AUGUSTA — It will take another year before fans realize the absence of the booming voice of Mike Hopkins at Cony High School basketball games.

Hopkins will continue his duties as public address announcer this month and in the future for tournament games at the Augusta Civic Center. But after 25 years at the mic, Hopkins announced his last regular season game for the Rams on Thursday night.

“Twenty-five years is a good number,” said Hopkins, who was recruited by then girls basketball coach Paul Vachon to announce games in the 1986-87 season.

Hopkins was honored prior to Thursday’s boys game against Erskine Academy and received a standing ovation from the overflow crowd. Vachon, who is the school’s athletic director, mentioned the excitement Hopkins brings to each game and pointed out he has never received a penny for his services.

“I just like being involved,” said Hopkins, who works for the U.S. Postal Service. “It gets me out of the house in the winter. I’m involved in football and I’m involved in softball, but during the winter I have nothing going on.”

Hopkins kept his announcements brief and direct, beginning with the starting lineups for both teams. He announced who scored each basket with equal enthusiasm for both teams. He believes he developed his signature three-point call as in “Mary Beth Coughlin for THREEEE,” back when the Cony girls were launching shots from behind the arc with impunity in the early ’90s.

Hopkins was on board for seven state championships won by the Cony girls as was his younger brother Dave, who was an assistant coach.

“It took a few years when I was sitting at the table and not shaking when I had the microphone,” Hopkins said.

Both at Cony and the Civic Center, Hopkins goes over every single name on the roster to get the pronunciations correct.

“If it’s something I’m not sure of I’ll spell it out phonetically,” he said.

Hopkins said he’ll be available for preseason and conference tournament games at Cony if needed, but regular season games are a thing of the past.

“He’s just a true gentleman,” Vachon said. “He’s been that way his whole life. He’s going to be greatly missed.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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