Guest Blogger: Korey Fry – From inner city to wide open spaces

 Korey Fry - Head Football coach, M State Spartans

Korey Fry - Head Football coach, M State Spartans

EDITOR’S NOTE: Korey Fry is the Sports & Member Engagement Coordinator for the Fergus Falls YMCA. He and his wife Mary have three children, ages six, three and eight months. When not working for the Y, Korey is the head football coach for the M State Spartans, the team he played for in college. We hope to feature more guest bloggers in the future! Thank you Korey for sharing your story!)

I never thought the 17-hour trip to Fergus Falls would be the best decision of my life.

I grew up in inner-city Detroit, Michigan, and I made my way to Fergus Falls due to my athletic ability on the gridiron. I had a scholarship to Michigan State, but I couldn’t fulfill all the Division One requirements of the NCAA.

I contacted a few other schools, but a coach at M State (Minnesota State Community and Technical College) actually contacted me. Just because it was kind of later in the year, and without researching it, I said, “You know what, I need a change of scenery,” so I moved out here. I wonder if I would have looked into it more, would I make the same decision?

So once here, I was fortunate enough to find success on the football field, in the classroom and in life. But to say that there weren’t a few speed bumps and things to get used to is an understatement.

It was a culture shock for someone coming from the inner-city of Detroit. My first experience in Fergus Falls was getting off I-94 and seeing a combine drive down the road. It kind of scared me, made me think, “Should I actually be here?”

It turned out to be one of the best decisions that I ever made.

After two solid years of playing football for M State – where I was both team captain and student body president – I was offered an athletic scholarship to Bemidji State. While there, I earned a sports management and exercise science degree and worked with the Boys & Girls Club where I really developed a passion for helping young children build a foundation in both athletics and life.

Later, my wife and I moved back to Michigan to be closer to my family. There I had a chance to play Arena & Amateur Football for the Southern Michigan Timberwolves. I could still play football, earning both National Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year honors in that first season.

But with all the success in football, life just didn’t seem right.

My wife is from Fergus Falls, two out of three of my kids was born here and it is a nice, peaceful town to grow and raise a family. So in the fall of 2013, we moved back to Fergus Falls to settle and grow our family.

Fergus is definitely growing in the right direction. I believe it is working to grow in diversity and community outreach. Things I really enjoy about this area are the lakes and all the parks. I believe what keeps our family here is the small town feel and family ties.

When I think of Live Wide Open, I think of my life’s experiences, and how we grow, interact and are supported by this great community.

This is truly a great place to call home.

Scott Kiemle