Woody Corey does it all for Maine East

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PARK RIDGE — Maine East’s Woody Corey never comes off the field. He’s a staple on offense, defense and special teams. It’s partly because he’s one of the Blue Demons’ best, but it’s also because his team is short-handed.

“I am in the position on offense where I know that I can’t go out for a couple plays because I am tired or because I’m bruised up or whatever,” Corey said. “I just need to stay in the game and fight through small pains.”

Maine East has faced its problems with players being battered and bruised. Starting with a small roster of about 30, the Blue Demons have had numerous players out with injuries. Most notable is senior running back Munkh Bayer, who suffered a broken fibula on the second offensive play of the season.

That’s shifted most of the offensive emphasis to Corey, a junior who now is the team’s main playmaker. He’s used to the attention. When the Blue Demons changed offensive schemes in the offseason from a standard I-back set to a spread offense, coaches built their playbook around Woody and Bayer.

With Bayer’s injury, things have changed.

“It makes it difficult,” said Maine East coach Gabe Corey, who is Woody’s father. “You kinda went from two weapons to one. So we’ve been trying to put Woody in different places on the field and he’s been able to be successful with it.”

That showed two weeks ago, against Niles West. After Maine East turned the ball over four times in the first five minutes, Gabe Corey moved Woody Corey to quarterback and things started to turn around, he said.

“He was able to stop the bleeding for us,” Gabe Corey said. “He rushed for 223 yards and he actually scored four touchdowns on the game, but three of them got called back by holds.”

Gabe Corey said Woody Corey’s best asset on the field is his confidence. He said Woody Corey is the kind of player who’s mentally tough enough to bounce back from a tough loss or a rough drive. Woody Corey uses that confidence every time he touches the ball, trying to take each catch or carry into the end zone.

“Any opportunity I get, I try to do my best,” Woody Corey said. “Our offensive coordinator always says that you have to have the mind-set that you’re going to score on every play. Every time I get the ball, I just keep fighting for yards and even if it looks like nothing’s going to happen.”

Maine East has brought up quarterback Ryan Sands to lead the passing game. Sands, a sophomore, started his first game Sept. 19 in the Blue Demons’ 50-6 loss to Maine South. But with the move, the team is hoping to take some of the emphasis off Woody Corey and create a passing game that will open up the run.

“We need to just make the offense more suitable for the people that we have,” Woody Corey said. “Just get the ball in more people’s hands.”

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