PRESTON – The first home game and win of the season for the Preston High School girls’ soccer team was projected in bright red lights Monday night on another first – a new scoreboard.
The scoreboard bares the name of PHS alum Joseph T. Larsen, who died tragically in a car accident on April 23, 2005.
“This project is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a freshman,” said Ashyln Marlow, a senior at PHS and member of the girls’ soccer team.
Marlow got the idea for a scoreboard from a cousin and decided she would tackle it for her senior project.
Larsen’s father, Elliot, heard about the plan and offered to help pay for the scoreboard as a way to honor his son’s memory.
He flipped the switch and turned on the lights for the first time after a brief ceremony before the start of a game between the Preston Indians and Burley Bobcats.
Elliot’s granddaughter, and Joseph’s only child, Kylie Jo, was two years old when her father passed away. Today, she is a junior at PHS and a member of the soccer team.
“I’m a little emotional right now,” said Larsen. “I’m just glad we were able to do this in his memory and that he has a daughter on the team.”
In addition to several thousand dollars donated from Larsen, Marlow said she was able to raise more than $1,500 from local residents.
“Our community here in Preston is so amazing,” she said. “I was so surprised when we asked people. They said, ‘absolutely.’”
Marlow was also surprised at how much time and effort she would end up devoting to the project.
“I worked on it all summer,” she admitted. “I stressed out all summer just to make sure it looked perfect so we would be able to use it for our first opening game. It was so cool to think that I did it.”
During the ceremony, Marlow thanked those who helped with the project, spoke briefly about Joseph Larsen’s legacy and then turned the scoreboard over to the school district.
She said she still has an essay to write and finish up some paper work, but it was definitely a job well done and hopefully an “A” on her senior project.
Marlow’s efforts at the first home game of the season also paid off. Preston annihilated Burley, 9-0.