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Statti gives inspiration

Youth Scene

Costa Mesa resident, who was in serious surfing accident, gaining, lending support to Little League Farm Division team.

May 30, 2013|By Steve Virgen
(wallisphoto llc…)

Death was but a few moments from Pete Statti as he lay face down in the water in Huntington Beach three months ago when he experienced a life-altering surfing accident.

Angels must've been watching over him, he now thinks, as a fellow surfer turned him over which helped him to regain air.

Approaching so close to non-existence, but surviving, has been a cause for such a positive attitude now amid pain from rehabilitation to overcome back injuries.

In addition, the USC Trojans, of the Costa Mesa National Little League Farm Division, have been a source of strength. The team includes his 6-year-old son Gavin, who loves baseball just as he much he does playing video games on his XBox.

The past three months have been challenging for Gavin, who had played catch with his father countless times before the injury.

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Now there's emotional pain from the denial of the simple game.

However, there is hope and that's something Statti exudes. The 48-year-old man gains motivation from Gavin and the Trojans.

"I just want to play ball with my kid. That's the thing I miss," Statti, a Costa Mesa resident, said Wednesday. "I like to go to their games. It's my son's Little League team. I enjoy going there. When I first got hurt, that's all I looked forward to."

Gavin and his buddies have also gained inspiration from Statti. Statti's support has helped the Trojans pull off stunning wins and now they find themselves in the league's championship game Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at TeWinkle Intermediate.

If they win, they'll be champions. Lose, and they'll have one more shot on Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats.

Statti, who was a coach and volunteer who prepared the field, has advice for his favorite Farm Division team.

"Just play hard, stay focused and have fun," Statti said. "You know, if you lose, it's not the end of the world. Win or lose it's about how you play the game."

Fun could be a fleeting thought given the reality of Statti's situation. He takes pride from moving beyond the dependence of a wheelchair to a walker. Soon, he expects more strength to use a cane instead.

He does his best to give his best effort during each rehab session three times a week in Long Beach.

"It's like a slow crawl," Statti said of his rehab. "I'm getting a little stronger and better every day. I'm slowly making gains."

The Trojans and the players' parents have noticed Statti's positive attitude in the face of adversity.

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