In honor of a fallen commissioner

County to name new soccer fields after Saed Tayyara

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Craig resident Tony Maneotis knew Moffat County Commissioner Saed Tayyara, who died Nov. 29 after a fight with lung cancer.

They were friends, close enough that Maneotis considered him family.

"Before Saed passed away, I made it known to him that one thing I was going to do before he died was get one of those soccer fields named after him," Maneotis said, referring to two new fields under construction at Loudy-Simpson Park.

They will join an existing field as a new area for local youth.

At the Commission meeting Tuesday, Maneotis made good on his promise.

After a brief discussion, in which there was no disagreement, commissioners Tom Gray and Tom Mathers approved a motion, not to name one field after Tayyara but the whole area.

When the fields are completed next spring or summer, they officially will be known as the Saed Tayyara Memorial Soccer Complex.

The three individual fields will be named after others involved with soccer in the community. Officials said former soccer coach Mick Havrilla and Trapper Mine, which donated man hours and materials for construction, likely would be two of them.

Tayyara was instrumental in securing funding for the new soccer fields. Shortly before his death, he said it was his mission to build a place where children could have fun without being pressured to fall in with drugs and other bad decisions.

Maneotis told the Commission he was proud to appear that day for his friend.

"The love of his life was soccer," Maneotis said of Tayyara. "After I told him what I was going to do, he looked up at me and he said, 'I'm just so happy.'"

Mathers added he wants to put more than a sign up in memory of his former colleague. He hopes the county can inset a bronze plaque into a large rock at the front of the fields.

Tammy Seela, County Parks and Recreation Department director, agreed that would be fitting. She added the county should pull together some information to put on the plaque with Tayyara's name.

"So that people will still remember who Saed was and what he did for Moffat County, 20 years from now," she said.

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