One of the best parts of this job is talking to Scott Meyer, Corona del Mar High's football coach. From the first time we spoke, he was honest and he didn't have to be honest.
He didn't expect my call on March 31, 2011. He had no idea who I was, but I found out CdM hired Meyer as its next football coach. I introduced myself and then asked him if he indeed was taking over at CdM. Without hesitating, Meyer said, "Yes." He easily could've hung up, or said, "No comment," but he didn't.
A couple of days ago, a story broke about a hacking scandal at CdM, where students changed grades and accessed tests. This is a huge week for the CdM football program and an incident like this might turn out disastrous for the Sea Kings. The Sea Kings are trying to complete a perfect 16-0 season and become the first football team in the state to do so.
I called Meyer and asked him if any of his football players are involved in the hacking incident. Once again, he could've hung up, or said, "No comment," but he didn't. Meyer said school officials told him that no player of his is involved in the hacking incident.
Meyer went on to say all of his players would be available for the CIF State Division III Bowl Game against Atherton Sacred Heart Prep (13-1) on Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson at noon.
I had another question for Meyer before we hung up. The question was one I believed might lead to a "No comment" because it dealt with the 49-year-old's future with the Sea Kings. In his three years with CdM, Meyer has led the school to unprecedented success, two undefeated Pacific Coast League titles, three CIF Southern Section Southern Division titles, one CIF State Southern California Regional Division III Bowl Game title, and a 39-4 overall record.
Going into the week, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, Santa Margarita and Long Beach Poly had high-profile coaching openings. I asked Meyer if he had an interest in any of the jobs. He said, "No," and added that he was happy at CdM, where he also teaches, and isn't going to leave.
By the way, two of those three jobs were filled, Oaks Christian brought back Bill Redell out of retirement on Thursday and Santa Margarita hired Rick Curtis away from Northwood on Friday.
Maybe on Saturday, when Meyer leads CdM on the field for the final time this season, Long Beach Poly might have its next coach. One thing is for sure, Meyer said he wouldn't be the coach.
Sure, Meyer has his roots in Long Beach. He lives in Long Beach, played at Long Beach Wilson, coached at his alma mater, and coached at Long Beach Jordan, but Meyer's heart is at CdM for now.
Until Meyer decides to move on, Meyer will keep hearing from this reporter.
There won't be last names on the back of the Sacred Heart Prep football jerseys, but Ed St. Geme already knows two players surnames well: Finnigan and Daschbach.
St. Geme played high school football with a Finnigan at Rolling Hills, now called Palos Verdes Peninsula. In college, St. Geme partied with a Daschbach as a fraternity brother at Stanford.
St. Geme will get to see his old friends, Dan Finnigan, and Mark Daschbach, on Saturday. St. Geme's son, Bo, plays for CdM and his team faces the kids of Finnigan and Daschbach in the CIF State Division III Bowl Game at the StubHub Center in Carson.
Finnigan's son is Patrick, a lineman, and Daschbach's son is Andrew, a tight end.
"The last time I saw Dan was during our 20th high school reunion in 2000," said St. Geme, who was the high school team's quarterback and Finnigan was the center.
Corona del Mar is on a school-best 25-game winning streak that dates back to last season. The Sea Kings have the second longest current streak in the state, behind Concord De La Salle's 40-game streak.
If CdM beats Sacred Heart Prep, it will have matched the sixth-longest winning streak in Orange County's history. Mission Viejo and Los Alamitos have each won 26 straight games, the Diablos did it from 2004-05 and the Griffins from 1993-94.
The county's longest winning streak is 44, belonging to St. Margaret's. The Sea Kings have a long ways to go before topping that mark, but they and St. Margaret's are the only two county teams to go 15-0. A win by CdM on Saturday puts it all alone in not only the county record book for single-season finishes, but also in the state.