Dave Fry, who won two state championships while coaching baseball at Fort Osage High School, is proud that he and his three sons are among the newest members of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Class 0f 2019.
Father and sons Shaon, Brett and Ryan will join some elite company in a ceremony Sunday in Springfield, Mo.
However, he and his sons are quick to point out that one member of the family was overlooked – his wife and the boys’ mom, Susan.
“I can’t even find the words to say how honored I am that our family is being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Fry, who coached baseball for 24 years, including 21 at Fort Osage, where he won the first state title in 1991 and repeated it in 1997 with future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols on the roster. He compiled a 227-165 career record and was inducted into the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“But the committee overlooked one, very important part of our family – my wife Susan. Now, you have to remember that back when I was coaching, I had to miss so many of the boys’ games and practices, and Susan always made sure she got them where they needed to go.
“In the early days, we were a one-car family, but our boys never missed anything. And it’s because of their mom. She is just as competitive as any of us.”
Shaon agreed, adding, “There was a lot of love in our house, but we were competitors – all of us. Dad was a winner in everything he did, and mom was a winner, too. She managed to survive in a house full of boys and she was the perfect mom. It seemed like when we were little all she did was drive us from one practice or game to another and she loved every minute of it.”
Those words caught Susan a bit off guard.
“So, they said that?” she asked. “Well, I am competitive, and we were a one-car family back in the days when the boys were young, but I am so proud that our entire family is going into the Hall of Fame. I’ll be so happy to just be there and be a part of it, watching all of them get honored.”
Shaon Fry was a three-time wrestling state champion at Oak Grove High School and went on to Missouri, where be became the first Tiger wrestler to win two Big Eight Championships (1993, 1994), and the first to reach an NCAA championship match (1993). He also placed third at the 1994 NCAA Championships to earn his second All-America honor.
Shaon’s 127 wins are second-most wins in Mizzou history.
“This Sunday is going to be amazing,” Shaon said. “I can’t wait to share this with my brothers and mom and dad. I have so many great memories from when I was a kid, and most of them are from the early days when we were roughhousing around the house, beating up on each other and mom was there to keep us in line because dad was always working at school or one of his other jobs.”
Ryan Fry pitched in the title game when Oak Grove won its lone state baseball championship (1994), went on to play for Mizzou’s baseball team from 1995 to 1998, earning second-team All-America honors in 1998. He was one of the Tigers’ most prolific hitters and ranks among the top four in eight statistical categories. He still holds MU single-season records for hits (92 in 1996) and home runs (27 in 1998). He also played in the Kansas City Royals organization before leaving to attend law school.
“This is so great to go into the Hall of Fame as a family,” said Ryan, who has joined Shaon in the Mizzou Athletics Hall of Fame. “You can imagine what our house was like when we were all growing up. It didn’t matter what we were playing, we all wanted to win. I remember those days more than I do what happened at Oak Grove and Mizzou. We had a great childhood with more memories than I can recall.”
Brett was a four-time state wrestling champion at Oak Grove from 1992 to 1995 – one of 26 four-time champs in state history and one of four from Oak Grove – and earned a wrestling scholarship to Missouri, although he had to give up the sport after being diagnosed with pancreatitis.
“I think it’s great that all of us – our dad and my brothers – are getting inducted together,” Brett said. “My mom and dad were our role models and they taught us how to compete, and how to compete the right way.”
Shaon’s wife Shannon is a former member of Mizzou’s Golden Girls (1990-1994), and she is also being inducted into the Hall of Fame. She helped the Golden Girls win national titles in 1991 and 1992, and was a four-time All-American. She is a graduate of Macon High School, and helped its dance team win a national title in 1987.
“I’m so proud of Shannon,” Shaon said. “She was the heart and soul of the Golden Girls. I’m so proud of every member of my family.”