×

Looking for a shot at redemption

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Corey practices weekly at facilities in Fitchburg, Massachusetts (pictured here) and in Merrimack.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Rindge resident Bill Corey is currently competing in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama in singles and doubles racquetball. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Corey, right, and his racquetball partner Mitch Milewski Courtesy photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rindge resident Billy Corey is in Birmingham, Alabama right now looking for a shot at redemption. 

Two years ago, the 68-year-old racquetball player competed in the National Senior Games — the largest multi-sports event specifically devoted to people 50 and older — in doubles and singles racquetball, placing second and fifth respectively. In his return this year, Corey is hoping to come out on top.

“I think we have a great shot at winning this year,” said Corey, before his practice session at the Montachusett Community Branch YMCA in Fitchburg, Massachusetts last Thursday. “My partner [Mitch Milewski] is a terrific player. I’m going to try to stay out of his way.”

While he has two more years of experience under his belt from the last time he competed, Corey is facing an uphill battle for this year’s competition. Last July, Corey was diagnosed with lung cancer. 

“My play has definitely suffered,” said Corey, who is currently receiving treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. “But I’ve been working to change my game. As a competitor, I’m always trying to find a way to win.”

Corey, who has been playing racquetball for nearly 40 years, said he has long been a player who has grinded out wins with hustle and willpower, but he can no longer do that, as the cancer makes has decreased his stamina and lung capacity.

Over the past 11 months, Corey has been trying to become a more calculated player, positioning himself properly and always thinking a few steps ahead to avoid having to rush around too much. 

“It’s all mind over matter,” said Corey. “I’m trying to be more calculated and working to make my shots lower.”

Corey has been practicing one or two times a week, along with playing in a weekly league in Merrimack, to prepare for the National Senior Games. Corey said he recently lost eight straight games to people he had never lost to before, but he is starting to rebound.

“I used to be in the top two or three [in my league], but now I’m in the middle of the pack,” said Corey. “I hope to be an inspiration to others, if nothing else.”

While Corey hopes to win the National Senior Games this year — the icing on the cake would be to defeat one of the people who defeated him two years ago — he is looking to have a good time. Corey said he and his partner have already planned out their experience, which includes a trip to the new Atlanta Braves stadium.

Corey said he plans on competing in the Senior Games for years to come, with his ultimate goal to become a champion in his 80s.