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All in the family at Costa Mesa

Virgen's View

July 26, 2011|By Steve Virgen

There was a sense of family and community during a fundraising event for the Costa Mesa High football team and the school's cheerleaders Saturday night.

A group gathered to play pool at Classic Q in Newport Beach, where they also drank, ate, joked and talked about what could be a big season for the Mustangs' football team.

It would seem fair to say Costa Mesa football is amid adversity, but you wouldn't know it Saturday night. Of course most came to have a good time. Yet, there's a new coach at Costa Mesa. He's doing his best to take over with an interim tag after former coach Jeremy Osso was fired.

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Osso had spent five seasons as coach of the Mustangs. Many of the players were attached to the coach, who is positive and altruistic. Most would think the Mustangs are now experiencing challenging times. But that does not appear to be the truth.

Grant is helping the Mustangs move on. The majority is saying he's doing a great job. From the looks of it, I must agree. On Saturday, he brought his family to mingle with the rest of his other family: the Mustangs.

Grant was happy that Matt McCoy attended as a special guest. The Seattle Seahawks linebacker is family too. He's the son of Grant's fiancé, Tammy McCoy. Matt played for Grant at Tustin High, where Grant was the defensive coordinator and where Matt became a defensive star.

"He was the one who put me at linebacker," Matt said of Coach Grant. "He taught me how to play linebacker. He was there from the beginning."

Matt said Grant is like family and his mother has become a part of Costa Mesa. Matt wanted to be there for his family. It didn't matter to him that Costa Mesa is not his alma mater. Matt enjoyed high school football and wanted to do what he could to help on Saturday. Many of the people there, including Principal Phil D'Agostino, were on the same page.

It would be very difficult to break the unity. A mother, Lynn Castro, told me that many of the football players this season have grown up together since kindergarten.

Community.

"This is where it all starts, with the kids," Matt said. "This is where you have all these dreams and everything. It's a good time, high school football. There were a lot of good times and a lot of good memories for me. Everyone went and did their own thing after high school, but when we see each other we are still tight."

In high school is where Matt met Grant. They are still tight.

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