A legend in sports broadcasting whose name is synonymous with WRAL will be honored statewide this spring.
Tom Suiter will be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
Suiter, who spent four decades as a sports reporter and anchor on WRAL-TV, will be enshrined during the 58th annual induction banquet on Friday, April 22, at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Suiter is distinguished for his role in creating the ‘Football Friday’ franchise, and is an inductees to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and the NC Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
The Rocky Mount native was the leader of one of the area’s first high school football highlight shows that brought fans highlights from throughout central and eastern North Carolina.
Suiter started at WRAL in 1971, took over as the station’s main sports anchor in 1981 and worked there for 45 years. A 2016 story estimated that Suiter distributed around 1,000 Extra Effort Awards at various high schools. The honor is still something the station continues today.
After modest beginnings in the 1980s, ‘Football Friday’ raised the bar for high school football coverage in the area, a legacy maintained today by HighSchoolOT.com. Even in the 1990s, teams, cheerleading squads and even bands were invited to come on to take part in the pomp and circumstance surrounding the show.
Suiter also originated the Extra Effort Award, which honors local high school student athletes, often arriving at an athlete’s school via SKY 5 in what was a much-anticipated ceremony for students and staff.
Joining Suiter in being inducted will be NC State football legend Torry Holt and the late Sam Mills, who was a leader at linebacker for the Carolina Panthers in the franchise’s infancy. Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues also will officially join the Hall of Fame. Bogues was elected previously but could not attend the 2021 banquet, so he will be formally inducted with the 2022 class.
Thanks to WRALSportsFan.com for this Capcom story & to HighSchoolOT’s Nick Steven’s for this Capcom photo.