My name is Kat Krieger and I am speaking today on behalf of Coach (Cathy) Schager, my co-captains Lexa Koenig & Blair Barone, all of my teammates and the entire Staples High School Girls Lacrosse program.

Today (May 22), the Staples girls lacrosse team 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 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 Hirten's in the fall and we want Ella, Mr. and Mrs. Hirten and Justine to know that we remember them and we remember Preston. To use (Staples boys soccer Coach) Dan's (Woog) words again, "Anyone who watched him play -- who saw his combination of speed, skill, and above all determination -- knew he loved the game, and loved being on the field with his friends. "Preston 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." This is what we intend to do today, and hopefully every time we take the field.

Whether you wear the number 15, the number 19 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.