LINDSBORG – Former Bethany College student Cory McManus died Friday in Reseda, Calif. McManus played football at Bethany College during the 2015 season. He was a junior majoring in Criminal Justice and started on the offensive line as center for the Swedes.
While at Bethany he was an All-KCAC honorable mention All-Conference player. In his final game as a Swede, McManus started as the center, but also played fullback on different plays. He had one rush for three yards and a touchdown in Bethany's 48-14 season finale win over McPherson. He transferred to Bethany from College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., where he received first-team All-Conference honors.
"Cory was a very likable student-athlete during his time at Bethany," said Dane Pavlovich, Dean of Athletics and Student Development at Bethany. "He worked extremely hard to make himself into a major contributor on the field. His competitive spirit and attitude will be lasting memories of Cory's time as a Swede."
A letter from Head Football Coach at Bethany College, Paul Hubbard:
"What are you supposed to say or do when you lose a son, brother, family member, teammate or friend? You cry, that's what you do. I have recently lost all of the above. No, my loss is not as great as his mother or his father, but it hurts nonetheless. I am supposed to be a big tough football coach, but today I lost one of my kids, so I cry and pray. Last week, we lost the most amazing young man, Cory McManus. On the field he is a coach's dream. He was too small to play offensive line, yet he was our starting center. He is not quick enough to play a skill position, yet when we needed a 4th-and-short he was our lead blocker playing fullback. And yes, when we needed to celebrate his unbelievable effort, teamwork, and character he scores a touchdown. See Cory to the world was a small young man, that should never play college football, but to me Cory's size could barely carry his heart.
Cory loved his mom, and I got the opportunity to meet her during our Mom's Weekend. I can see where Cory got his oversized heart, for she is a great woman who loves her son. A few weeks back when I found out about Cory's injury, I called his mom. The hurt in her voice was not disappointment in her son, it was disbelief that something like this could happen to her "man child." She said he kept saying how sorry he was. His family was a pillar of strength through this and they amazed me the entire time.
Cory went to be the smallest yet strongest angel on February 12, 2016. We are all broke from this, but God will find a way to comfort us. Since I found out about Cory's passing, one part of the Lord's Prayer has stuck in my mind, "thy will be done." I will never understand why Cory was taken away from us at such a young age, but God knows. I want to pour my love over the McManus family and never let go of my two children. To those who are hurting, I am praying for you and Bethany is praying for you. When you look into the sky next time, know that the "Man Child" is looking down on you and he is waiting to see you when it is time."