COSTA MESA — On a sunny Saturday with temperatures in the low 70s, a nice breeze rustled through Jim Scott Stadium at just after noon.
Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan wasn't kidding when he told the crowd, "What a wonderful day for football, huh?"
A few seconds later, Monahan said something else that made the crowd applaud even louder. He announced that the 2011 Costa Mesa Pop Warner season was officially open.
Everything appeared to be in place on opening day. There were more than 200 Mesa Eagles on eight teams, from Flag all the way up to Midget, ready to get their season going with scrimmages Saturday afternoon. There were 40 Pop Warner cheerleaders on three squads. The Costa Mesa High band and Estancia High cheerleaders got everyone in the mood, as did drummer Daniel Castro, an Estancia High student, on the field.
School board members and city leaders were all present. The one man who wasn't was the one who the stadium was named after, Jim Scott. This is the first Pop Warner season since Scott died in May at 85. He was instrumental in bringing the stadium, which was built in 2008, to Estancia, as well as an Olympic-sized pool at Costa Mesa High.