High Point Enterprise sports writer Tom Berry passed away yesterday due to complications from an infection and cancer. He was a fan of the 49ers, and once did a large feature on James Zimmerman. The Charlotte program was mentioned in his articles not often enough for me (as I let him often know) but we achieved 5BC status in his eyes. No one will ever be able to replace him as the High Point Panthers beat writer. In addition, he regularly covered ACC basketball and football, the Panthers and an occasional Bobcats game. Tom was a columnist who could provide facts to back up his thoughts in print.
Thanks Tom, it was a great ride.
[QUOTE][B][SIZE=3]Tom Berry left so many great memories[/SIZE]
By Steve Hanf, Enterprise Sports Writer
August 31, 2009[/B]
Already people are chiming in with the “I remember when Tom Berry …” lines. Some of the memories are from co-workers, others from people Tom covered playing high school sports who are now in the coaching ranks.
That’s what happens when you serve as the face of a newspaper for as long as Tom did.
I remember when Tom Berry took a break from writing just last Wednesday at the Wyndham Championship. I stopped by Sedgefield Country Club to pick up my media credential, a few tournament guides and - since I was there anyway - grab some lunch in the hospitality room. (The free food remains a great perk of this business, and there are some great stories of Tom’s legendary appetite, but we’ll save those for another time).
Tom emerged from the interview room and stopped by my table to join me while I ate. He commented on how good the food was, then lamented how he wasn’t able to eat that much of it. His appetite wasn’t quite there, and while doctors earlier in the week had told him that some test results were a little off, Tom said he was feeling a little better by Wednesday.
We chatted about work mostly, and Tom fretted over whether or not he’d be able to perform double-duty on Friday: covering the PGA tournament during the day and then catching a high school football game that night. A true measure of how poorly Tom indeed was feeling emerged when he decided to skip the Wyndham on Friday and just cover the Southwest at Southeast Guilford football game that night.
Doubleheaders, tripleheaders, quadupleheaders - Tom did it all. One of the most fun days I recall of the past five years working with Tom came when he covered a Carolina Panthers press conference in the morning and hit a Wake Forest basketball media event in the afternoon. Remarkably, photographers from the Associated Press caught Tom in the background of photos at each stop: in the Panthers locker room with Vinny Testaverde and at Wake with Dino Gaudio.
We teased him about having proof that he really covered both events, and made up a fake Enterprise sports page with the photos enlarged. I’m glad I still have it saved on my computer nearly two years later.
Of course, Tom didn’t just work all the time. He often fixed his writing schedule so that he could attend his daughters’ track meets, swim meets and band concerts. And for all the NCAA Tournaments he covered, the Super Bowl, the thousands of prep and college games in every sport - that’s what it’s all about.
Tom’s death Sunday claimed a great writer for everyone in the greater High Point area, a great friend to many and a great family man. His words and the memories we’re left with just don’t seem to be enough.[/QUOTE]