Costa Mesa High School

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Costa Mesa High School
2650 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA
Type Public
Established 1958
School district Newport Mesa Unified School District
Principal Jacob Haley (High School)
Guy Olguin (Middle School)
Grades 7–12
Enrollment 1864
Color(s) Green, white, and black
Athletics conference CIF-SS Orange Coast League
Mascot Mustangs (High School)
Mavericks (Middle School)
Newspaper The Equestrian
Information (714) 424-8700

Costa Mesa High School, otherwise known as CMHS or "Mesa," is a public high school for grades 7 through 12 located in Costa Mesa, California. It is part of the Newport Mesa Unified School District and is located at 2650 Fairview Road. The school's rival is Estancia High School. The school colors are green, white and black.

Student activities[edit]

Each year the rival football teams from Costa Mesa High School and Estancia High School play each other in a game known as the Battle of the Bell.


From 2001 to present Mesa has been a small school power house in Orange County. From 2001 to 2005 the team was awarded the CIF Academic Award for Excellence. After three undefeated Golden West League Championships the 2005 Men's swim team placed 4th in CIF Division III with only four team members in the finals. The team of Adam Douglas, Evan Spencer, Kyle Thorsness and James Fowler won the CIF Championship in the 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay. Douglas, Thorsness and Spencer each recorded points in their non relay events to increase Mesa's point totals. They were the smallest represented swim team with a top five finish in the last 30 years. Spencer went on to University of the Pacific (Pacific) 2005 (Swimming & Water Polo).Mesa has had both male and females advance to CIF every year from 2001 to 2010. The new state of the art 6 million dollar aquatic complex was completed and opened in 2010. CMAC (Costa Mesa Aquatics Club) was formed for youth ages 5–14 for Club Water Polo and Swim in 2010 in the new Aquatics Complex.


CMHS has a very notable Drama Club. Awarded numerous Cappie Nominations.


Math Engineering Science Achievement (M.E.S.A.) is an engineering program throughout California and eight other states. In 2003 Costa Mesa High School was the first student team to place first overall in the JPL Invention Challenge, beating the engineers from NASA in an aerodynamic competition on the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' famous flight. The Costa Mesa High School team was the first M.E.S.A. team to compete at the state and the national level from the Cal State Fullerton Center. In 2007 Costa Mesa won the California State Championship and placed third in the Nationals. The 2008 M.E.S.A. team again swept the state level competition and placed 3rd overall with two individual first place finishes in the National M.E.S.A. Engineering Design Competition in Maryland on June 19. They set an all-time state record of shooting 27 meters with their trebuchet. The 2016 team swept the California state competition and will be participating and competing in the National M.E.S.A. competition in Ogden, Utah on June 23, 2016.

Water Polo[edit]

The Costa Mesa High School Water Polo team had an impressive decade of dominance from 1986 to 1996. They were league champions and held numerous CIF titles.


The Costa Mesa High School choir department is divided into five different choirs: Girls Chorus, Boys Chorus, Concert Choir, Vocal Ensemble, and the Madrigal Choir.

Girls chorus consists of 7th and 8th grade girls. Boys Chorus is made up of 7th and 8th grade boys. Concert Choir is made up of 8th grade - 12th grade boys and girls, is an audition choir for 8th graders, and is an elective for 9th-12th graders. Vocal Ensemble is an audition choir for 9th- 12 grade girls. The most advanced choir is Madrigal Choir and is an audition-only 9th-12th grade boys and girls choir. The Madrigal Choir, commonly known as "Mads," is very selective and consists of equal number of male and female members. Currently, all the choirs are under the direction of Jon Lindfors. In 2007, the Madrigal choir performed in Carnegie Hall under the conducting of John Rutter along with a few other selected choirs. In the previous years the Madrigal Choir also performed with American Idol finalist, Clay Aiken.

Cross country[edit]

One of Mesa's premier cross country coaches was the legendary Joe Fisher. During his tenure (1969–1980), Fisher not only managed to maintain a Varsity league dual meet winning streak spanning a decade, but in 1976 his team won their first Boys (Varsity) California Southern Section CIF 3A Cross Country Championship. Under Coach Fisher, the Costa Mesa High School Boys cross country teams also won the Orange County Championship Invitational six times. This is the record for Orange County Championship wins in the history of the Varsity division. While still at CMHS, Fisher was voted California High School Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1979. After establishing a successful program at the prep level, Fisher left Costa Mesa and coached cross country/track at the college level until 1999. In 2002, Coach Joe Fisher was inducted into The Daily Pilot Sports Hall of Fame.[1] Ten years later (2012), he was inducted into The CIF Southern Section Hall of Fame.[2]

The 1976 Costa Mesa Boys (Varsity) Cross Country team (2-mile) was ranked No. 1 in the state of California & 4th in the United States. Coach Joe Fisher's 1976 team; Joe Young, Bill Kolar, John Gerhardt, Brian Thompson, Alan Overholt, Scott Scheid, Dave Sprague. [National Prep rankings in 1976 were published in The Harrier Magazine]

The 1980 Costa Mesa Boys (Varsity) Cross Country team (3.0 mi.) was ranked No. 1 in the State of California & 6th in the United States. Coach Joe Fisher's 1980 team; Scott Lacrosse, Mark Howard, Victor Herrera, Jon Crackel, Robby Kuehne, Mike Kleck, Ken Levy, Darrell Walker.


The 2007–08 cheer squads won numerous awards based on their outstanding community involvement and philanthropic activities. They represented Costa Mesa High School at events like: the OC Fair, Susan G. Komen for the cure events, Relay for Life, City of Costa Mesa events, CHOC Walk, Collected items for wildfire victims, performed in a fashion show to benefit Olive Crest Charities and continued to cheer for all athletic teams at the school while maintaining an impressive 3.3 collective GPA. They won: The Presidential Volunteer Service Award, The NMUSD outstanding program award, The Volunteer recognition award from the Costa Mesa City Council, A certificate of Recognition Award from the California State Legislature, a top 10 finalist in the American School Spirit Awards and a judges favorite and they were the featured cheer squad on for the Month of December 2007. They also had several featured articles in the local The 2008–09 squad continued the winning streak and were featured in several newspapers and magazines. They began to compete this year and won grand master champions as well as a bid to nationals. The 2009–10 squad won many more honors and were featured in several articles in leading cheer publications and a 4 page spread as squad of the month in the April 2010 issue of American Cheerleader Magazine. The squad was also featured on national TV in an episode of ABCs Nightline and international TV in 60 minutes Australia. Won the American School Spirit Award for the 2009-2010 year, and accepted the award in Florida in February 2010 naming them the top cheer program in the nation. This year their coach was also named cheer coach of the year for the state of California, Nominated for the top youth group for the National Philanthropy Day award. CMHS cheer continued with their honors and Awards winning Co-Ed Large Varsity division champions and placing 2nd in the CIF state championships in 2010 and receiving a bid to nationals in Florida for UCA. They also were honored with the Volunteer Group of the Year for Susan G Komen OC. IN 2011 the CMHS cheerleaders were featured in the Public Service Campaign for National School Spirit Day with reality star Kendall Jenner. They made several appearances on national TV including Extra! and E! news. They also went on to compete at the National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando Florida and placed 13th in the Nation in 2012. Their coach, Kori Johnson was named 2010 Cheer coach of the year for the state of California. She also won the cheer coach of the Year, community award in 2012.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Rich Gordon (Class of 1966) - California State Assemblyman
  • Brent Mayne (Class of 1986) - former Major League Baseball catcher.
  • Dan Quisenberry class of 1970 was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played with the Kansas City Royals (1970–1988), St. Louis Cardinals (1988–1989), and San Francisco Giants (1990). Dan died of a brain tumor in 1998.
  • Sharon Day (Class of 2003) - an American heptathlete and the 2011 national champion.
  • Dan Mathews (Class of 1981) - Longtime champion of animal rights and Senior VP of Media Campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.[3]
  • Benny Ricardo (Class of 1971) - Played NFL football as a kicker from 1974-85. He also had a brother who played football at Costa Mesa High School.


  1. ^ "Barnett, Fisher named to CIF-SS Hall of Fame". tribunedigital-dailypilot. 
  2. ^ "Costa Mesa". tribunedigital-dailypilot. 
  3. ^ "Meet PETA's Leadership". PETA. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°40′20″N 117°54′23″W / 33.672118°N 117.906395°W / 33.672118; -117.906395