At first glance, Brandon Orr doesn’t give the impression that he is an impact player on a high school football team.
But on Tuesday, the 5-foot-5, 150-pound Orr of Overton received Nashville’s biggest high school award when he was selected as the winner of the 69th annual William Hume Award. The announcement came at the Patron Club at Bridgestone Arena.
“I’ve always been small, and I’ve been told many times I was too small to play football,” Orr, a three-year starter who played strong safety, some wide receiver and long snapper on the Bobcats’ Class 6A playoff team this season, said. “I just took that as motivation and tried to excel in whatever I was involved with.”
Orr is Overton’s 13th winner — the third in the last five years — of the Hume Award, which was created in 1944 and recognizes a Metro School player for excellence on the field, in the classroom, sportsmanship and community involvement.
“I was kind of shocked,” he said. “I really didn’t know what to think.”
Appropriately, he wore No. 13 throughout the season, when he served as one of Overton’s captains.
“I chose No. 13,” Orr said. “I wanted to prove it to be my lucky number and that people in the stands might notice how hard I play on the field, and I think I did.
“… I just wanted to represent the school well, set an example.”
He certainly did that.
“I had coaches come up to me after the game, and say, ‘when we watched film, when we saw that No. 13 [Orr] was so small, we thought for sure we could pick on him, but he proved us wrong,’ ” veteran Overton coach Terry Anderson said. “Brandon worked harder and got more out of his ability than any player I’ve ever coached. He was very disciplined and always gave everything he had, fly around the field, strive to do everything he could do and be the best he could be.”
Orr, a senior who also plays centerfield on the baseball team, said he would attend the University of Tennessee to study sports management. His long-range plan is to be a sports agent.
“He is a great competitor and in my 39 years of coaching is as outstanding a young man as I’ve ever been around,’’ Anderson added.
The Economic Club of Nashville sponsored the event. Metro Schools athletic director Roosevelt Sanders made the presentation.
• Christian Molina, Antioch: Captain and three-year starter for the Bears. Named All-District 12-AAA as an offensive lineman, had a 3.8 GPA, scored 19 on his ACT. “He was involved in several leadership programs at school and was our clear leader,” coach Mike Woodward said.
• Michael Collins, East Nashville: “A completely selfless individual who always put the team first and had a competitive, we will be the best, attitude,” first-year coach Brian Waite said. Collins had a 3.8 GPA.
• Joseph Occhipinti, Hillsboro: Punter/kicker hit 7-of-11 field goal attempts and consistently kicked off for touchbacks. Scored a 3.5 GPA in the school’s outreach program. “He was our best player,” Craig Clayton said. “His punts consistently flipped the field in our favor.” Occhipinti has signed with Western Kentucky.
• Tracey Bowler, McGavock: Made All-Metro as a defensive lineman and voted 102.5-FM defensive player in recent game. Had a 17-tackle, 11-solo and seven tackle for loss game against Antioch. Has a 3.5 GPA, scored 24 on ACT. Undecided on college choice.