“If the game involved a ball, I could play it,” says Tom Bersano. “My whole life has been devoted to sports and competition.” From his high school days in Lockport, Illinois, where he was a three-sport star at Lockport High, to today, Tom has been a “sports nut.”
Although he was born in Honolulu as a “military brat,” Tom grew up in Illinois. His favorite sport in high school was basketball, where he was a guard for the Lockport Porters. They finished third in the state his junior year and made the “Sweet 16” his senior year. He says that the junior-year squad could have won it all if they could’ve played with five basketballs!
Tom briefly attended college before entering the beverage business with Joyce Beverages, headquartered in Joliet, Illinois. That led to a 45-year (and counting) career in that business. After 10 years with Joyce, he relocated to Arizona to be close to family and joined Hensley & Co. which distributes a wide portfolio of beverages, including Anheuser-Busch products. He worked in sales and distribution for Hensley for 20 years before joining his current employer, the Breakthru Beverage Group, one of Arizona’s largest distributors of wine, beers, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.
As you might suspect, Tom’s kids were/are into sports as well. When the kids were younger, most of the family vacations were spent at some type of sports tournament. Today, son Matt is a goalkeeper for the San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer team, Tony is head soccer referee for the State Youth Referee Association, Scott still plays competitive hockey and Amy was a softball player.
Tom played competitive softball from his days in Illinois until the early ‘90s, traveling “all over the place” to participate in major tournaments. He was a member of numerous championship teams over the years, including industrial league teams and a co-ed team. Additionally, he played “Over the Line” beach softball (look it up!), traveling to tournaments in San Diego to participate. After a 25+ year hiatus, Tom got back into softball last year, joining our regular league and also playing for the Desert Bats, one of our top tournament teams.
Another passion of Tom’s was coaching soccer. He was a certified and licensed soccer coach for 23 years, including coaching positions with Kyrene Middle School, Scottsdale Community College and the Tempe Pros Soccer Club.
Golf is another “ball game” that Tom excels in, sporting a single-digit handicap on the links. He can usually be found on a golf course two or three times per week.
When Tom’s wife Patty can drag him away from sports, they enjoy “beach vacations” in places like Florida or California. They’ve also taken ski trips to Colorado, and they used to have a cabin in Prescott for escapes from the Valley’s summer heat. Patty’s a big soccer fan and is also a “movie buff,” an interest Tom doesn’t really share… probably because there’s no ball involved!