COSTA MESA —Jeffrey Hubbard leaned over to Frank Albers, father of Costa Mesa senior football lineman Andrew Albers.
"You're a big guy," Hubbard, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Superintendent, said before the ribbon cutting at the Costa Mesa Aquatics Center. "I expect your protection if they try to push me in."
Soon, the big scoreboard counted down from 10 to one Tuesday afternoon at Costa Mesa high.
Some in attendance had been waiting decades for the new pool. What was 10 more seconds?
As the countdown ended, members of the Costa Mesa High water polo and swim teams didn't need to be pushed into the water at the new 50-meter Olympic pool.
Hubbard walked away unscathed. Costa Mesa High principal Phil D'Agostino wasn't as lucky, though he finally succumbed to the cheerleaders trying to push him in and dove in himself, along with water polo players and swimmers.
Finally, the school and the community have the state-of-the-art 50-meter Olympic pool they always wanted.