Schemm honored to have his football number retired by Maryvale - The Buffalo News

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Schemm honored to have his football number retired by Maryvale

Cory Schemm admits he's feeling a bit uncomfortable.

He's always been about the team not himself. It's why the former Maryvale star quarterback has experienced a thriving military career.

While he may consider Friday night a bit of a nerve-racking experience, it also will be a special moment -- a fact not lost on the 42-year-old Schemm. He's the first ex-Flyer football player to have his number retired.

Schemm was to scheduled to be honored at halftime during Maryvale's home opener Friday night against Pioneer.

Schemm is the only Flyer to ever win the Connolly Cup. The two-time All-Western New York first team selection scored 50 touchdowns during his scholastic career. He rushed for 2,628 yards and 31 scores, while passing for 1,311 yards and 19 touchdowns.

"It's very humbling, a little embarrassing," said Schemm, who went on to play running back at the Naval Academy. "I didn't consider myself anything special. I was surrounded by special people. … It's a team sport. I just had a role that allowed me to shine off my teammates' shining spirit. It's a bit nerve racking. I'm not a big center of attention kind of guy but I'm just honored."

Schemm's parents, wife, brothers, aunts, uncles and his niece, currently a seventh-grader at Maryvale, along with high school friends were expected to be in attendance for the ceremony in which an enclosed No. 12 was to hang from the top of the crow's nest where the team films games.

Schemm is currently a commander in the Navy who works in the Pentagon. His job is to help drive policy and decision-making while working with Congress to make sure those on the front line have what then need to get the job done.

The perk: he's closer to home now which could give him more opportunities to visit.

It's still a big a change for Schemm, who misses being on the front line as a supply officer.

What Schemm enjoyed was working with folks from different backgrounds on aircraft carriers.

"On the Carl Vinson, I had over 500 people in my department," he said. "Average age 20, I just enjoyed day to day interacting with people and shaping their lives. It's just like football. It's bigger than the individual, getting people to fight for someone else.

"They're good kids and great hearts. Too see them grow and achieve milestones, I definitely would rather do that than be behind a desk."

Schemm has been in combat situations.

In fact, he was on the USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2001 -- the carrier known by crew members as 'The Big Stick' -- that first initiated conflict against al-Qaeda during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Football did prepare Schemm for life in the military.

His role may be different now but the objective remains the same. In order for others to successfully be able to do their job, he must thrive in his.

"In the Navy if you're not doing your role, someone's going to get killed," Schemm said. "It's just about teamwork and working with other people. … Your contributions are going to a bigger cause. Nobody's looking for accolades."

While Schemm never played for the honors and glory, Friday night still was about him. It also was a chance for Maryvale to honor one of its own.

"He's the only Connolly Cup winner in Maryvale history," longtime Athletic Director Steve Griffin said, "so we thought this would be a nice thing to do."

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