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More than an athlete: Man of his word

Posted: June 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Trinity Classical Academy’s Donny MacAdam has played as many as four different sports in high school. Trinity Classical Academy’s Donny MacAdam has played as many as four different sports in high school.
Trinity Classical Academy’s Donny MacAdam has played as many as four different sports in high school.

If the nights he spent by his father’s hospital bed were affecting him emotionally, Trinity Classical Academy junior Donny MacAdam did a pretty good job of hiding it.

“He always seems to be more on the happier side,” says friend Kaeli Massetto. “To be trying to keep the mood happy and not bring anything down, to know he’s there for other people even though he might be struggling, it’s amazing to know he can be that one person.”

The 17-year-old MacAdam, who has played football, baseball, basketball and soccer during his time at the high school, knew he needed to step up for his family when his father was forced into multiple hospital stays due to congestive heart failure.

“I have always been a big presence in my family, but when my dad (Donal J. MacAdam) did get sick, it did force me to step up and really, you could say, man up quickly,” MacAdam says. “Assume the role of a grown man at not so much of a grown age. But it was definitely a good thing. I think it’s helped me in many aspects of my life and I don’t regret having to do that.”

With three younger siblings at home, it was often MacAdam who would stay overnight at the hospital while his mother was home with his brother Angus, 14, and two sisters Lizzie, 15, and Mary, 11.

When he wasn’t there, he could be found working at the family business, Agua Dulce Winery, on weekends and summer breaks — a job he has helped with since the age of 11.

But even with the responsibilities at home, MacAdam never let any aspects of his life falter.

He has played sports all three years at Trinity, was an upperclassmen representative during his junior year and started an unofficial poetry club with friends at school.

“I don’t know of anyone, 16 years or 17 years old, who could have stepped into facing those realities that their father is very, very ill — on the brink of mortality — and at the same time, help his dad and carry on at school in athletics in a leadership role, and is a factor in those athletics,” says his mother, Cathy.

And through it all, MacAdam never complained, relying on the values his parents taught him from a young age to get the job done.

“My son is a very sensitive person, I’m going to see the emotion on his face,” Cathy says. “Not in tears, but I would see his brow furl. But he’s very much about, ‘Get up, let’s take care of business. Let’s move forward and push.’”

And so that’s what MacAdam has always done — in school, in work and in life.

Next year, he plans to continue playing athletics, and will take on an increased leadership role at the school, while still taking care of his family responsibilities.

What he hasn’t had to do though, is spend any more nights at the hospital, as his father has been hospital free for six months.



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