Close cuts for a bold cause

COSTA MESA — The barbershop was buzzing — literally — as the Estancia High School football team got their heads shaved Monday night.

Community members, local officials and Estancia cheerleaders gathered outside talking and eating pizza as the players inside took turns getting shaved. As the hairs fell to the ground, their fellow teammates snapped pictures using cell phones and drank ice cream floats using the barbershop's root beer tap.

"I don't care. It's hair," said junior Dustin Long, 17. "It grows back. I've always had it short, so it doesn't bother me."

The team gathered at the recently opened Hot Headz Barbershop, 1652 Newport Blvd., for an Estancia Football Rally to raise money for player scholarships.

Residents were welcome to give donations in return for a free cut, said Robin Mensinger, who has a son on the team and is a member of the Estancia Football Boosters.

Each player is asked to give a $415 donation for the football season, but there are 15 boys who are on scholarship, she said.

"Every dollar helps pay for these boys that can't help pay," she said.

While the event was a fundraiser, it was also about re-energizing as the regular season comes to a close, said head coach Mike Bargas.

"I think it's a rebirth of the season for us," he said.

The team — ranked fourth, with a 5-2 record this season — has only three more games until CIF playoffs.

For players, getting their heads shaved at this late point in the season showed they are prepared to make it to the playoffs.

"This just shows we're coming back harder than before and we're ready," said junior Kevin Peters, 16.

For senior Alex Tenno, 17, the rally was one of his last chances to get together with the entire team before he graduates.

"It's kind of sad, but I'm proud of the things it's taught me about growing up and being a man," he said.

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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