For nearly 40 years one individual was known as “The Voice of the Trojans” and Saturday, July 16, 2016, that individual will be memorialized for his service to the Portsmouth City School District as well as the impact he made on thousands of students throughout his many years of service to the school district.
Walter Richard “Skip” Hickman Jr. will be honored Saturday evening at the Trojan Coliseum during a special ceremony, which will feature a special unveiling of Hickman’s portrait in the press box of the coliseum’s football field.
Beginning at 6:00 p.m. family, friends and acquaintances of Hickman are invited to meet at the field house to share some memories of the late Skip Hickman. After meeting in the field house, the group will then proceed to the press box, where a portrait of Hickman will be unveiled.
“Skip was a volunteer for our school system for 39 years,” Portsmouth High School Athletic Director, Joe Albrecht said. “He was the voice of the Trojans in basketball and football.”
Hickman volunteered as the Public Address (PA) Announcer for nearly 40 years, cementing a legacy that will continue to be remembered for years to come.
In addition to being labeled “The Voice of the Trojans”, Hickman also served as president of the Portsmouth City School’s Board of Education, the McKinley Middle School PTA, the Highland Elementary School PTA, as well as a former president of the PHS Trojan Boosters Club.
Hickman was also involved in the Eastern Division Little League, along with serving on the Del Rice League.
“He never took a penny from us,” Albrecht said. “He was a great example of a volunteer for a school district. He was the kind of guy all school districts need.”
The long time volunteer, official and coach passed away in October of 2015.
Shortly after Hickman’s passing, Albrecht contacted Portsmouth City School District Superintendent, Scott Dutey, about honoring Hickman.
“He went to the board with it,” Albrecht said. “It was a no-brainer, you know, because of all he has done for the system throughout the years. When you think of Portsmouth High School or Glockner’s, you think of Skip Hickman.”
According to Albrecht, Andy Glockner of Glockner Enterprises will be helping with the cost of honoring Hickman.
“Andy just loved Skip as well,” Albrecht said.
Hickman was a longtime employee at Glockner Enterprises.
“Skip is synonymous with Portsmouth High School,” Albrecht said. “There’s no question. This is a great gesture. It’s an honoring ceremony and thanking Skip for all of his dedication. He has touched so many people over the last 40 years. He would do whatever he could for his Trojans.”
Hickman was active until shortly before his passing, logging his final game as the “Voice of the Trojans” at a football Friday evening, September 11, 2015.
When Albrecht notified Hickman’s family of the plans to honor the avid Trojan supporter, he was met with an emotional response, according to Tiffany Hickman Newsome, daughter of the late Skip Hickman.
“We were just blown away,” Newsome said. “People have been so wonderful and we were just blown away by the gesture. We were immediately grateful that they would be willing to do that in his memory.”
While thinking about about what her father would think about the honoring ceremony, Newsome said her father would be thrilled to know he was though of so fondly.
“He would be thrilled to know they thought that much of him, but he was not about the recognition, he just did it for the kids,” Newsome said. “He was very humble and would not have wanted any attention drawn to himself. He did it for the kids and he didn’t want any reward, or payment, or credit. He did it for the kids.”
A plaque honoring the dedication Hickman had for the school system currently resides outside the gates of the Trojan Coliseum, which was put on display earlier this year, by former Portsmouth High School students, according to Newsome.
Hickman’s family also shared a heartfelt thanks to all individuals, known and unknown, who have decided to honor the late Hickman.
“We would like to thank all those involved in honoring my father,” Newsome added.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.