Al Dekdebrun

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Professional Football Quarterback

Greatness was recognized early for the young quarterback from Buffalo.

After a successful high school career at Burgard Vocational, where he earned three letters and was named All-High in 1939, Al Dekdebrun took his talents to Cornell University where he quarterbacked and captained the Big Red, earning three varsity letters. He earned All-American honors in 1944 and led the nation in passing in 1945 with 90 completions for 1,227 yards. He continued to show the country his talents in the 1946 East-West All-Star game, where he earned the MVP award for his performance in that contest.

While at Cornell, Dekdebrun was also honored with membership in the Quill & Dagger Society, one of the most prominent collegiate societies of its type. The society recognizes those who have shown leadership, character, and dedication to service. He was selected to the Cornell Big Red Hall of Fame in 1982.

In 1946, Dekdebrun began his professional career with the Buffalo Bisons football team in the All-American Football Conference. In his rookie season he started eight games and threw for eight touchdowns. His quarterback rating, with his hometown team, was 70.1.

Dekdebrun played two more professional seasons in the United States, including a stop with the Boston Yanks of the NFL. In addition to playing quarterback, Dekdebrun picked off four passes as a defender and returned both kickoffs and punts.

In 1949, Dekdebrun took his talents north of the border and became the quarterback of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. As the field general, Dekdebrun led the Argos to the Grey Cup Championship game in 1950. During that contest, Dekdebrun scored the only touchdown as the Argos captured the championship with a 13-0 victory.

Dekdebrun was equally successful off the field in the Western New York community. Dekdebrun became a common name to area shoppers, as he opened a chain of sporting goods stores throughout the region. He was also one of the originators of Little League Baseball in Western New York and served as its commissioner.

Dekdebrun retired to a home in Fort Myers, FL in 1986, but maintained a summer home in Buffalo for several years, before passing away in 2005.