Noah Woepke got to do more than just watch a soccer team on Saturday evening; he got to be a part of one. Everything from pregame radio appearance, pregame pep talk to the team, honorary captain and St. Louligan drummer has been added to this young fan's resume'.
Saint Louis FC first heard about Noah, 11, from our media partner, KTRS, and how he just came back from a Make-a-Wish foundation trip where he met Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. During the trip, Noah revealed he is more of a soccer fan than a football fan. Being from St. Louis, it was an easy decision for STL FC to invite him to the World Wide Technology Soccer Park for a match. During his visit, Noah received the "Fan of the Match" treatment for himself and his family, a custom-made jersey and shorts, and met the team pre-game in the locker room for autographs. He also gave some tactical advice to Coach Schilly and walked onto the field as the honorary captain for the coin toss with STL FC captain, Chad Bond.
Bond was grateful to have a part in making a memorable night for the honorary captain. "It was a great experience to walk out with Noah and seeing all the fans react in support for him. It was a special moment for me."
Tyler Tetzlaff, Community Relations Manager for STL FC who coordinated the night, thinks Noah's visit had a positive impact on the game. "Noah has a huge personality with a constant upbeat attitude and it was fun to have him around the guys in the locker room before the game. I would say his energy rubbed off with the 7-1 score line!"
After fulfilling his captaincy duties, Noah was off to corner to help the St. Louligans celebrate a couple of the goals he inspired. He even got a chance to hold the beat for the stadium on what the St. Louligans call "The Big Drum."
Soccer has been Noah's favorite sport since he could barely walk. He played soccer for a few years before he was diagnosed with Parkes Weber syndrome, a rare life-threatening protein deficiency. The constant blood clots prevent him from partaking in any contact sports. Now he fuels his passion of the sport by cheering on the sidelines.
Noah's mother, Katie Woepke, had all positive things to say about their night at World Wide Technology Soccer Park.
"Noah has been talking about the experience since we left. You definitely have acquired a new family of fans. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. We are super excited to come to the rest of the games."
The fans appreciated Noah's efforts so much a pair of season ticket holders, who wish to remain anonymous, have purchased Noah's season ticket for the remainder of the season. Be sure to give him a high five when you see him at the park.
Saint Louis FC is in action this weekend on the road against Arizona United on Saturday June 18th. Noah's next chance to see the team at home is June 25th at the World Wide Technology Soccer Park.