PORTSMOUTH — Skip Hickman was the voice of the Portsmouth Trojans for nearly 40 years. Last October, the fabled announcer passed on, and while Trojan fans may never again hear him call a game, his memory will forever live on as part of the Coliseum.
Friday evening, athletic director Joe Albrecht held a ceremony at the fieldhouse commemorating and honoring the memory of the Portsmouth legend. It was here that stories were swapped, memories were shared and smiles matched the amount of tears as one after another community member came forward with their own tales of Skip.
Afterword, the packed field house followed Albrecht up to the press box, a place Skip had come to spend much of his life within. In the center of the press box a plaque of Hickman was unveiled. He will now watch all of us who enter the box, all of us in the media can only hope to live up to his example.
“I am just moved beyond words right now,” said his daughter, Tiffany Newsome. “Our family is so grateful and honored that the school system would do this. This place, this press box, really meant the world to my dad. I think his loyalty and commitment said it all and the community really does respect what he did.”
“I thought there would be a lot of people here tonight, but I am blown away right now,” said Albrecht. “He touched a lot of lives, that’s obvious. But he never, ever asked for anything in return. You can’t ever replace him, but I think this is a way of forever honoring his memory. For our small community, the turn out tonight says it all. From little children to the elderly, Skip helped everyone. He will be missed.”
Not only was he a great announcer, but by all counts he was a great man. Skip graduated Portsmouth High School in 1961. His entire life is a long list of accomplishments and community service. He has been inducted to the PHS Athletic hall of fame, he has coached and officiated for the Trojans and community as well. He was residing president of both the Portsmouth Board of Education and the PHS Booster Club.
Skip and his Wife, Patty, were married for 52 years.
“He was a wonderful husband,” said Patty with a tear in her eye. “He was just a good person. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He loved his kids, he loved his two grandchildren, and he would always make time for his family despite how hard he worked. He always had an abundant amount of energy. I would never trade those years with Skip for anything. He meant so much to me, his family, but he also meant a lot to this community. I’m proud to be able to be here for this today.”