'I went through a state of depression': Former Rider Kory Sheets on life after football
Six years have passed since Kory Sheets brought forty-four thousand plus to their feet at Mosaic Stadium, turning in a record shattering performance in the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 45-23 Grey Cup victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It’s just now that he’s truly coming to grips with the fact that his football career is over.
“I went through a stage of depression, and that really hit me hard,” said Sheets. “I’m kinda just now coming out of it, and trying to get my life back in order.”
After the 2013 Grey Cup win, Sheets signed a contract with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and thought he was on track to be a star south of the border, but in the pre-season, it all came to a crashing halt. Sheets tore his Achilles tendon in a game against the Green Bay Packers in August of 2014, and was later released.
“It kinda hit me abruptly, I didn’t have a plan or know what I wanted to do, or thought about what I was going to do after football so it took me a while to figure it out.” said Sheets.
The 34-year old says a few of his friends went through the same thing. He’s been seeing a therapist, which he said, can be the highlight of his week. He’s encouraging other athletes to have a plan for life after the game, and said opening up about his struggle has been helpful.
Sheets has now found a passion for acting and modelling. He earned a small part in the Mark Wahlberg action movie, Mile 22, and he’s itching to get back on a movie set.
Sheets called his two years in Saskatchewan, playing for the Roughriders, the best of his life. He says most people might think the Grey Cup win would be his favourite memory, and while it is right up there, he says it didn’t have anything to do with being on the field at all.
“The bond that we built within the locker room, that’s more what I remember,” Sheets said, pointing to his charity work in the Regina community as a bright spot, as well.
Sheets was in town to speak at a charity event in Moose Jaw for the Optimist club alongside one of Canada’s top curlers, Rachel Homan.