Super Senior: Tom Haley

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 7:03 PM EST
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WEST RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - If you played in high school sports in southern Vermont, there’s a good chance Tom Haley at the Rutland Herald has covered it.

The old-school reporter sits in the newsroom with a pad and pen and a Diet Coke by his side. “Every person around every corner is a great story,” Haley said.

The Proctor native had a stint in the Air Force and then taught high school social studies, but it was reporting that became his calling. “Teaching was rewarding and teaching was fun, but newspapering is five-year-old-on-Christmas-morning fun,” Haley said.

There’s a saying that “no news happens in the newsroom.” So, Haley is off to nearby West Rutland to cover a girls’ game against Leyland and Gray.

Haley has his routines. At West Rutland, he likes to sit behind the opposing team’s bench for a little elbow room. “I’d rather be, have space,” he said.

With declining readership and less advertising revenue, newspapers around the country are struggling. Haley is now just one of two sports staff writers at the Herald. He’s on the road six days a week.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Are there any sports you haven’t covered?

Tom Haley: Yeah, fishing. But I’m sure that’s going to change someday.

At 75, Haley has no intention of slowing down. But he is also pragmatic. He’s dealt with cancer and cataracts. “Always have to adjust, because life happens, it just does,” he said.

West Rutland is last year’s Division 4 champs and Haley predicts they’re on their way to another title. “They’re good, they’re tall,” he said.

The sports scribe struggles to find anything he dislikes about his job. “I just love it all,” he said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Love it all?

Tom Haley: Winter driving maybe?!

As the buzzer sounds, it’s the home team with an easy win. Another game in the books and Haley is still excited like that five-year-old on Christmas Day. “It’s a whole lot of fun,” he said.