 seasons & Schwartzwalder had 153 in 24 years.

Coach P also guided Syracuse to 4 Big East titles and nine bowl games taking over when Syracuse Head Coach Dick MacPherson left Syracuse to coach the New England Patriots and coached players like Donovan McNabb, Dwight Freeney and Keith Bulluck among others who had successful careers at Syracuse and in the NFL.

It’s this writer’s opinion that he was unjustly fired after an unfortunate 51-14 loss in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2004 by an administration determined to make Syracuse the USC of the East Coast instead of embracing the legacy and history it held already.

Pete Sala

For those unfamiliar with the name, Pete Sala is the current Syracuse University Vice President & Chief Facilities Officer managing the JMA Wireless Dome. Pete is a hard-working man who for years has worked endlessly to make the Dome a great place for Syracuse Orange fans. Pete and his amazing team also do some really awesome transitions from one sport to another overnight that you really have to watch to appreciate.

Heck maybe for Pete, Syracuse could put like a Dome figure in the rafters or something to exemplify his work with the Carrier/JMA Wireless Dome.

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