Notre Dame's Kareem Orr Looking For Big Results

All-State Player Already Committed To Louisville

Friday, August 22, 2014 - by John Hunt

(This is the 16th in a series of preseason stories on new high school football coaches, or veteran coaches at a different school, and top players in the Chattanooga area)

Notre Dame’s football team has won 18 games in the first two years of Charles Fant’s time as the Fighting Irish head coach.

The Signal Mountain Eagles have beaten Notre Dame in both of those years, keeping the guys in green and gold from winning the District 7-AA championship.

Notre Dame currently has 18 seniors on its football roster and a bunch of returning starters on both sides of the ball.

None are any more talented or valuable than Kareem Orr, last year’s 7-AA Player of the Year and an All-State pick.  He’s just gotten better as he’s gotten older and colleges have taken notice.

Just recently he made a public commitment to the Louisville Cardinals where the six-foot, 190-pound 17-year-old hopes to see action next fall as a defensive back.

“Everything just felt right when I visited there and I’ve already established a good relationship with Terrell Buckley, their defensive backs coach.  I feel like I have a good chance to start next fall as a defensive back,” Orr nodded.

“Kareem is such an emotional leader for this football team.  When he gets up, everybody responds in a positive way.  When he’s quiet, the others are quiet too, but it’s nice to see him developing into the player he’s become,” Fant said after school dismissed on Wednesday afternoon.

“Today he’s best as a receiver and he can play there at the next level, but he also has the potential to play safety as his speed increases.  Just throw the ball in his area and he’ll come down with it.  He dropped two passes in the jamboree last week and I can’t remember the last time that happened,” the coach continued.

“With Alex Darras (starting quarterback) getting hurt early in pre-season camp, we’re using a backup who’s never played quarterback.  Having Kareem in the same backfield gives him the confidence to move our offense,” the coach praised the work of junior backup Nicholas Coronis.

“I expect a lot of Friday night leadership from Kareem, but he’s the one to pump them up when things don’t go our way.  He does more than just stand around.  He’s been nursing a tender hamstring recently, but he still works with the younger guys while he’s not playing.  That’s so awesome.

“We’re strong this year, but watching this group of seniors develop has been fun.  Now is the time as there’s no waiting until next year.  Signal Mountain has kept us from winning the district the last two years and that will be our big game this year.

“We’re expecting to win again this year as we must be victorious.  We have a process where we love them, but we also demand a lot from them.  We’ve set some pretty high expectations and we don’t let them fall below that level.

“Every player has to earn his starting position every year, but Kareem and I have a special relationship.  He’s a heck of a player as he’s all business on the football field, but he has fun in the process,” the coach concluded.

Orr accounted for more than 1,700 yards a year ago when he scored 17 touchdowns for the Fighting Irish.  He also had six interceptions, including one for a TD while making 67 tackles from his safety position.

He’s quick to admit that he wants the ball in his hands, but he also enjoys delivering a big hit on defense.

“I love having the ball in my hands, but I also enjoy playing defense.  It feels so good to hit an opponent hard.  It also feels pretty good to catch a nice touchdown pass.  We feel like we have a chance to go all the way,” the son of Aaron and Marion Orr said with confidence.

“I just want to lead this team to a state championship and to beat Signal Mountain,” he added emphatically.

Orr does more than just play football as he’s a star on the basketball court and he’s also on the Notre Dame baseball team.  And he’s seriously thinking about playing soccer in the spring.

“I work hard every day.  I want everyone else to get better because I want them to succeed too.  We have to get the job done this fall, but I’m ready,” he concluded.

Notre Dame starts its season tonight with a home game against Knoxville Catholic.

Kareem Orr’s final season in a Notre Dame football uniform is about to begin.  With an outstanding supporting cast, who knows how the upcoming season will end.

He just hopes it’s in Cookeville at the Class AA state championship game.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)

 


Weathers And Feher In Four-Ball Semifinal

The McCallie-Baylor combination of Andrew Weathers and Mikey Feher advanced to a semifinal Friday in the 46th Tennessee Four-Ball Championship at the Black Creek Club. Weathers and Feher will face Jack Smith and Ryan Green in a semifinal Saturday. The other semifinal will match Vince Gallagher and Jacob Sherlin vs. Lake Johnson and Scott Stevens. The final will follow the ... (click for more)

Rebne, Allmond No. 1 Seeded In Four-Ball

He recently graduated duo from Heritage High School -- Ben Rebne and Sport Allmond-- are seeded No. 1 for the Tennessee Four-Ball Championship this weekend at Black Creek Club. Rebne and Allmond posted a two-day total  of 18-under 136.   46th Annual Tennessee Four-Ball Championship Updated: 6/24/2016 8:53 AM EDT Black Creek Club ... (click for more)

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49, Dies In Red Bank Home Destroyed By Fire; Case Ruled Arson/Suicide

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49,  died in a house fire in Red Bank early Friday morning after the homeowner said he was awakened by popping sounds. Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said the case is being considered an arson/suicide. He said, " At approximately 12:30 a.m., the Red Bank Fire and Police departments responded to a residential fire at 604 Bitsy Lane where they discovered ... (click for more)

Attorney Gets Misdemeanor Plea In 2nd Case Involving Sexually Harassing Waitress

A Chattanooga attorney who was charged for the second time with sexually harassing a waitress has pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court to a reduced charge. In the latest case, Charles D. Lawson had been charged with aggravated sexual battery after an incident at a local restaurant involving a waitress. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said Lawson pleaded guilty to the B misdemeanor ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tipping The Preacher

I got an unusual telephone call the other day from someone I love who asked my help in solving one of life’s delicate mysteries. It is a tough question: “How do you tip a preacher?” In the first place, you never tip a preacher. It’s the preacher who gives out the tips, helping to keep you on the straight-and-narrow in your quest to waltz through the Pearly Gates. But there are ... (click for more)