Wanted: Soccer support | CraigDailyPress.com

Wanted: Soccer support

Coaches say tonight's meeting important to help earn grant for field

David Pressgrove
Alberto Olivarez of El Mexico heads the ball at Loudy-Simpson Park last summer. El Mexico and six other teams in the Yampa Valley Soccer League use the soccer fields at Loudy-Simpson Park. League President Isidro Quezada and other soccer supporters hope tonight's meeting to discuss a new field at Loudy is well-attended.

— The Moffat County High School girls soccer team had a hard time finding a field to play games on this spring.

The county-controlled field at Loudy-Simpson Park was too wet.

The city fields at Woodbury Park weren’t ready yet.

Games had to be rescheduled and then played on the practice football field at the high school.

“In the spring, we had some issues with field availability,” Craig Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike said. “In addition to our local high school team, Steamboat teams needed a place to play as well.”

A meeting tonight at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way, will address soccer field expansion at Loudy-Simpson Park.

“Another soccer field is something the community needs,” said Isidro Quezada, who has been coming to the county commissioners since 2005 about the need for more fields. “The commissioners are being good about looking into it for us.”

Quezada is president of the Yampa Valley Soccer League. The league consists of seven teams from as far east as Steamboat Springs and west as Roosevelt, Utah. He helps manage El Mexico, Craig’s tradition-rich adult soccer team.

Quezada last went before the commissioners on March 13. At that meeting, Commissioner Tom Gray suggested the county apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to help fund the field.

Part of that grant requires documented public interest. So a large turnout for tonight’s meeting will be key in the grant application.

“I have 10 to 20 people coming,” Quezada said. “Anybody interested in the future of soccer should come to the meeting.”

Commissioner Saed Tayyara expressed his support for a new field at the March 13 meeting.

“Sports are the best way to get kids away from drugs and alcohol. Soccer is important,” he said in March. “It brings revenue to the county. You have my full support on that.”

Pike said he can’t make tonight’s meeting, but that he was interested in the outcome.

“There are times when our soccer fields are in high demand,” Pike said. “Right now we are able to facilitate our needs, but our soccer program is growing, and there is nothing wrong with foresight. We don’t want it to become a situation like our lack of gym space in Craig.”

Quezada’s need is more immediate for the growing soccer demand he sees.

“When I first started 16 years ago, I had eight guys,” he said. “Now we have three teams and two more starting to develop. We also have youth teams growing.

“We can play at Woodbury, but the fields aren’t official size. The one field at Loudy is the only one that is official size, and it gets a lot of use.”

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