These are the kind of “Shoes You Can Not Fill”: Joe Sirera’s time at the News and Record/HSXtra.com has come to an end

from Joe Sirera on Twitter:
Joe Sirera
@JoeSireraSports
Today is my last official day at the N&R and the Journal. I haven’t been laid off, it’s just time. I want to thank all the athletes and coaches who’ve allowed me to tell their stories for the last 9 years and everyone who’s helped along the way. It’s been a privilege.

I’d also like to thank everyone I’ve worked with in 40-plus years in the business. You’ve all made me better at the job, and I hope I’ve helped at least a few of you in your journeys. So many great people. I’m grateful for all of you.

This first time I saw Joe was at a college coaches luncheon we used have each week during the college basketball season, where one of the local colleges would be featured, with UNCG, N.C. A&T, Guilford, Greensboro College being the select guest each week, and their coaches would talk to all of those in attendance…

It was a Thursday, and I was filming the event for GreensboroSports.com that day, and we were meeting for the luncheon in the conference room, at the old News and Record building downtown on East Market Street…

Eddie Wooten was the Sports Editor for the News and Record at that time, and Joe Sirera was the assistant Sports Editor…Back then Joe did not do any writing, he was just involved in the day-to-day operations for the sports section…I had never seen any articles in the News and Record from Joe…I think David Reynolds or Robert Bell might have been doing the high school work for the News and Record at that time…Joe was pretty much running the office and making sure everything was right in the sports section..

Well, everything was not right on that Thursday afternoon in the News and Record conference room, where the college basketball luncheon was being held…Before the luncheon began that day, Joe Sirera got up and spoke, and let all those in attendance know some very sad information…This again, was the first time I had ever seen Joe Sirera, and no doubt, the first time I had ever heard him speak…

What he told us that day was not good news…Jeff Carlton, a fairly young, but a pretty much long-time writer for the newspaper had died of cancer…Jeff has been the high school writer for the paper when I first met him…Jeff had gone on to become the college sports writer for the News and Record, with a lot of coverage on the North Carolina Tar Heels and other members of the ACC’s Big Four…

Jeff was gone, and even though he had for a time been removed from the high school sports area, he done a very good job with the preps area, while in that department…But, the high school sports area of the newspaper had sort of became a revolving door…Robert Bell, David Reynolds, Tom Keller and others were there, but nothing was really sticking…

That is until the News and Record put Joe Sirera in charge of the high school section…Joe got the HSXtra.com part going for the high school sports coverage, and he was all over the Friday night high school football games, the Tuesday and Friday night high school basketball games, high school baseball and all of the other high school sports in and around Guilford County…

Joe would be a hard man to keep up with, and you really couldn’t keep up with him, you just had to make sure if he was there, then you knew you were at the right ball game…Joe was on the go, and he did not miss many beats…He would beat you to the punch, if you held your info too long…If you sat on a story, it would be gone, because Joe would already have it…

Joe hit the fields, and he hit them hard…Was going to have lunch with Joe today, but he was busy…Just Joe always taking care of business, he had to take care of his dad…Joe got the job done, and whatever he ends up doing, he will continue to get the job done…

Joe Sirera, with others like Eddie Wooten, Bill Hass, Jeff Mills, Jeff Carlton, Charlie Atkinson, J.P. Mundy, and many others got it done at the N&R for many years…

Was hoping to catch that lunch with Joe to find out what his top story might have been while he was covering the high school sports scene, during his time at the News and Record…I’m thinking he might have said the article he did on Northern Guilford girls basketball coach Kim Furlough, and her battle with cancer…That one really hit home with many in our community…

Also thought about asking Joe about all of the changes that he had seen at the News and Record, and overall in the newspaper business over the years, but that might take a series of lunches there…

Joe’s work will for sure be missed, and again, it was always good to be at a game when Joe was there, because you knew if you needed a piece of info, he would have it for you, or know how, or where to get it…

Going to miss Joe Sirera, and it was always good to have his work to fall back on, on those Friday night’s in the Fall of the year…Good to have his Quick Take, to double back on, so you could check out your own finished product at around 1 or 2am….

Gone, but to always be remembered, and I am sure in some capacity, he will be continuing….

Great work from Joe Sirera, and again a Job Well Done….