PLATTEVILLE — Ben Cullen was a 2005 graduate of Platteville High School and a member of the 2003 and 2004 Hillmen varsity boys’ soccer team.
He was named the team’s Most Improved Player as a junior. He was a defender on the 2004 team that went 19–3 and advanced to the WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal.
Ben Cullen passed away on Nov. 11, 2014 at the age of 28, leaving a void in the hearts of friends and family members.
Cullen’s friends and former soccer teammates Jesse Brown and Scott Upton are hosting a Platteville Alumni Soccer game in his honor in two weeks.
The Ben Cullen Memorial Hillmen Alumni Soccer game will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8 at Platteville High School.
The game is open to both boys’ and girls’ alumni of the Platteville/Lancaster soccer programs. If there are enough interested participants there will be a second game at 6 p.m. so everyone can get plenty of playing time.
Brown and Upton have also launched an online campaign to raise money for a memorial statue dedicated to Cullen.
Brown has set up an online donation page at Fundrazer.com (https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/21127c) to accept donations for the Cullen memorial, which will be made by Kamps Custom Fabrication. The page has already raised $490. Brown will also be accepting donations toward the memorial at the game on Aug. 8.
The event is free to attend and free to play in. Any proceeds over the cost of the memorial will be donated to the Platteville/Lancaster soccer program (both boys’ and girls’).
Brown has also set up an event page on Facebook (Ben Cullen Memorial Hillmen Alumni Soccer Game) to spread the word about the event.
“Thinking back to our high school days, we take those times for granted, always having a teammate there for you to share the ups and downs of life,” said Brown, the MVP of the 2003 and 2004 teams. “I was always close with the Cullen family and Ben was a really good friend of mine, as well as Scott (Upton) and Caleb Runde. When (coach) Brandon Pink, asked me to set up the alumni game this year, I immediately came up with the idea of honoring Ben. I contacted his parents to ask if it would be OK, and they were all for it.”
Cullen wasn’t a superstar on those 2003 and 2004 Hillmen soccer teams, but he definitely played a key role.
“He was one of the guys that was always there at every practice, always working hard and pushing the starters to make the entire team better,” said Brown. “He was that utility guy that every good team needs. He was a great friend and a great teammate.
“Ben was always about helping other people and this is a way he can still help others in the Hillmen soccer programs in memory even after his passing.”
Ben Cullen is the son of Terry and Patti Cullen. He has two sisters Mandy and Carrie.