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The History of the Cleary Award

The Cleary Award was established in memory of Eddie Cleary, a distinguished graduate of Colonie Central High School who tragically drowned on July 23, 1960, shortly after his graduation in June of the same year. This award honors the remarkable character and sportsmanship Eddie exhibited during his time at Colonie Central High School, where he made a lasting impact on his peers and mentors.

Eddie Cleary's Legacy

Eddie Cleary was not a typical superstar athlete; he stood a little over 5'8" and weighed 140 pounds. Despite his modest size, Eddie was a very good football player and an average sprinter under my coaching. He also played basketball but did not advance beyond the JV ranks. What set Eddie apart was his exceptional character, dedication, and leadership.

During his senior year, Eddie could have easily been elected President of the Varsity Club due to his popularity. However, I asked him to remain as Secretary-Treasurer, a position where he had excelled and where most of the club's responsibilities lay. Without complaint and for the good of the club, Eddie accepted this role again, demonstrating his selflessness and commitment.