Hicks, Mckinney sign college scholarships

Published 6:04 pm Wednesday, February 5, 2020

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Two Charles Henderson High seniors inked scholarships to play college football in a National Signing Day ceremony Wednesday morning on the campus of CHHS.

Barton Hicks signed with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, while Sean McKinney signed with Faulkner of Montgomery.

Also receiving offers but opting to sign at a later date are Bradley Caldwell and Terrell Jones, who are each weighing their options.

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Caldwell was a wide receiver for the Trojans this past season, Hicks a long snapper and tight end, Jones a free safety and running back, while McKinney played wide receiver.

Hicks graduated early from CHHS and enrolled on campus at UAB in early January.

“I really love it up there, it is beautiful and better than I thought it would be,” said Hicks. “We are doing a lot of running, weight lifting and conditioning. It was a challenge for me, but over time you get adjusted to it. I love it up there, it is awesome. I feel like I am getting a lot stronger and bigger. I have gained over 10 pounds, and I have never eaten so much in my life.”

Hicks said it was always his goal to play college ball, and he could not have done so without the support and encouragement of his parents.

“It is just a blessing to me,” said Hicks. “I especially thank my parents, especially for my dad for pushing me a little bit in long snapping. I was able to impress some coaches up there and got an offer to play.”

McKinney is looking forward to going to Faulkner and playing wide receiver, but also working hard in the classroom as well.

“I’m ready to start a new beginning at the next level,” said McKinney. “This has always been a dream of mine. I’ve been doing this all my life, and for me to be able to do this, I have been really blessed. I got here through grinding and working. That’s what you have to do to get what you want. I feel like I can get my work done there in the classroom. The football program is in my base, as they really like to throw the football.

“My freshman year gave me the experience, and I really caught on from there. Also, I have been around a lot of great guys and that helped prepare me for the next level. For the younger guys coming up, I would say that you have to get your books, get your grades, work as hard as you can, and see where you can go from there.”

All of these young men played for CHHS head coach Brad McCoy, who is not only proud of how they carried themselves on the field, but off the field as well.

“Barton and Sean are tremendous young men, and both of them are very hard working guys that have been in the program for four years,” said McCoy. “They started playing in middle school, then came here as freshmen and stayed with it. The thing that stands out to me about both of them is that they started understanding the academic part of it early, and that is what holds some kids back, even though they may have the athletic ability. The academic part can hold some kids back from making the next step in college, and these two guys have really understood that.

“Motivation from parents is also a big deal. It is always important to have a mom or dad that pushes you and holds you accountable when maybe you don’t do as well in school on a test or on the ACT when you take it. That is a big, big deal. Everybody will tell you, if you do not make that score you are not going to get these scholarship opportunities.”

McCoy is proud of Hicks and McKinney, and is also eager to see where Jones and Caldwell end up signing.

“Tyrell Jones has a scholarship offer to Dodge City Community College in Kansas, and he also has offers from several other schools,” said McCoy. “That’s the route he needs to take to catapult his GPA and academic side so he can get that Division I offer he is looking for. He is certainly capable of playing at a Division I school. Bradley Caldwell has an offer from Huntingdon, and is also exploring his options that he is looking at. Tyrell and Bradley are both going to be college football players.”