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High school football: Mike Corley's victory over cancer inspires Carl Albert

Titans' players watched Corley achieve what coaches preach — fight the fight, battle, persevere
by Scott Wright Published: November 29, 2012


photo - Carl Albert assistant coach Mike Corley talks with Carl Albert players before a high school football game between Carl Albert and Coweta in Midwest City, Friday, September 7, 2012.
Carl Albert assistant coach Mike Corley talks with Carl Albert players before a high school football game between Carl Albert and Coweta in Midwest City, Friday, September 7, 2012.

MIDWEST CITY — You can point to a lot of reasons for Carl Albert's incredible turnaround from 1-5 to state finalist.

The emergence of quarterback Steven Thompson as one of the state's top football players.

The increasingly dominant play of the offensive and defensive lines.

The shoring up of a once-porous secondary.

But one of the biggest — quite possibly the biggest — motivators in the Titans' revival had nothing to do with the game played between the white lines.

Defensive coordinator Mike Corley is cancer-free.

His fight, which essentially coincided with the football season, was an awakening sight for the Carl Albert players. As he battled, and ultimately defeated cancer, the inspiration flooded over the team.

No one was left untouched by the announcement earlier this month, just a few days before Carl Albert began the Class 5A playoffs, that Corley's cancer was gone.

“That's been the biggest victory of the season,” senior lineman Kyler Walker said. “Whether we would have made the playoffs or not, it would have been a blessing to have him cancer-free.

“To see how much he fights — he makes the effort to come to practice, and it makes us feel like we can do whatever we want. If he can go in and have treatment, then come back to practice for three hours a day to yell at us, we can accomplish anything we want.”

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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