The Davis Ducks are getting ready for another "Pilot Cup" soccer competition in Orange County. However, this season will be clouded in sadness without their coach to cheer and guide them from the sidelines, but his memory lives on when they play on their home field in Costa Mesa.
The Newport Mesa Unified School District Board unanimously voted to rename the north field of Davis Magnet School in honor of beloved soccer coach Keith Frainie, who died unexpectedly Dec. 6 from a brain aneurysm that happened while he was playing soccer.
Frainie coached soccer for nine years, beginning with his son's and daughter's teams, coaching more than 300 kids in the sport.
"I'm really proud to be someone he coached for a long time. Every game, I want to win for him," said Zoe Gaa, a player coached by Keith Frainie.
Frainie is survived by his wife, Mary, and children, Miles and Siena. Miles Frainie attended Davis Magnet School in first grade, and that is when the Frainie parents became heavily involved in the school.
Community members said Davis Magnet School was like Keith Frainie's second home. He was a parent volunteer, and he helped with outreach and sports drives for students. He was Davis School principal Christy Flores' "go-to guy."
Flores said she rounded up her best people to think of the best way to honor Keith Frainie.
Friends and family--including Keith's father-- approached the school board to recommend the renaming of a field in the soccer coach's honor.
"Keith was a beloved member of our family. Keith loved his family, and he loved the community. I can't think of a greater honor to bestow on someone who gave so much," his father said.
After submitting an application and acquiring 477 letters of support, the community convinced the school board to unanimously approve the renaming of "Davis Magnet Field One" to "Frainie Field." It was renamed nearly a month before the start of the Pilot Cup competition.
Community members said Keith Frainie loved soccer, but what he loved most were the connections he created with the kids he coached and within his community.
Mary Frainie said she hopes her husband's legacy of connecting people lives on.
She said, "So, from now on, let's let Keith inspire us to connect people."