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Community Commentary: Remembering Estancia's 'Big Jim' Scott

May 23, 2011|By Chuck Perry

I wanted to say a few words about a man whose name proudly stands atop the new stadium on the Estancia High School campus, Jim Scott.

Anyone associated with youth sports in the Costa Mesa vicinity knows and respects the name Jim Scott. His lifelong passion was developing ways to make the kids in our city enjoy and appreciate youth sports. He was a gentleman who created and financed the numerous Battle of the Bell trophies and the guy who smiled and joked while being served the bill for the winning team's Newport Rib Co.'s experience.

A lot has been written about this wonderful man we all loved and admired, and I wanted to relate a few of my own amusing experiences that have gone untold.

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About 20 or so years ago, Jim would regularly meet my brother Art and I at Norm's for lunch. Jim was constantly chatting and politicking for a new stadium on the Estancia campus. He would map out various versions on the napkins and pencil out numbers for costs. He routinely discussed who could possibly aid in its financing and potential completion.

He loved the challenge of building something wonderful in the community for all kids to utilize. As we would depart, he would always say, "Be patient, dogs. We'll get there."

Many from our community will never imagine the huge impact Jim has had on Estancia. He took the lead in constructing the outside weight room near the softball field and then helped finance the concrete foundation, as well as the wheelchair ramp and guard rails. He also assisted in the purchase of the weight equipment it contained.

Former football Coach John Liebengood made mention he needed an electric lift for football practice, so somehow, somewhere, Jim located and purchased one on his own. Coach also wished for an outside office and shortly after his comment was heard, there appeared a single wide trailer, free of charge, from this wizard.

We Perry brothers coached Eagle lightweight football together for nearly 25 years. Before every home game, Jim would come in and give our players a five-minute "Smokey" as he called it, or pep talk to most. He would assign numbers to phrases and during the game he would shout out the numbers.

My favorite, and the one he proudly wore on the back of his Estancia letterman's jacket, was No. 12. This number meant: "Grab 'em by the nose and kick 'em in the butt." As our players would leave for the field, Jim stood at the door and demanded a "man's" handshake from each athlete as he looked him in the eye and shouted out a number.

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