COSTA MESA — A stadium packed with screaming students and parents watching rival high school teams battle it out on the football field is how Hollywood often portrays American high school life.
A group of Australian students staying in Costa Mesa were anticipating that kind of experience Wednesday night — minus the pigskin. They planned to be among the spectators as the Estancia and Costa Mesa high school basketball teams squared off in a hoops version of the Battle of the Bell cross-town varsity sports rivalry.
For some of the Australian students, watching a high school game was a first. Experiencing the sports rivalry between the two Costa Mesa campuses also was new to the Aussies, who said that school competition back home is nonexistent.
"I can't wait to watch the Battle of the Bell," said Ajok Marial, 17. "It's going to really fun."
Seven students from Hoppers Crossing Secondary College and Galvin Park Secondary College, both schools in suburban Wyndham near Melbourne, are visiting Costa Mesa through Feb. 4. They are here to get a taste of the American high school experience as part of the Sister-City Education Exchange program between the cities of Costa Mesa and Wyndham.