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‘Football officiating is a family:’ Injured Maryland police officer speaks at Blue Ridge Football Officials Clinic

In a remarkable display of resilience, Patrick Kepp, a Maryland police officer and football official took center stage to speak here in Roanoke for the Blue Ridge Football Official’s Clinic.

“I see myself being back on the field this fall,” Kepp said.

Not even a year has gone by since Patrick Kepp who was working as a Maryland police officer was intentionally hit by a car while trying to put out stop sticks to catch a suspect. But his heart is set on getting back to what he loves, serving his community and football officiating.

On Saturday, Kepp made his way to the Star City as a speaker for the Blue Ridge Football Officials Clinic.

“They just kinda wanted me to talk and tell my story and whatever story I wanted to bring, so my goal of talking here today was to really talk about family, you know the football family,” Kepp said.

A family Kepp said was there for him before and especially after the crash.

What started as a normal shift in October turned into a nightmare landing Kepp in the hospital, having to have both legs amputated. And throughout it all his football family was right by his side.

“Football officiating is a family, and it’s people you’re going through life with you’re sacrificing a lot in your normal life to officiate to be away from your family. In those times that I needed them most throughout and after the crash. I had friends fly in from all over the place,” Kepp said.

Roanoke city leaders Mayor Sherman Lea, Sheriff Antonio Hash, and Police Chief Scott Booth were in attendance to honor Sergeant Kepp with the Star to the City. Inspiring the world of football officials as Kepp wants to be running up the field by this upcoming season.

“Early on I said I’m going to be back at work but most importantly, I’m going to be back at football, I said, I guess if I’m back at football you might not like it too much if I’m not at work.”

As Sargent Kepp heads back to Maryland, his perseverance in speaking about his goals after his crash leaves a mark not only for the football officials but for the City of Roanoke.

Source: WSLS News 10

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