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Costa Mesa's Crenshaw playing with purpose

Daily Pilot High School Football Player of the Week

Mustangs junior standout competes with great emotion, as his mother deals with cancer.

October 25, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Oronde Crenshaw, a Costa Mesa High junior standout, is the Daily Pilot High School Football Player of the Week.
Oronde Crenshaw, a Costa Mesa High junior standout, is… (Scott Smeltzer,…)

Last week was a special one for junior Oronde Crenshaw. His parents showed up to watch him play a football game for Costa Mesa High.

To have his mother and father, along with his siblings, aunts and grandparents, at one of his games is rare. His father, DeWayne Crenshaw, lives in Utah. His mother, Lilia Mora, has a hard time walking up and down the bleachers.

He understands why his dad cannot come to every game because of the distance. Talking about why his mom cannot always be there is hard for Crenshaw.

The reason why she's not in the stands for each game reminds Crenshaw as to why he lives in Costa Mesa.

Crenshaw previously lived with his father, until he said he moved into the area to be there for his mother before his freshman year. He said Mora was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago.

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"Cancer is a tricky thing. Without chemotherapy, they said she would be dead within a year, but that was two years ago," Crenshaw said. "But she took chemotherapy. She's been up and running. She's a fighter.

"Just to know that she's going through pain that I can't take away, that I can't help, that I can't stop, and it sucks that I'm not able to stop that pain. I would take every inch of that pain and take everything that's hurting her if I could, but I can't."

At times, Crenshaw said he feels guilty about playing while his mother is fighting for her life. He sees his time spent on the field as being away from his mom, helping her, helping his younger siblings.

Mom just pushes her son, because she wants Crenshaw to succeed, to be great. Crenshaw doesn't want to let her down.

Whenever she makes it to one of his games, as she did last week, Crenshaw tends to perform at his best. Seeing dad at one of his games for the first time this season also lifted Crenshaw's spirits.

Crenshaw rushed 23 times for 266 yards and four touchdowns, a career night coming in a 58-12 win against Saddleback. He made a dozen tackles as a middle linebacker.

"It was a big game for me to show my family what I could do," said Crenshaw, who led the Mustangs to their first Orange Coast League win this year. "I wouldn't have been able to do what I did without my five linemen, all those other 10 players [on the field]."

Crenshaw learned at a young age that a team could accomplish more than an individual.

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