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North inducts inaugural class to Athletics Hall of Fame
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Members of North Forsyth's 1997 Class A state championship softball team are recognized after being inducted into the North Forsyth Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. - photo by David Almeda

North Forsyth High School is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Since opening in 1994, the school has seen its fair share of success in athletics thanks to the efforts of certain coaches and players. On Thursday night, the Raiders formally recognized some of those figures and squads, inducting the inaugural class of the North Forsyth Athletics Hall of Fame.

The Raiders honored the 1997 softball and 1998 baseball state championship teams, baseball and softball coach Byron Orr, wrestler Jeff Biggs and late wrestling coach Jim Bishop.

The inaugural hall of fame class now has plaques in their honor located in Raider Arena. All inductees will be honored again on Friday night prior to North’s home football game against Forsyth Central.

Orr has been no stranger in the Forsyth County community. He attended what was then Forsyth County High School, where he lettered in basketball and baseball. During 17 years coaching at North, he led the softball team to a 187-48 record, five region championships and two state championships, including the 1997 team that was inducted on Thursday.

“We started everything from scratch,” Orr said. “We got pretty lucky -- I had a pretty good group of girls to start with and that kind of kept building.

“It’s the biggest honor professionally that I could imagine. This was great.”

Orr also coached the also-enshrined 1998 state champion baseball team, a 25-9 squad with a lot of returners that rebounded from a second-place finish the season before. Orr compiled a 131-97 record leading the baseball team at North.

Nathan Turner, the Forsyth County regional athletic director who once served as North’s AD , was asked by Orr to do his induction. He didn’t hesitate to.

“I’ve won championships and rings, but when he asked me to do his induction, that meant more than any of them,” Turner said.

Biggs has the distinction of being the first-ever individual state champion for the Raiders, reaching the top in 1997 and 1998. He was a two-time region champion and amassed a 69-2 overall record on the mat.

“I’m truly honored,” Biggs said. “I’m surrounded by good people and great coaches, mainly coach Bishop. It’s an honor that my name’s going to be forever remembered.”

Bishop, who passed away last year at the age of 71, coached multiple sports and won multiple region and state titles in wrestling. He led the wrestling team to a 42-1 dual meet record and a third place finish in state traditionals in 1997 and 1998. The weight room at North is named after him.