Earlier this summer, Max Kemp tore the meniscus in his left knee while playing left wing for his soccer team in Boulder and was forced to miss out on a lot of fun activities. Now, a week off of crutches and just beginning physical therapy, he’ll have a new adventure to kick-start his journey.
Max and his parents, Amy and Cody, will be flying to Portland this weekend to watch the Rapids match versus the Timbers on Friday as the winners of the second leg of the #RapidsRoadTrip.
Shortly after his injury, the 13-year-old discovered the #RapidsRoadTrip contest, presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, at an area Dick’s Sporting Goods store. His mom submitted the photo (above) of Max in Rapids gear and on crutches:
The caption read: Even after knee surgery due to a soccer injury, Max is still supporting the Colorado Rapids!
“I didn’t think our photo would win. It wasn’t getting very many votes,” he said about the photo, which was submitted on the Colorado Rapids Facebook page.
Then, in the middle of the contest, the photo started to gain traction and receiving more votes. One day after school, Max was in his room and heard his mom shouting from downstairs.
He got to her at the computer and saw the email that said “Congratulations, you won!”
“[Amy] kept asking, ‘Is this a joke?’ over and over again,” said Savannah Reading, Account Manager of Partnership Marketing for the Colorado Rapids who shared the news with the winners.
The photo received enough votes through the Rapids Facebook app to place it among the top 10 vote-getters of all photos submitted. It was selected as the winner by representatives from the Rapids and Dick's Sporting Goods, the presenting sponsor.
The prize includes an all-expenses paid trip for two to Portland to watch the Rapids play on the road. However, after accepting the prize, the Kemps had a decision to make - which two would go? Not able to decide, the family bought an extra ticket so mom, dad, and son could all go.
On Wednesday Max and his father attended the Rapids training session, where they met Head Coach Oscar Pareja and team captain Drew Moor.
"Did you bring your boots?” Pareja asked the younger Kemp.
Unfortunately, Max couldn’t participate due to his injury, but he was thrilled to have been invited to join.
Moor made up for it later by inviting Max into the team huddle at the end of training and having him count the team off for their cheer.
“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” Max said.
On Friday the family will attend the Rapids game VIP style, with passes to watch warm ups from the sideline at JELD-WEN Field and dinner included at the game. On Saturday, they’ll take in the sights and then return to Denver on Sunday evening.
Also included in their prize package was a gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and on-field recognition at halftime of the Rapids 2-1 win over Dallas on September 14.