Dominate the Day: Jordan Sebastian's Legacy
Dominate the Day is a nonproft foundation established in honor of Hopkins alumnus and faculty member Jordan Sebastian ’11, who passed away last October.
Sebastian’s family created the foundation in order to remember Sebastian’s legacy and to instill his values in local youth. This summer, the foundation ran a football camp at Hopkins on July 21. Varsity Football
Coach Tim Phipps explained, “The camp was a one-day football camp designed to teach kids skills and to offer them a look into what a football combine looks like.”
Multiple people helped the camp come to fruition. Head of School Kai Bynum and Chief Financial Officer David Baxter were heavily involved in getting the camp going. Brito, Phipps, and Director of Athletics Rocco DeMaio all were involved in running the camp, with aid from the athletic trainers. Many coaches from multiple schools across the state volunteered as well as Hopkins alumni Spencer Lockhart ’18, Doug Wardlaw ’17, and Will Bagnall ’12 provided additional guidance. According to Lockhart ’18, “There was a great array of coaches from all different levels of the game, from former high-school players and coaches, to current Division 1 college players.”
Incoming Athletic Department Associate and cousin of Jordan Sebastian Dante Brito commented, “This was a beautiful camp on a perfect day. This was the best thing that I have been a part of and can not wait until we make it bigger and better in years to come.” Brito had discussed such a program with Sebastian: “We wanted to have a financially friendly camp with wonderful coaching to better develop young men/ woman who wanted to get better at the sport that provided so many opportunities for us; so to see that come to fruition was simply marvelous. I know he would have been so proud.” The camp was free for all seventy of the middle school aged students who attended. Many of the campers were from New Haven and the surrounding area, but came from areas as far as Hartford, Windsor, and Massachusetts.
The athletes learned new techniques, practiced multiple drills, and competed in scrimmage matches. Phipps stated, “Each kid had a chance to be tested in the 40 yard dash, 3 cone wheel and the broad jump. At the end of the camp, the players were split up into teams and competed in a linemen challenge and 7 on 7 competition.”
Lockhart ’18 helped with the position-specific drills: “We broke the kids up by position and helped them work on fundamentals key to success at the positions they play. I helped coach the Wide Receivers and Defensive Backs, the same positions I played in high school when Jordan Sebastian was my positional coach.”
Six awards were presented: Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, Overall MVP, Relentless, Coach’s Choice, and Dominator, which was given to the athlete who displayed many of the positive qualities Sebastian had.
Current football captain Owen Sherman ’19 said, “I think the camp was a great way for Coach Sebastian’s legacy to live on and a great way to honor his memory. We all know how much he loved football and how passionate he was about coaching, but he was also passionate in helping us players learning what it means to be a man. I think this camp is a great way for players to both improve their game physically but also improve themselves, just as Coach always pushed us to do so.”
DeMaio believes that the camp successfully honored Jordan Sebastian: “The day was an amazing tribute in honor of Jordan. The amount of support, love and community was amazing. This idea was his vision and I was so pleased that we are able to make his wish come true and honor his memory in this way. I look forward to this event becoming an annual celebration of Jordan’s legacy.”