Wilmington Friends’ running back Quentin McAbee didn’t want to have his football career end.
During Last November’s Division 2 state semifinal against rival Tower Hill, McAbee suffered a lacerated pancreas, requiring him to spend 26 days between the A.I. duPont Hospital for Children and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
“They said they wanted to do surgery to take half of my pancreas, but they ended up doing endoscopy procedures. It was a long, painful journey, but I made my it out. They said I could football again, they cleared me. I trained my best, gained the weight, and I’m here again.”
It’s been 7 months, and far less stakes than the Division 2 title game would have been, but the Blue-Gold game proved to be a strong motivating factor for a future Blue Hen.
“To me I missed my last high school game in the ‘chip, obviously. We lost to Woodbridge, they’re a really great team, and I wish I could have had an opportunity to play against them. I really just wanted to come back and play this one last high school game, and I’m actually going to go to school here at the University of Delaware, so that also means a lot to me to play on their field once more.”
Quentin was on Tubby Raymond Field when Woodbridge defeated the Quakers in the 2016 championship game and said any chance to play in Delaware’s biggest football stadium is special.
“It’s just the atmosphere. There’s the crowd on both sides, well the one side due to the construction this year, the atmosphere, the thought of playing on a college field, they average thousands of people, so it’s an amazing opportunity to play.”
Getting back on the football field was important, as he didn’t want to miss another chance to play a sport he loved once again.
“It’s just a way to express yourself. You can’t really do this anywhere else. It’s a great way to release your energy, live your life, and have fun with it.”
Quentin will sport his Wilmington Friends helmet, and he hasn’t forgotten how his football family remembered him while he was fighting his physical battle.
“It really means the world to me. I love my guys, they really fought out for me and represented me in the ‘chip. They carried my jersey out to the coin toss, so I really want to go out there and represent Friends one more time.”
Another benefit of coming back to the DFRC Blue-Gold Game is getting to represent Stuart Neely. Quentin’s Hand-In-Hand Buddy in the 45th year of the program.
“He’s just amazing, he’s a great guy. It’s really a learning experience, learning how to appreciate life with the kids with disability. It’s great helping them out, and the smiles we put on their faces is just amazing. It really makes want to me more aware. I didn’t really know about Down Syndrome, but I’ve really done some research and I’ve gotten involved, and I want to stay involved the rest of my life.”
Quentin and the rest of the Blue/Gold All-Stars will play Friday night at 7 p.m. at Delaware Stadium.
Admission is $10, with the opening ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m.