Former Bristol Central star holding youth football clinic

Published on Monday, 11 July 2022 14:51
Written by Serenity Bishop


Playing football has always been one of Dathan Hickey’s passions. His drive and focus for the sport led him to becoming one of Bristol Central’s standout players during his senior year in 2018. However, while Hickey was dominating the field as a Ram, he also begin to form the idea of one day giving back to the community the raised him and bringing a youth football clinic to Bristol.

On July 16, Hickey’s dream will become reality as he will be holding his first youth football clinic at Bristol Bulldog Field on Lake Avenue between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The camp is targeted for athletes 8 to 13 years old and will teach them basic fundamentals and offensive and defensive techniques.

“I really wanted to make sure that these kids had a little head start in understanding what coaches are looking for and the proper techniques that they need to be using or that they could be using,” Hickey said. “A lot of time they’re just going out and being the athletes that they are, but not necessarily using the correct technique. I think just giving them the chance to tap into the college football minds and really learning the basic fundamentals would be great for what they could do in their athletic future.

During Hickey’s senior year at Bristol Central he rushed for 1,402 yards and 30 touchdowns. Defensively, he totaled 48 tackles and two interceptions earning All-State, All-Conference and Team MVP honors. Now as junior at Yale University, he said he wanted to give the knowledge and information that he has learned to the next generation.

Players will be split between lineman and skilled positions. During the first half of the day, Hickey and his Yale teammates will coach defensive techniques and fundamentals. During the second half of the day, the players will learn the offensive side of the ball. Lineman will learn how to pass block and run block.

Hickey said that he is appreciative of his Yale teammates for giving their time to help him run the clinic.

“I reached out to them and I ask them would you guys be interested in helping me out with a youth camp and all of them were down 100%. They were ready to go, whatever I need,” he said. “It was really heartwarming.”

Bristol Central football coach Jeff Papazian said he heard about the camp through social media and reached out to Hickey to see how to get involved. He said “it’s pretty cool” seeing one of his former players come back and put on a clinic for his hometown.

“That’s him. That’s the type of guy he is,” Papazian said. “Once he get something in his head he’s going to do it and go after it 1000%. I’m happy he’s doing it. He was a great kid in high school and he has just continued to mature into a really great adult.”

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol Central on Monday, 11 July 2022 14:51. Updated: Monday, 11 July 2022 14:53.