The return of O’Shaan Allison


Garrett Hallinan

After fracturing his ankle in last year’s game against Imhotep Charter, senior running back O’Shaan Allison is back and better than ever.

It is very difficult to come back from a season ending injury. It takes time, hard work, strengthening, and therapy, but the most important of these is hard work.

“I worked out everyday with a personal trainer,” Allison said. “I took no days off, and my mindset was that I needed to get out of this.”

Every day after school for a month, Allison went to Mr. William Mills, Malvern’s head athletic trainer, to rehab his ankle.

“I started off by simply rotating the ankle,” he said. “After weeks of physical therapy, I started to walk on it, using my tippy toes. Every day it needed to be strengthened and iced.”

Altogether, Allison’s recovery took about two months after rehab. It was early May when he began running again.

“It did not feel the same,” he said. “I basically had to re strengthen my whole left leg. I could not change directions quickly for that whole month of May. College coaches who saw me during my spring workouts realized that I had a limp, and they shied away.”

Reasonably, Allison felt discouraged. He did not know what else he could do, but then a close friend came in for the rescue.

“During the offseason, I brought O’Shaan with me to workout on the field and in the gym,” junior Quincy Watson said. “I took him under my wing, and we progressed slowly. At the EverFit gym in Malvern, we did squats, benches, leg presses, and ran laps around the building.”

Quincy and Allison are more than friends, they are second cousins.

“We have known each other for a long time,” Watson said. “Ever since I came to Malvern freshman year, we have grown closer by talking and hanging out all the time.”

As they pushed each other, Allison started to feel better and his confidence continued to grow.

“My hard work has definitely paid off,” Allison said. “In our first game against St. Augustine Prep, I had 19 carries for 142 yards. I believe I could have done even better than that.”

Coach Gueriera believes the best part of Allison’s football game is his vision.

“Vision is not taught, rather it is a gift,” Gueriera said. “You have it or you don’t have it. He has a talent where he can feel holes that open. He also has a will that most running backs do not have. It is going to take a few guys to bring him down; he is relentless in that approach.”

Along with being a great football player, Allison is a role model, a friend, and a hard worker.

“I love coaching Allison,” Gueriera said. “He is quiet and humble. When he talks, he says something that is meaningful. He is not out there beating his chest and telling everyone that he is the greatest, rather he lets his actions speak.”

Next fall, Allison will be attending Ohio University.

“When I went down there, I loved what I saw,” Allison said. “The facilities were beautiful. The coaches treated me well, and they were very honest with me.”

Coach Gueriera agrees that Ohio University is the right fit for Allison, and he looks forward to seeing him play there.

“Ohio University has a very high level of football. It will be a challenge; college football is a lot faster than high school football, and there are a lot more ups and downs. It is important to get back up from the downs, and I think he will be fine in that aspect. Academically coming from Malvern, I think he is well prepared,” Gueriera said.

Allison plans on making a big impact at Ohio University.

“Ohio plays against good competition,” Allison said. “I believe that I have a good chance to play against good football players. They win games and make it to a bowl game almost every year in their conference.”

For Malvern, Allison wears the number one on the back of his jersey. He hopes to attain this number when he goes and plays for the Bobcats in Ohio.

“Wearing number one is a privilege,” Allison said. “It is something that you have to earn. In college, I will have to work for it.”

It was Allison’s Dad who turned him towards the number one.

“Before one of my first seasons playing football, my dad said to me, ‘I want you to wear number one, and I want you to always wear number one for the rest of your career. Because at the end, I want you to be the number one in everything.’”

Allison works to be the best, but at the same time, he is a team first player.

“He represents Malvern Football very well,” Coach Gueriera said. “He loves his teammates, and that is what family is all about. Forget about me and I love you.”

Allison appreciates all that Malvern has given to him.

“Being a part of Malvern and its football team is a blessing,” he said. “It has made me into a better leader and more of a self starter.”