Heid's battle through ACL injuries inspires Sporting KC
Isaac Heid was invited to participate in opening ceremonies with the Sporting Kansas City soccer team.
Heid, a Paola senior, was chosen to be part of the home opener March 11 by Dr. Kevin Latz of The Center for Sports Medicine at Children’s Mercy.
Heid missed part of his sophomore season with an ACL injury and worked to come back for his junior season. He injured it again his senior season and is recovering from the second surgery.
Dr. Latz selected Heid, who joined two other Children’s Mercy patients for the opening ceremonies.
Heid was part of the coin toss, standing next to Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler. He is a defender for Sporting Kansas City and has played for the United States soccer team.
“It was a pretty awesome experience,” Heid said. “Being selected meant you stood out to the doctor — whether it was an act of kindness or always being respectful.
“Being able to go out there and meet some of my favorite players,” he said. “It was pretty cool. I got to shake Matt Besler’s hand, flip the coin and he talked to me for a little bit.”
The experience wasn’t over for Heid.
He got to take the ball out for the start of the game.
Heid fought day after day, through rehab to get back to the field with his Paola Panther soccer teammates.
“It was worth it,” he said, “It was like six or seven months of physical rehab. It is a mental thing along with the physical side of it. Getting back to something you love, if it is important to you, you are going to do whatever it takes.”
He strained the ACL his junior season and reinjured it his senior season.
“It was an awesome feeling, being able to be there for my teammates, helping the team try to win and being part of the team again,” Heid said.
After coming all the way back to the field his senior season, Heid was injured again.
“Having that initial diagnosis that you can’t play again was obviously really hard and really emotional,” he said. “My teammates were all there for me. I was lucky to have a good coach and a good support staff.”
Heid came back to play, despite the injury, playing on senior night with the torn ACL.
“Coach let me play and I played the entire game,” he said. “I thought how much worse can it get. So, I fought
through the pain.”
Heid played in the final game, ending his career with a victory as Paola defeated Fort Scott 4-1.
“I got an assist and was able to get a ‘W’ on senior night,” he said. “It was awesome, winning 4-1 and getting that assist was pretty awesome. ”
Coming back from the injury required a lot of rehabilitation, and when he was ready, it took a while to get used to trusting the knee.
“As much as it is a physical thing, it is also mental, knowing, OK, I can do this,” he said. “Having my teammates out there supporting me really helped.”
Paola did not win a game during Heid’s freshman season.
His class could have given up the game, but they wanted to be part of the climb back to build the program with coach Corey Troast.
“It was pretty frustrating,” he said. “Some of the guys did not want to come back out. Coach Troast came in and kind of started a new mindset for us. It stuck with us for the next three years. Make the younger kids feel like they are worth it. Make the younger kids feel special. That’s the future of the Paola soccer program.
“Not only is that positive attitude helping you guys out now, but it also helps the future of the program,” Heid said.
“Everyone, whether you were on varsity or junior varsity, whether you are a freshman or a senior, everyone had mutual respect for each other,” he said. “We loved each other. We were a family.”
Read the story via The Miami County Republic.
Learn more about The Center for Sports Medicine at Children's Mercy.