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YEAR:Waldron battled adversity at Mesa

COSTA MESA MALE ATHLETE OF THE

Three-sport athlete dealt with the death of his mother, as well as frequent coach turnover, while competing for Mustangs.

July 12, 2007|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

Being the ninth of 12 children, Cody Waldron never witnessed a dull moment at home.

Never on the field or court while a multi-sport athlete at Costa Mesa High.

As the starting quarterback on the football team, the forward on the basketball team, and the starting center fielder on the baseball team, he expected to have different coaches in the fall, winter and spring.

But a new coach ever year in each sport? Now that's tough.

"They either got fired or resigned," Waldron said. "It made it hard, because every year you had to learn a new system."

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Through the changes, Waldron, Costa Mesa's Male Athlete of the Year, accepted his roles and made the best of them.

There were times Waldron felt worn out. Going from one sport to another, with no break, is a grind. It took a toll on his body and mind, but his coaches loved that he never complained. Well, maybe a couple of times when the offensive line broke down, and forced him to scramble.

"I'm used to it," he said. "It's part of being in a big family."

With six brothers and five sisters, it was slim pickings.

In order from oldest to youngest, Emily, Amber, Casey, Katie, Derek, Brandon, Tyler, Jeff, Cody, Autumn, Brian and Jacqueline could've formed their own team. Enough for one football team, or two basketball teams, or one baseball team, with a few left over as substitutes.

Waldron's a firm believer in everyone receiving a chance, not A or B teams. The Waldrons are a formidable unit. The family sticks together through everything.

Before Waldron established himself as a three-sport standout, Waldron's mother, Karen, lost her battle with cancer before his junior year began. Twice Waldron said she defeated it before losing her last bout at 55.

"It was tough," Waldron said, "but you just got to keep going."

Push ahead. His mother did while fighting cancer. How would he help his father, Floyd, around the house and at the same time develop into a first-team, all-league pick without battling?

The football season approached his junior year. The loss of his mother smacked him around before his opposition had a chance.

He said he channeled the sorrow into positive energy, allowing him to move forward.

Playing sports has always been his escape.

"It just relieves stress and you can take your mind off of everything," he said. "Just got out there and ran around."

Oh, did Waldron run.

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