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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 quarterback on a struggling team proved to be more challenging his senior year under first-year coach Jeremy Osso, more than being named homecoming king. Someone needed to protect the king, but that protection wasn't there.

Waldron found himself running to avoid the bone-jarring hits.

Costa Mesa ended the season 3-7, and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Waldron threw for 943 yards and seven touchdowns, but never threw away his goal of reaching the postseason in his last year.

The playoff experience came in basketball and baseball. When the basketball team, under first-year coach Jeff McDaniel, qualified for the playoffs, Waldron expected it.

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The season before, Waldron celebrated as Costa Mesa won its second league crown in school history and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

With a third-place finish in the new Orange Coast League, followed by an opening-round playoff exit in basketball, baseball played out to be the more memorable season.

At least the coach, Jim Kiefer, guided Waldron as a junior. The familiarity, along with Waldron's solid play on defense, helped the Mustangs advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Costa Mesa defeated cross-town rival Estancia, 7-5, in dramatic fashion to qualify for the playoffs. The Mustangs scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for the victory over the Eagles.

It was an unforgettable season, but it didn't compare to the two during his sophomore year. Waldron played baseball with his brother, Jeff, a senior at the time. Jeff played in center and Waldron in left.

In football, Waldron was a wide receiver and his brother played tight end.

"The most fun was when we would warm up in between innings," said Waldron, who plans to attend Brigham Young University in the fall. "My brother Brian is also a three-sport athlete and I tell him to keep doing what he's doing because he'll be grateful for the experiences.

"He's going to get tired, but it will be exciting."


DAVID CARRILLO PEÑALOZA may be reached at (714) 966-4612 or at david.carrillo@latimes.com.

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