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‘Voice of Copiague’ Mike Cesare gets press box named for him at homecoming
After serving as master of ceremonies for a Copiague Little League parade, Mike Cesare was asked to be the public address announcer for Copiague's high school football games.
That was 50 years ago, and Cesare is still in the booth.
He was honored for his service Saturday afternoon during halftime of the Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School homecoming game.
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The press box will now be known as Mike Cesare’s Eagles Nest, an honor that was kept secret to surprise the 84-year-old Copiague resident.
“I love it,” he said after the sign unveiling. “It’s such a joy to see these kids every week. It makes you feel young.”
The idea to honor Cesare was proposed more than a year ago by Walter O’Connell, the last announcer before Cesare, and the son of a former principal for whom the school is named, Walter G. O’Connell.
Superintendent Charles Leunig was immediately in favor of the idea, and it was unanimously approved by the board of education a few weeks later.
“He loves Copiague, he loves the school and he loves the community,” Leunig said. “He’s like the mayor around here, and he is the voice of Copiague.”
Not only does Cesare get to work with the students, but he also gets to work with his son, Peter Cesare, Copiague’s director of physical education and athletics.
“The funny part is, he tells me I give him a raise every year, even though he makes nothing,” Peter Cesare said. “He loves these kids. No matter how good or bad they do, he’ll always find something positive to point out.”
At halftime, the Copiague Eagles were down significantly to the Newfield High School Wolverines, but Cesare proved his son right by finding the bright side.
“The underclassmen are getting playing experience, and that experience is going to benefit them next year,” he said, adding that his favorite part is when the students come visit him after they graduate. “I feel like I have 10,000 kids.”