Wednesday, August 18, 2021
By Brooks Berry '97
“It is good to see you Herb!,” I would say.
Herb would reply with his million-dollar smile, “It is always good to be seen!”
Man, I miss seeing Herb Waters ‘49 on Fork Union Military Academy’s campus.
During my time as athletic director, there wasn’t a football snapped on game-day without Herb Waters in the press box keeping the clock and score. Later in his life, he transitioned from wearing the stripes as a referee on the field to clock operator, and my favorite spot to sit was right next to him in the press box looking down on the field. We shared laughs, told stories, and enjoyed a coke together at halftime. Herb always donated his time back to the academy. He didn’t take a dime.
Herb was what I consider a throwback in every sense of the word. When I picture a football player from the golden era of football, arguably the roughest and toughest era of the game, I see Herb Waters. He loved sharing stories of his FUMA teammates and playing for the legendary Coach Charles "Rosie" Thomas.
He also loved how the academy shaped him into a man. Large in stature but gentle and kind, Herb was always a true professional who loved his craft. He appreciated being able to give back to the game and to the players.
I learned a lot from Herb. We both learned a lot from Fork Union Military Academy.
We are currently building a new press box on campus. When I am watching a game at FUMA, one of the purest places in America to watch football, and where some of the games best have honed their craft, I will always picture Herb keeping score from above in that press box.
We miss you, Herb. Thank you for being a part of FUMA history. Thank you for being a great friend.
Brooks Berry '97 is the former athletic director at FUMA and current member of the advancement team.