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Athletic field to be dedicated to sports pioneer Al Cesky's leadership, contributions are cited


Harford County's first public high school football coach and the man who introduced many other interscholastic sports to the county will be honored next month when the athletic field at Bel Air High School is named for Al Cesky.

Mr. Cesky, founder and coach of the Bel Air Bobcat football team in 1950 and coach of the high school's baseball and basketball teams, went on to become the school system's supervisor of athletics. Such sports as lacrosse, swimming, golf, gymnastics and others were introduced in the county under his leadership. He died in 1985 at age 57.

Not since C. Milton Wright High School opened in 1980 has a Harford County educator officially been honored by having a portion of school board property named for him, according to schools spokesman Donald R. Morrison.

Mr. Cesky's leadership and contribution to the lives of young people make him deserving of the field memorial, according to board members and others who pushed for the naming. "His contribution was larger than sports," said board member Ronald R. Eaton.

The recognition is unusual in Harford, where a school board policy instituted in 1983 forbids memorials to deceased students, staff members and others on school grounds. The policy calls for memorial donations or the establishment of funds if people want to remember a student, teacher or community member. It allows for exceptions "only under very unusual and justifiable circumstances."

"There was such importance to his contributions, we felt it was appropriate to make an exception to the policy," Mr. Eaton said.

Mr. Cesky has been remembered since his death. The Al Cesky Foundation has given county high school athletes more than $200,000 in scholarships over the years.

The field will be renamed in a ceremony to be held during 'D halftime of the Nov. 10 football game between Bel Air and C. Milton Wright high schools.

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