Irvine is one of the richest soccer locations in the county, if not Southern California.
It churns out dozens of top youth players each year, while attracting others from adjoining cities who come to train with one of the city's several high-profile club teams.
Yet the frustrations of starting a soccer program at fledgling Northwood High continue for Athletic Director Rick Curtis.
Northwood opened in September and won't play its first match until early December.
Nevertheless, last week Curtis announced that Northwood is again searching for a girls' soccer coach following the abrupt resignation of Mike Matson.
A former player with the Zodiac, Matson was hired last summer but has "since taken a position in the business sector, which does not allow him to devote his full attention to the girls' soccer program at Northwood High School," Curtis said.
Last week Curtis also introduced Bryan Rodenkirk, a former club coach from Yorba Linda who played soccer at Cal State Fullerton, as the TimberWolves' second boys' soccer coach. Rodenkirk replaces Mario Sanchez, who was hired in June, but resigned two months later to become an assistant coach at Fresno State.
Rodenkirk, who hopes to land a teaching job at the school, said he hopes he can bring some stability to Northwood soccer.
"A lot of coaches are walk-ons and if they get other offers or there are time or money conflicts, those kinds of things lead coaches to quit," Rodenkirk said. "I'd like to teach and coach there."
The TimberWolves expect to field only freshman/sophomore and junior varsity teams this season, but will most likely have a varsity team a year from now.
A RARE DAY OFF
It's something Al Galloway had never seen in his five years coaching football alongside Myron Miller at Tustin High.
A day off from practice.
But Miller felt the Tillers needed it Thursday, after four days of homecoming activities that culminated with a powder puff football game during Thursday's lunch hour.
Galloway, who coaches the offensive and defensive backs, said he can't remember Miller ever giving the team a day off during the season.
"He only gave them one day off this summer and that was because he had a tee time," said Galloway, who spent his free time watching the junior varsity play. "He even had them out fund-raising on the Fourth of July."
The extra rest seemed to pay off for the Tillers, who defeated Saddleback, 62-6, Friday.
EDISON HAS INJURY WOES
Preparing to play top-ranked Los Alamitos is difficult under the best circumstances, but Edison went into Friday's game with a depleted defense.
Nose guard David McCord broke his left ankle 10 days ago and is out for the season.
Defensive end Kyle McCarter hurt his lower back last week against Marina and also might miss the remainder of the season.
Defensive end Dustin Brown severely cracked the third vertebra in his neck last week.
"I was rushing the quarterback," said Brown, who wore a neck brace on the sideline Friday. "Another guy came to block me and I never saw him, and he hit me in the head."
This was the second consecutive year Brown, a senior, missed the Los Alamitos game. Last year, he was also out with a neck injury.
Coach Dave White could only shake his head at the Chargers' misfortune.
"Our other eight starters will have to play a little better and the three replacement kids will have to step up," he said.
Los Alamitos won the game, 44-36.
Edison takes on Esperanza Thursday at Valencia High.
Martin Henderson and Mike Terry contributed to this story.