Native son, Cory Grow, returns home to play

03/19/03 NIFL Fan Article by Philip J. Rogich, Syracuse, UT

     The official NIFL season began on, March 14, 2003. The Utah Warriors get an extra week to prepare for the Billings Outlaws, while the Outlaws crushed Bismarck 61-18. Billings was the runner up in last year’s NIFL championship game. This is the first real test for the Warriors. This game has a special meaning for wide receiver Cory Grow. Cory played for Billings last year and has many friends on the team. I sat down and spoke with Cory about the game and football in general.

     Cory was born in West Valley Utah in the home his still lives in. He comes from a family of four children. Three girls and one boy. He is the second child. He went to Hunter High School in West Valley, where he played football and basketball. Hunter High’s football team made it to the play-offs his senior year. It’s been a home coming of sorts for him to play in West Valley again.

     After high school, he went to Dixie college. Dixie was a great experience for Cory. It got him ready to play at the next level. Dixie was ranked #2 in the nation one year that he was there. Both of his years at Dixie they played in the Rotary Bowl. In his second year they named him the Rotary Bowl MVP.

     After Dixie his football plans were undecided. Southern Utah thinking about giving him a scholarship and the University of Utah. wanted him to play without a scholarship. He then received phone call from Todd Berry the head coach of Illinois State University (Mr. Berry is now the head coach of West Point). They offered him a full ride scholarship to Illinois State University. There he majored in Industrial Technology. Cory was a stand out wide receiver on the football team. He holds many school records, including most receiving touchdowns in a game (three). I learn an interesting fact about the school from Cory. It was founded by Abraham Lincoln.

     Cory returned home after college but was not ready to hang up his football helmet. He played for the NIFL Utah Rattlers, where he lead the team in receiving. The Rattlers did make it to the play-offs their only year as a team. After the Rattlers folded Cory went to Cape Fear to play on an AFL2 team. There his was on inactive reserves. He got a phone call from the Billings Outlaws. Several other Rattlers had taken there services to Billings. They asked Cory to come and be a starter. Cory was one of the Outlaws leading receivers. During the regular season in fourteen games he had 1203 yards, 83 catches and 19 touchdowns. He also threw a 24-yard pass for a touchdown. He was a key part of why Billings made it to the Championship.

     When the Warriors announced the forming of a Utah team, Cory returned home. Cory loved his time in Billings but wanted to come home. Several other Rattlers joined him that had played in Billings. Only quarterback Albert Higgs remained in Billings. In the pre season game against Rapid City Cory had 4 catches, 91 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He scored the first touchdown in Warriors history.

     Cory has had the privilege of playing with the two best Quarterbacks in the league, Danny Ragsdale (Warriors) & Albert Higgs (Rattlers & Outlaws). I asked him to compare the two. Both have strong arms and can find targets way down field. Both can scramble well. Danny is a better decision maker, while Albert may sometimes force a pass. Also Danny played wide receiver in high school so he can anticipate what they will do.

     Cory compared the Warriors to other teams around the league and the teams on which he has played. He feels that the Warriors have the most athletic ability of any team for which he has played. The Warriors can pass, run and play defense well. He feels Emmitt White, Omar Bacon, Danny Ragsdale and others could play in Arena League 1 at this time. He feels they can outlast Billing at home. However, it might come down to the last possession. Look for the Warriors in the Play-offs.

     As a player Cory has passion for the game. Cory plans to play in the Arena League someday and would love to play in the NFL. He is excited to be back at home and to be a part of this new football team.

     Friday, March 21st the Warriors have a meet and great the players night. This event is for season ticket holders only. It’s not too late to get your season tickets. Come and meet Cory and all the other Warriors.

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