Cory Chorak may have only been a part of the Harlan football program for a short time, but his impact could be felt for seasons to come. The senior standout was not only a leader on both sides of the football, but he also left a lasting impression on a rebuilding squad.
“I am not the type to put myself out there as a leader. It just fell on me. I tried to lead by example. I hoped the younger kids would see how hard I was playing and follow along,” Chorak said.
After transferring from Harlan County his junior season, Chorak missed most of last year before emerging as the Dragons go-to option in 2013. The senior running back rushed for 878 yards and nine touchdowns, despite being the focal point of most opposing defenses. Chorak’s best performance of the season came in a 58-38 victory at Rye Cove, Va. He ran for 294 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
“Cory provided a lot of leadership. He is such a good kid with a good heart. He is a very hard-working kid. He is very strong in the offseason program as well as a leader during the year,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue. “We needed him to carry the load for us, and he done a good job with that. He suffered a few injuries, but he always managed to get back on the field for us.”
Chorak was also a standout on the defensive side of the ball, playing several positions for the Green Dragons.
“He’s a kid that has been invaluable for us in every way. Offensively, defensively, and on special teams — he made a lot of big plays for us,” Donahue said. “You could move him around all over the field and he played all of those spots very well.”
Chorak and the Green Dragons went 2-9 in 2013, with victories over Rye Cove and district foe Jenkins. Harlan also fell just short of earning another pair of wins, falling to Leslie County and Lynn Camp by a combined six points.
“I wish the season could have been better, but it was what it was. We made the best of it. We worked hard and played hard every week,” Chorak said. “We just always went out there and played hard. We knew who we were playing for and wanted to play hard for the fans. We didn’t give up, no matter how things went. I have enjoyed it a lot.”