Dublin Scioto: Irish's Ibby Abumallouh keeping positive outlook

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Scioto senior Ibby Abumallouh (left) entered the preseason contending for the starting quarterback position with Amare Jenkins. Injuries have sidelined Abumallouh, but he remains with the Irish to support his teammates.

Ibby Abumallouh had a list of things he wanted to accomplish in his senior season with the Dublin Scioto football team. 

He hoped to help the Irish contend for a league title and then make a run in the postseason while also gaining valuable exposure for a potential opportunity to play at the collegiate level. 

Instead, a pair of injuries relegated Abumallouh to become solely a supporter – a role he has passionately accepted. 

Abumallouh, a quarterback, dislocated the index finger on his right (throwing) hand when it connected with the helmet of defensive lineman Vernon Williams while tossing a pass during practice Aug. 26 - two days before the opener against Westerville South. 

He missed the opener but hoped to see playing time at linebacker when the Irish visited Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 3. However, he broke his right collarbone when he awkwardly fell during practice Sept. 1. 

Abumallouh kept practicing and received medical treatment later that night, which revealed the injury. 

“I’ve been trying to come to as many practices (as possible),” he said. “It’s hard, but the team still needs me and I can still help our season by coaching and being there.” 

Abumallouh said the collarbone injury did not require surgery and he should be in a sling for six to eight weeks. He hopes to play if the Irish advance in the Division II, Region 7 playoffs, which begin Oct. 9. 

“I like to stay optimistic and (believe) everything happens for a reason,” said Abumallouh, who noted these are his first injuries. “I know God is just testing me. I only have two options right now. I can dwell and be sad about it or try to work through it and finish because I have a dream of playing at the next level, so why not just keep going.”

Coach Karl Johnson believes Abumallouh could have the opportunity to play collegiately. 

“If they’re willing to find the right place and do the work, most kids that come out of a program like ours will have an opportunity if they want it,” Johnson said. 

Abumallouh plans to compete for the boys track and field team for the first time in the spring to maintain his conditioning. 

Johnson said “it’s on the kid” when it comes to an injured player deciding whether to remain with the team. 

Abumallouh sees this as a chance to be a good teammate even if he can’t help on the field. 

“Every kid is different and every injury is different,” Johnson said. “Ibby was selected as a captain by his peers. He got a tough injury, but he wants to see his teammates play and be successful and he’s hopeful that he’ll get healthy and get an opportunity to start practicing again. He wants to be here with the guys.” 

With Abumallouh sidelined, junior Amare Jenkins has flourished at quarterback, completing 72 of 128 passes for 1,296 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. 

“Amare is such a great quarterback,” Abumallouh said. “He knows what he’s doing. Most of the time he’s just making plays, so I’m just telling him congratulations. He’s a baller.” 

Jenkins credits Abumallouh for helping to create a smooth transition. 

“Once I was named the starter, he was just as excited for me,” Jenkins said. “He helped me throughout the summer and throughout the spring. We worked together. We hang out every time we get a chance to.” 

Scioto defeated host Delaware 28-0 on Sept. 25 to win its fourth consecutive game and improve to 4-1 overall and in the OCC-Capital Division. It will close the regular season Friday, Oct. 2, against visiting Big Walnut. 

Abumallouh began the preseason of his junior year at linebacker, but took over at quarterback when then-senior Chad Ray suffered a leg injury. Abumallouh started three games, completing 25 of 46 passes for 225 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and leaving a positive impression that made him a candidate to start this season. 

“The one thing with Ibby, everybody respects how hard he works,” Johnson said. “He’s worked his tail off from his freshman year to now to give himself a chance to do something that he wanted to do.” 

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekFrank