Caldwell best in town

Daily Pilot Boys' Volleyball Dream Team

Newport Harbor senior outside hitter earns Player of the Year honor for the second time in four-year career.

July 02, 2011|David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Daily Pilot File…)

Dan Glenn likes to say he's coached quite a few talented players in his 25 years with the Newport Harbor High boys' volleyball program.

The most recent one was Cody Caldwell, a 6-foot-6 outside hitter.

Another newspaper quoted Glenn as saying Caldwell was the best he has ever coached. Glenn mentioned he took a lot of heat for the quote, undeservedly because Glenn said he never said Caldwell was the best.

As for where Caldwell ranks with the rest of the greats at Newport Harbor, Glenn just says he is right up there. The reason for the praise is that the biggest strength Caldwell possessed was his overall game on the court.

"He's good at everything," Glenn said. "Pass, serve, receive, he does it the best."

Caldwell turned in by far the best season of any player in the area.

While his Sailors did not go the furthest of the local teams in the playoffs, Caldwell proved almost impossible to stop. For that, Caldwell is the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year.


The honor goes to Caldwell for the second time during his stellar four-year career. He earned practically every volleyball honor after recording 641 kills, 221 digs, 43 blocks and 32 service aces as a senior.

The list of accolades for Caldwell is long, from the Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year, to American Volleyball Coaches Assn. first-team All-American honors, to All-CIF Southern Section Division I honors, to the Sunset League MVP.

He was also named MVP of the 18 Open Gold Division at the 2011 USA Volleyball Boys' Junior National Championships Saturday. He led the Balboa Bay Volleyball Club to the national title.

One item Caldwell would trade in all the awards for is a prize he never won, a CIF Southern Section Division I title.

In his freshman season, he played for one, only to see the Sailors let one slip away and lose in five sets to Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. Caldwell shrugged it off because he believed this might be the first of two or three trips to the section finale.

Caldwell never returned to the big stage.

The final two seasons ended in the same round, the quarterfinals. You bet Caldwell felt disappointed when he ran out of chances in May.

"It was a tough way to end the season," Glenn said of the five-set loss at Westlake. "We were playing good volleyball and we got beat by a good Westlake team. We were up, 2-1, and had a shot. [Westlake] played really well the two games and that was it."

While Caldwell's season with his teammates was over, his career was not.

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