Senior Ibrahim Jarr is ready for the opposing offense. On his toes at all times, he possesses the focus and drive to tackle any opponent who tries to cross into Blazer territory. As the referee blows the whistle, Jarr's aggressiveness consumes him as he rushes towards the other team. His fearful opponents drop the ball when they catch a glimpse of the defensive force approaching them, and Jarr scrambles to recover the ball. First down Blazers.
Jarr, better known as "Abe," began playing football when he was nine years old. Ever since that young age, Jarr aspired to play on his high school's football team. "I decided to tryout because I just love the sport. When you play a sport for so long, you just can't let it go," he says.
Junior varsity (JV) head coach Adrian Kelly recognized Jarr's potential during tryouts when Jarr tried out for the team as a freshman. His sophomore year, Jarr won the Most Valuable Player award for the JV football team. "He was one of the best players out there," Kelly explains.
Now, as a senior and captain, Kelly has noticed that Jarr successfully motivates his teammates during games. "He brings out the best in the team," Kelly says. "He's one of the most vocal players out there."
In practices, Kelly notes that Jarr takes every play seriously and has a tough work ethic. "He always goes full speed," Kelly explains. "He always contributes…he never complains." Kelly further elaborated that Jarr's hard work in practice has paid off in his statistical performance; Jarr consistently leads the team in sacs.
Teammate junior Caleb Furlow looks up to Jarr as a key contributor and leader of the team. "He's a very good leader and a very good captain," he says. "Abe is the heart and soul of our defense."
Playing defense is Jarr's favorite part of the game because he can work out frustration. "You get to hit people," he says. "I mean, you got to love that!"
In order to get ready for his central role as defender, Jarr believes in mental preparedness. Before every game, he likes to sit by himself and focus on the match that lies ahead of him. "I listen to music and think about what I'm going to do in the game," he describes. Kelly confirms that Jarr's method for pre-game visualization has a positive effect on his performance. "Mentally, I think he goes into the game more prepared than other players," he says.
Jarr looks up to Michael Vick, NFL quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, as an athletic role model. "He such a tremendous athlete," Jarr says. "He does it all."
As a member of Blair's football team for the past four years, Jarr has had the opportunity to play with different groups of players. But he believes that this year's team possesses something special. The players' determination is unique, and Jarr is happy to be a part of that. "We have something that other teams don't have, and that's heart," he says. "Any team could have keeled over after those devastating losses. But [we're] still here putting on those shoulder pads every day."
Despite their current 1-5 record, Jarr expects a turnaround; he has confidence in the team's capability. "The younger guys are still learning. We have four games left. We have to win all these games to end up with a 5-5 record," he explains. "I believe we can make that happen."
Both Kelly and Furlow recognize that Jarr's leadership and athleticism are what will guide the Blazers in the right direction. "He's got the will to win, and love for the sport," Furlow says.
Blake Morgan-Gamber. Blake Morgan-Gamber is a rare specimen with two last names; she woos women and men alike with her fanciful features writing and sumptuous sports editing. But do not be lulled by this siren, though BMG is a creature of beauty, there's many amazing talents inside ... More »