Trail naming, dedication to Coach Dors this Friday

Coach Dan Dors

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Dan Dors had a special connection between student-athletes at both Lake Region High School and Middle School.

Now, a trail in Coach Dors will forever keep the connection alive.

The SAD 61 School Board Monday night approved the naming of the cross-country trail — which runs between the school (LRHS) he coached at for over 20 years and the school (LRMS) he spent years as a substitute teacher —  in the late coach’s memory.

Coach Dors passed away at the age of 81at his home on Jan. 29. He earned a triple major in physical education, health and history from Murray State University in Kentucky. He would spend 29 years as a PE teacher in Brockton, Mass., retiring in 1993. There, he coached baseball, basketball and football.

Coach never really retired.

As a substitute teacher in East Bridgewater, Dan coached cross-country and track & field. He relocated to Harrison, and extended his coaching career by leading the Lake Region cross-country program and also coaching indoor track & field.

Kurt Peterson, who knew Coach Dors for over 20 years and was Coach’s sidekick for the past 10 years working with high school cross-country runners, spearheaded the drive to collect signatures to have the trail named after the popular coach, who “touched the lives of athletes here and across the state,” Athletic Director Paul True noted.

Over 20 letters from community members, coaches and student-athletes were received to support the naming. One letter, True said, hit the mark as to why Coach Dors was so beloved and truly deserving of the honor.

Senior Kennedy Brake, who was present Monday night along with other Laker cross-country runners, read the following letter:

“Dan Dors coached the Lake Region cross-country team for over two decades, and while I can’t speak to teams from years past, it is safe to say that he made a tremendous impact on not just the students he coached, but numerous competitors.

“Coach Dors had a knack for making anyone feel special, but those he coached felt honored with the opportunity to be so close to the man everybody loved. Coach Dors made an especially meaningful impact on our team, and we feel it right to share that with future runners of our school. The mark he made in our hearts is lasting, and it only seems appropriate to manifest such a mark in a physically lasting way, as well. Naming the so-called ‘jeep trail’ in his honor would not only comfort those he left behind, but allow for the opportunity for future community members to learn about a man that gave so much to our community.

“It is indisputable the mark that Dan Dors has made on the Lake Region community — a mark made through the individual connections he formed with every single person he met. It would be quite a task to find a member of our community that doesn’t have a memory or story that comes to mind when they hear the name, ‘Mr. Dors.’ There will come a time, however, where the same cannot be said for the new generation of Lakers. Student’s won’t think of the times Mr. Dors called them by their sister’s name, or imagine the sound of his voice yelling a joke down the hallway. They may not even recognize the name at all. Future students and visitors should know the man who brightened everyone’s day; the man who made an effort to support every team, group or student he could; the man who touched the hearts of an entire community.”

Directors unanimously supported the initiative. The trail entrance will include a placard, “Dors Trail,” along with some type of marker with the coach’s photo and biographical information.

A trail dedication ceremony will be held prior to the Lake Region cross-country team’s Homecoming meet at 3:40 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28. The meet starts at 4 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.


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