Jesuit's Paul Rose remembers the last time he coached in a national high school all-star soccer game.
It was the McDonald's All-American game in the summer of 2004 at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
Rose and game MVP Peter Lowry of Bella Vista helped lead the West squad to a 5-2 win over the East in the final game of the 3-year-old event.
So Rose hopes today's inaugural High School All-American Soccer Game in Hoover, Ala., won't be the last, especially when the tug-of-war between club and high school soccer is at an all-time high.
"Given the increasing pressure high schools are facing because of all the demands of academy and club programs, anything that can be done to promote high school soccer is a good thing," Rose said.
The club vs. high school battle hit the area hard this season.
Some of the area's top players were forced by a high-level Loomis-based academy program to leave their high school teams midway through the season.
Today's match, involving 40 of the nation's top seniors from states that play the sport in the fall, is being held in conjunction with the NCAA Division I College Cup men's soccer championships at Regions Park in Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham.
Rose is co-coaching with Terry Michler of Christian Brothers College High School of St. Louis. Michler is the nation's winningest boys soccer coach and Rose is California's winningest boys coach. Combined, they have nearly 1,500 victories.
The West roster will include Davis midfielder Ryan Gross, who recently helped lead the Blue Devils to a 7-5 penalty-kick win over Rose's Jesuit team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys final.
Rose's son, Jeff, also was selected to the West team but will not play. The midfielder suffered a season-ending right knee injury Sept. 9 against Granite Bay. He had surgery in early October.
"He'll be in uniform, but it's going to be hard for him to have to sit and watch from the bench," Rose said.
Gross has verbally committed to UC Davis; Rose has done the same with Seattle.
Course knowledge Oakmont junior Karlie Garcia and Vista del Lago sophomore Clare Carroll enter today's Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships in San Diego knowing well the race's 5-kilometer Balboa Park course.
Garcia, who won last Saturday's Foot Locker West Regional championship at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, placed 15th at the nationals in San Diego in 2009. Carroll, who finished eighth in the regionals last Saturday, placed 30th on the same Morley Field course in 2010 when she ran for Granite Bay.
A top-10 finish by either today would be the best for an area girl since Ponderosa's Jen Schindler placed eighth in 1996.
Model coaches The Sac-Joaquin Section has selected Diane Heine of Christian Brothers, Kelly Rhoden of Nevada Union, Mike Takayama of Del Oro and Galt's Janice Williams as 2011-12 Model Coach Award recipients.
The awards are given to coaches who are positive role models within their schools and community. They will be honored at a breakfast April 17 in Lodi.
Heine, Rhoden and Williams coach volleyball at their respective schools, and Williams also coaches girls golf. Takayama has been the girls basketball coach at Del Oro for 25 years.