At the start of his high school career, Bass didn’t exactly have his heart set on attending Notre Dame.
“I can still remember the day before my first day at Notre Dame. My dad pulled me out of school during my first day at Jackson High School,” said Bass. “I yelled, screamed, stomped my feet and threw a fit, expounding: ‘I’m not going to Notre Dame!’ I was a freshman in high school, and by golly, I knew what was best for me.”
Spoiler alert: he not only attended, but found much success in his athletic career. Over the course of those four years, he won three state championships, set a school record for shutouts, and, in his words:
“Enjoyed more trash talk than I could have ever wished for! Shout-out to my dad for being right.”
Bass split his time in athletics between soccer and baseball. In soccer, he played on junior varsity his freshman year, and lettered the next 3 years. He started on third base in baseball, played on junior varsity his freshman and sophomore years, and lettered the next two years.
He received all-conference honors for baseball in his junior and senior years, as well as all-district honors for soccer his sophomore, junior and senior years. His junior and senior years, he contributed to the baseball team’s state appearances in 2008 and 2009. They claimed a state championship in 2009. During his sophomore, junior, and senior years, he contributed to the boys soccer team’s state appearances. The boys soccer team claimed a state title in the Fall of 2006 and 2007 and took third in 2008.
In 2009, Bass was honored by the MSHAA as Missouri’s “senior goalkeeper of the year.”
Notre Dame taught Bass life lessons he still carries with him today. Don’t worry, though, he still has the rings, too.
“I learned how to be a gracious winner. Admittedly, it took me until after we won state for the third time, when Mr. Kuper told me I couldn’t use it as an excuse to be tardy anymore,” said Bass.
He also used the feeling of failure and falling short to drive more success in the future.
“Even if you miss a PK (penalty kick) in the semi-final of state on your quest to win a 3-peat, and you let the whole team down, always remember you will have other opportunities to succeed.” said Bass. “And every stumbling block is something to learn from.”
Most importantly, he learned about sacrifices.
“I always thought I was the one working hard in trainings, in watching tape, and in games. It wasn’t until later I considered the sacrifices of others as an essential driver in my success,” said Bass.
Bass went on to play soccer for four years at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. He graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. He now works as a manager of the governance IT department at the Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Florida.
“I want to thank Brother David Migliorino, all of my teachers, teammates, and coaches, including Coach Wittenborn, Coach Vollink, Coach Worley, Coach Graviett and Coach Garner. I also want to give a very special ‘thank-you’ to my family, to those still here, and others with me in my heart for supporting and believing in me every step of the way,” said Bass.