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High School Football: Costa Mesa the home team?

The Mustangs, who share Jim Scott Stadium with Estancia, look forward to having their own stadium in two years.

October 10, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • The Costa Mesa High football team, seen here against Western High at Jim Scott Stadium last year, is expecting to have its own stadium in two years.
The Costa Mesa High football team, seen here against Western… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

The home team in Friday's Battle for the Bell rivalry football game is Costa Mesa High. Playing on their rival's campus hasn't really felt like home to the Mustangs since the erection of Jim Scott Stadium five years ago.

The Mustangs are the hosts in the Orange Coast League opener, yet they are the ones who will board a bus and make the 3.1-mile trip to Estancia. The route is one Costa Mesa makes for every home game.

When the team arrives for the 47th edition of the Battle for the Bell, any semblance of Costa Mesa is on the field. There's a Mustang logo painted, but the logo doesn't even match the Mustang decal on the helmet.

The Mustangs and Eagles share Jim Scott Stadium, yet the meeting between the two marks the first time Costa Mesa gets to play in it on a Friday night this year.

"No one likes to play on Saturdays. No one likes to play on Thursdays," said Costa Mesa Coach Wally Grant, whose team has played on those nights a handful of times at Jim Scott Stadium during his three years in charge. "It would be nice to be able to say we're playing every Friday night. That's what high school football is supposed to be about, Friday night lights."

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Grant expects those Friday night lights to turn on at Costa Mesa in two years.

The Mustangs are getting a stadium of their own after board members of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District voted unanimously last month to fund stadium projects at Costa Mesa and Corona del Mar. Each school will receive $7.4 million to build on-site stadiums and all-weather tracks.

Katrina Foley, a board member, said Costa Mesa's stadium might be ready by 2015, just in time for her son Sam Swanson's senior year at the school.

"That would be a dream come true, for him as well," said Foley, who has spent the last six years, the first three as a member of the Costa Mesa City Council and the next three on the NMUSD school board, working to bring a stadium to Costa Mesa. "I came to this board to accomplish … a few things on my list, and getting approval and funding to build this facility was at the top of that list. There's not that many times as an elected official where you actually can check off your list and see that you've accomplished something in a short period of time. It's a good feeling."

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