Sporting WCA

Andrew Kempen: Kicking for Good

Sophomore Andrew Kempen, primary kicker for the football team, had a tragic, life-changing experience this past summer break.

“I was invited to an Iowa state kicking camp and I won, so I was invited to an ESPN kicking camp in Wisconsin 3 weeks before summer ended.” Kempen was thrilled to be admitted to this camp as many college scouts were there to see the top prospects.

That was where he met some of his rolemodels, Nebraska Big Ten punter of the year, Sam Foltz, and Michigan state’s Mike Sadler. Both of the kickers were major supporters and advocates of Kick-It, a non profit that donates to help kids of all age groups who are fighting cancer. The kickers got the group settled down and started to tell them their mission. They wanted to help win the battle against the world’s deadliest sickness.

Sam Foltz went first, and Andrew described him as “really nice; he walked on the team, [and clearly he was] a super nice Christian guy. He talked about how God helped him keep on pushing to try to make the team.” Mike Sadler then told his story. “He said that his mom was very close to him and encouraged him,” remembered Kempen.

That very night, both kickers got into a tragic car accident. That next morning, Jamie Kohl, director of the camp, had to break the news to the guys.

“He just said something bad happened last night, he took his hat off and came out with it, saying ‘two of our fellow players died in a car accident.’ He prayed with us and said, ‘Thank God for every day you live, because these two guys helped their community.’”

Amongst the grief that struck Alex with the loss of two fantastic role-models, he was emboldened and wanted to follow in their footsteps.

“I thought about it that night. At the camp they had [their charity], and in the end I just decided to get involved.”

Andrew is not allowed to donate as a pledge for kicking a certain number of field goals per season, as per MSHAA’s rules, but he has found other ways to help fund a cure for cancer.

“My parents and grandparents give me money every time I make a field goal, and then I donate it. The money goes straight to the foundation.” With each donation a person gives, they are helping further research that will help cure cancer.

“Those two [kickers] gave so much for this cause, and I feel like I want to help accomplish [their goals]… I feel like I am led to help them and help kid’s with cancer, as well as doing my job on the football field. I am lucky that I am able to do this for them,” said Kempen.

If you would like to help continue the legacy of these kickers, we invite you to donate to Andrew Kempen’s Kick It Cancer charity. Click the link above to donate today!