The Staples girls team honored teammate Ella Hirten’s brother Preston ’07 in a pre-game ceremony this morning.
Tri-captain Kat Krieger — whose brother Jeff plays freshman soccer — taped a heartfelt speech. The girls wore white ribbons in their hair — and then went out and trounced St. Joseph, 17-6.
Several of Preston’s teammates — including Alex Gendell, Brad Green, Gennadiy Gurevich, Ben King, Dave Sharpe and Matt Sych — along with current player Mikey Scott were in the stands.
Kat’s speech is below. Click here to read the entire day’s report on Westport Patch.
My name is Kat Krieger and I am writing on behalf of Coach Schager, my co-captains Lexa Koenig and Blair Barone, all of my teammates and the entire Staples High School girls lacrosse program.
Today, Staples girls lacrosse honors its dear friend and teammate, Ella Hirten, and the memory of her brother, Preston. Thank you all so much for coming and recognizing this important tribute. Whether you know Ella, her family or knew her brother, you could not have attended Staples High School and not known of Preston Hirten. He was a soccer legend, an amazing player, a fierce competitor, a kind soul, an intense athlete and person, and a truly remarkable individual.
The entire community was stunned last August by the sudden passing of Preston. He has been described by his Staples soccer and coach and friend, Dan Woog, as ‘hard working , ultra-competitive… and one of the sparkplugs of the team.’ We are so glad that you have come out to support SHS lacrosse and the entire Hirten family.
We rallied around the Hirtens in the fall and we want Ella, Mr. and Mrs. Hirten and (older sister) Justine to know that we remember them and we remember Preston. To use Dan’s words again: ‘Anyone who watched him play – who saw his combination of speed, skill above all determination — knew he loved the game, and loved being on the field with his friends. Preson never gave less
than his best. In doing so, he lifted the quality of play of everyone around him. you could not give less than your best with Preston around. And in the process, you had plenty of fun.’ That is what we intend to do today, and hopefully every time we take the field.
Whether you wear the number 15 (Preston’s number at Staples), the number 19 (his number in college, or a ‘Play for Preston’ tee-shirt, we want to take a moment to remember a truly outstanding member of our community. The white ribbons we wear in our hair today are to symbolize hope, life, love, to honor Ella and her family and to remember Preston.
May Preston’s memory and legacy live on and on, not only in his family and friends but in Staples high school sports as well.
We dedicate today’s game and play to his memory and in honor of his sister and our teammate and friend, Ella, his parents, his older sister, Justine and the rest of the extended Hirten family and friends.