When Cory Skoczen walks onto Martinelli Field inside Jack Miller Stadium for Ashland University Eagles’ first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 4, it will culminate a yearlong personal battle filled with prayers, tears and a lot of hard work.
His nightmarish ordeal began at a Monday morning practice prior to the start of the last year’s regular season. During a non-contact drill, Cory, a 5-11, 228-pound linebacker, sustained what University head athletic trainer Jeremy Hancock described as a “spinal concussion.”
Cory lost all feeling from the neck down for more than three days. It took time for the feeling and movement to come back to his body. It has been a long road to recovery.
But today, Cory is looking at practice sheets and game film as a student assistant coach with the Ashland University football team. To watch him on the practice field now, no one would ever know that Cory went through an experience like that.
While running onto the field with his teammates on Sept. 4 will mark a personal triumph over tragedy for Cory, it will also mark the Eagles’ first game in the now fully completed Dwight Schar Athletic Complex. Several games were played at the stadium last year, but that was prior to the completion of the Troop End Zone Facility that contains locker rooms, weight room and offices.