Coach John Orr & Cloudland football teams book to be released Homecoming night

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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Coach John Orr was a legend where high school football was more than just a game; it was a way of life. He was a local hero, a former Cloudland quarterback, and a basketball player for the Landers before he took on the role of head football coach in 1962. Little did anyone know that he would go on to become an institution in Cloudland High Football.
Coach Orr wasn’t content with just football; he wore many hats. In addition to coaching football, he served as the baseball coach and the assistant varsity basketball coach. But his dedication didn’t stop there; he also coached the B-team and the girls’ softball team. His passion for sports and his commitment to the students of Cloudland knew no bounds.
Over his remarkable 18 1/2 seasons as the head football coach, Coach Orr achieved greatness. He led the Cloudland Highlanders to nine conference titles and was selected as coach of the year a staggering nine times. His crowning achievement came in 1968 when his team triumphed in the Shrine Bowl, defeating Wartburg Central with a resounding score of 20-0. It was a moment of immense pride for the entire town.
Under Coach Orr’s leadership, the Highlanders also secured their first four playoff berths, with memorable first-round wins over Oneida in 1987 and 1988. The community rallied behind their beloved coach and the team, and the Cloudland spirit soared to new heights.
Coach Orr’s commitment to service extended beyond the football field. He had proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1954, with a posting in Korea. After returning home, he pursued his education with the same determination he displayed on the football field. He earned his associate degree at Lees McRae, followed by his bachelor’s degree at Milligan College, and ultimately completed his master’s degree at Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina.
For over 30 years, Coach Orr dedicated himself to Cloudland, serving as a teacher, administrator, and coach. His influence even stretched to Tiger Valley, where he coached basketball for two years.
Coach John Orr was more than just a coach; he was a mentor, a leader, and an inspiration to generations of Cloudland students. His legacy lived on not only through the trophies and accolades but also through the values and lessons he instilled in his players and the community he loved. Coach Orr’s impact was timeless, an enduring symbol of dedication, hard work, and the unwavering spirit of Cloudland High Football.
On Cloudland’s homecoming night, October 6th, Charles Peters’ book, a chronicle of “Coach John Orr and the Cloudland football legacy”, is set to be released. From 1941 to 2021, the Cloudland teams had woven an inspiring tapestry of triumphs and trials. Peters’ book was a treasure trove adorned with photos, scores, and heartwarming anecdotes from former players and coaches. It celebrated Coach Orr’s unwavering dedication and the indomitable spirit of the Cloudland football family. A tribute to the enduring legacy etched by generations of Highlanders.

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