Skip to comments.Blind Mount Carmel student overcomes big challenges
Posted on 06/13/2012 10:58:11 AM PDT by MDJohnPaul
J.T. Dulany has been pinned down more times than he can remember.
Competing mostly in the 103-pound weight class throughout his four years at Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Essex, the 19-year-old varsity wrestler said it took opponents an average of one minute to press his shoulders to the mat.
My strategy was to pray to God that they didnt beat me up that bad, Dulany remembered with a laugh.
His joke belied a fighting spirit.
Legally blind since his premature birth, Dulany underwent seven eye surgeries before he was 2. He has a mild form of autism known as Aspergers syndrome and had to face the death of his mother in 2006 to kidney failure.
The challenges have only made Dulany stronger.
With a 4.4 senior GPA and a cumulative 4.19 GPA, Dulany delivered the valedictorian address at his June 1 graduation ceremony.
I feel like I have to overcompensate by being the best I can in anything and everything I try, said Dulany, his hand thumping a table for emphasis during an interview at his high school. If I had a nickel for every time I was frustrated, Id be rich. I didnt give up. I never give up.
Throughout his wrestling career, Dulany made use of special rules for people with visual impairments that allow for constant touch with his opponents. He lost every match he fought except for one in his junior year against an Edgewood High School student that became the stuff of legend at Mount Carmel.
Mike Naunton, Mount Carmels athletic director, remembered that after the matchs first period, Dulany scored a few points. It began to look like the long-suffering wrestler might actually win...
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