Soccer tournament honors Plainfield father-son duo killed in plane crash last summer

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They loved soccer, service and adventure. 17-year-old Haris Suleman and his father Babar died a year ago, when their plane crashed in an attempt to fly around the world.

On Saturday the Plainfield father and son were remembered during a soccer tournament in their honor at the Al and Jan Barker Sports Complex

"Soccer was a huge part of my family's life. My father coached me growing up and coached my brother as well. My brother and I would always play together in the backyard," said Cyrus Suleman, Haris' older brother.

"Soccer has been a huge part of our life and I knew we had to make this event center around soccer. So it definitely feels like they are here," said Hiba Suleman, Haris' older sister.

The plane went down in American Samoa last July. Their attempt was for Haris to become the youngest person to fly around the world in a single-engine plane in 30 days. Their mission, however, was to raise money to build schools in Pakistan.

"They hear that the accident happened and they hear, ‘oh well they shouldn't have done it because it was so dangerous.’ And yet, they completed more than 85 percent of their trip. And so they could clearly do it. They did it," Hiba Suleman said.

"This has really helped us cope and of course with the support of everyone around us, we could not have asked for more," Cyrus Suleman said. "Given the very unfortunate circumstance, it's been really a blessing."

Though the pair's trip ended two days before they were set to return home, family and friends celebrate what they did achieve last summer. They also know their memory still inspires others on the soccer field, in the skies and in the hearts of those who know their story.

"They had this amazing dream but they were still just like anyone else.  And I think that's really important just because it inspires people to pursue their own dreams, no matter how silly or ridiculous people might think those dreams are," Hiba Suleman said.

Family and friends hoped to raise at least 5 thousand dollars at the soccer tournament. The money supports scholarships for graduating seniors at Plainfield high school.