Comeback kids

Dellinger's true grit tribute to True Grit determination

Dellinger's true grit tribute to True Grit determination

May 10, 2006|By TIM KOELBLE

Noted radio personality Nelson C. Lauver came to the 25th anniversary of the True Grit awards banquet on Tuesday as keynote speaker with a simple message to those being honored at the Four Points Sheraton.

In each of his five examples cited, the bottom line was the same: "When you get knocked down, get back up," said Lauver, who was an illiterate person until age 29.

Boonsboro senior Adam Dellinger was knocked down in December, 2004 in a serious car accident that left the three-sport athlete clinging to his life.

He got back up and was among 14 athletes who were honored for displaying their own chapter of true grit in the early stages of their lives.


Dellinger was unconscious for nine days and in the hospital for seven weeks following his brush with death after he was pinned inside his car that had been hit by a truck.

"He had to relearn everything," said his mother Brenda Dellinger. "It was like having a toddler all over again."

However, Adam was not to be denied. And with the support of his parents, classmates and teammates and thorough rehabilitation at Robinwood Medical Center, Dellinger made the journey back.

"It was hard to do things all over," said Dellinger. "It didn't take long to accept the physical state I was in. I had to take one day at a time."

Dellinger's rebound was perfect with Lauver's message.

He got back up with the help of his support system and, following his four months at Robinwood, he spent another six months of rehab with an indictment of his own to return to the field of action.

"Mentally, it was tough because I went from being a good athlete to starting all over again," Dellinger said.

His mother constantly encouraged his exercising and his father (Robert) would go out running with Adam in the morning.

As time moved on, Dellinger was able to return for limited action on the soccer field, much to the delight of his teammates.

"He got some limited time early, but he would get knocked around," said soccer coach Brad Distad. "But he never quit and later in the year he actually saw more time and almost scored in a game.

"The other seniors on the soccer team were always at the hospital," said Distad. "It was big for them having Adam back ... They were like family."

This spring Dellinger wasn't where he expected ? on the baseball field. He became the scorekeeper and biggest booster of the team from the dugout.

"Physically, I just wasn't ready for baseball," he said.

"(Adam) is probably about 80 percent back to where he was," Brenda Dellinger said. "He might be a little more shy right now."

Dellinger, who carries a 3.52 grade point average, will attend McDaniel College in the fall with plans to major in mathematics.

"I just never wanted to give up," he said.

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