In 2009 — just a couple of months before he died on the University of Mary Washington soccer field during pre-season training — Preston Hirten traveled to Africa. He volunteered with a great service project, Goals 4 Ghana.
For the 4th consecutive summer, Preston’s family and many friends — including former Staples teammates from his 2006 state finals team, and UMW — will gather in Westport from July 4 to 7 to honor his memory. They’ll play a 7-v-7 soccer tournament. They’ll barbecue, drink beer and tell funny stories about this remarkable young man.
This time, they’ll do something more. Weekend organizer Matt Lamb — Preston’s best friend — invites all players, parents and spectators to bring new or used soccer balls, shoes, shin guards, socks, shorts, jerseys, etc., to the 7-v-7 tourney on Saturday, July 6 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wakeman Field).
Donations will be split between Goals 4 Ghana and Atuabo, an African village where Taylor Parker — a college friend of Preston’s — has served with the Peace Corps for the past 2 years.
Soccer was a vital part of Preston’s life. The Preston Hirten Weekend has become a cherished Westport tradition. Thanks to Matt and Preston’s many friends, his legacy continues to help soccer players halfway around the world.
PS: After donating, stick around to watch the soccer. It’s fun — and very good!
(Questions? Interested in fielding a team at the tournament? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org)