North Stokes’ Matt Hopkins is multi-talented when it comes to sports. Hopkins has played all four years on the Vikings’ varsity football and basketball teams.
During his high school career, Hopkins has proved his mettle on the field and on the court — picking up several accolades in the process.
Hopkins was an all-state receiver during the 2011 football season. He has been an all-conference pick for the past two years in football and the past three in basketball.
To top it all off, Hopkins sank over 1,400 points during his time on the Vikings basketball team — second only to a record of 1,577 points set in the early 1980s by Bobby Beecher, who later went on to play in the NBA.
Out on the court, Hopkins seems to make his shots effortlessly. But his mother, Judy, said that he spends a lot of time shooting hoops in the driveway, sometimes well into the night.
Hopkins was courted by several colleges this year, but most wanted him to choose between football or basketball.
When asked which sport is his favorite, Hopkins just smiled and said he can’t decide.
That is why Hopkins ultimately decided to go to Maryville College in Tennessee. The coaches there weren’t going to make him choose.
On Feb. 18, Hopkins sat down to sign a letter-of-intent to play both basketball and football at Maryville.
“I didn’t think I could leave one or the other [sport] behind,” he said after the signing.
Hopkins said that he is excited about the opportunity to play sports at the college level.
“Matthew has always said he would play at the next level,” Judy said. “He is going to realize a dream that happens for so few.”
Hopkins’ father, Kenny, said that he knew his son was blessed with an incredible drive since he was a kid. Hopkins has been playing basketball since second grade and football since seventh.
“I’m proud of him,” Kenny said. “I knew the kind of drive he had.”
Judy said that her son’s drive comes from “within” and that he has “put in a lot of hours” to get to where he is.
Vikings Football Coach Jason Lippard said that Hopkins is full of “passion” and “determination.” And he’s not afraid of hard work.
“He’s always been a worker,” Lippard said. “A lot of people don’t realize how hard he works. I knew he would have the opportunity to play on the next level.”
And, Hopkins is ready for that next level.
“I’m ready to work hard and play college ball,” Hopkins said. “It won’t be easy, but I think I’ll adapt to it pretty well.”