Swarm player pays tribute to fan

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The Miller family of Delano has had season tickets to the Swarm since 1999. For father Mike, it wasn't about the game itself that drew the family there, it was the bonding time.

"Every year the Arlotta's (Swarm owners) send us a thank you card for renewing my season tickets," Mike recalls. "It should be my family that should be sending him a thank you card for the family time we get to spend because of the Swarm opportunity in Minnesota."

That opportunity was particularly exciting for Mike and Michelle's daughter Katie who, by all accounts lived to root on the Swarm.

"Just during the games she would sing the songs and love to yell, 'take a seat,'" remembers her sister Sarah. "We just had great memories."

Those memories are even more important now. Katy passed away in September, at just 23-years-old, after a long battle with a heart condition that she'd had since birth. Unless you've dealt with it no one can truly understand the pain of losing a child. And understandably the Miller's have struggled with it especially when it came to lacrosse season.

"The First was hard, but every first time was hard," says Mike Miller, Katy's father. "Then at the Swarm, I kept expecting to see her dancing in her chair one more time."

Katie wouldn't dance, but was on the field this past Friday. Thanks to efforts of Swarm Captain and Miller family friend. Andrew Suitor who decided to pay tribute to Katy Miller by wearing her name close to his heart -- on the back of his jersey

"What better way, as long as the league approved of it why wouldn't we do something like this," says Suitor. "Why wouldn't we show our respect to the family and the respect what our fans mean to us."

Seeing Katy's name on Suitor's jersey meant the world to the Miller's

"This is it right here," say Katy's mother Michelle. "Seeing her name on a jersey is just great."

And it meant quite a lot to Suitor as well, who made it very obvious that the honor of wearing Katy's name was his.

"A name plate is something that you can change on every jersey," says Suitor. "But the meaning behind the name plate is something that nobody can take away from you."

The jersey will now be signed by the entire team, and presented to The Miller's at an upcoming game. And will become a lasting reminder of Katy's love for the game.


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