WRAL-TV Sports Anchor Tom Suiter has been selected for induction into the NC High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
Longtime WRAL anchor and reporter Tom Suiter was one of eight people selected for induction into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame Tuesday, July 26, 2011.
Suiter has been an integral part of high school sports coverage for WRAL-TV since joining the station on June 2, 1971. A native of Rocky Mount, Suiter attended Christ School in Arden and then went to Erskine College in Due West, S.C. For his first 10 years at WRAL, Suiter anchored weekends, early morning newscasts, coach’s shows and early morning radio.
On Dec. 18, 2008, Suiter stepped aside from the role as weeknight sports anchor and slipped into a new role with WRAL. Suiter continues to bring viewers the scores, highlights and excitement from high school football games on his Football Friday show and honors outstanding high school athletes with the Extra Effort Award.
Bob Holliday, a Suiter colleague since 1981, remembered their very first conversation at the station.
“Tom felt strongly even then that there was so much WRAL could do to advance the cause of high school athletics,” Holliday recalled in a 2008 interview. “We began covering games, first in Raleigh, then in Rocky Mount, Wilson and Fayetteville.”
Tom Suiter anchored the sports portion of the WRAL 6pm newscast longer than any other.
Under Suiter’s leadership and direction, the Football Friday show began and has emerged as a local tradition. Crews cross the state to cover football teams from the WRAL viewing area.
Because there are so many games to shoot and deadlines are tight to make air at 11:35pm each Friday night, Suiter enlists a lot of help. Many reporters and photographers in the WRAL newsroom got their starts in the business assisting Suiter with the show.
In addition to game coverage, Suiter began the Extra Effort Award as a way to honor top high school athletes who excel in sports and in the classroom. Each week, Suiter travels to an area high school to present the award to a deserving student.
“Tom and I often marvel at the qualities many of our award winners possess – they are great students and leaders as well as athletes,” Holliday added in the same 2008 interview. “The passion he brings to this weekly recognition of young people is, like his mentoring, Tom’s way of helping others. The opportunity to recognize the best seniors in the WRAL viewing area is something that means a great deal to Tom.”
Suiter was just the fourth ever 6 pm sports anchor at WRAL and held the position longer than any other.
His dedication to his profession earned him induction into the prestigious Silver Circle by the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has also been named the winner of the annual Media Representative of the Year by the NCHSAA.
This year marks the 26th induction class and brings the number of people enshrined to 140.
The new inductees will be honored during special halftime ceremonies at a football game at Kenan Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, when North Carolina takes on Rutgers. The new class will officially be inducted at the special Hall of Fame banquet next spring in Chapel Hill.
The NCHSAA Hall of Fame is supported in part by a special grant from GlaxoSmithKline.
“These individuals joining the Association Hall of Fame this year have had a tremendous impact on high school athletics across North Carolina,” said NCHSAA commissioner Davis Whitfield. “Their accomplishments are impressive, but the character they exemplify and the lives they touched are truly representative of what the NCHSAA stands for. Their selection maintains the standards of excellence established by our previous inductees, and we are proud to honor these deserving individuals.”
Find out about the other inductees here.
Thanks to WRAL.com for this capcom story & these capcom photos.