Bass a Dream, Not a nightmare
Antonio Bass
GoBlueWolverine.com Correspondent
Posted Feb 28, 2005


"It could have been a nightmare having an athlete like this," said Jackson, Mich., Head Coach Jack Fairly about his star player and future Wolverine, Antonio Bass. But fortunately for Fairly, the only nightmares Antonio Bass gives are to opposing defenses.

Coach talks to GoBlueWolverine about Antonio's character, and his relationship with Wolverine running back Mike Hart.

"It could have been a nightmare having an athlete like this," said Jackson Head Coach Jack Fairly about his star player and future Wolverine, Antonio Bass. But fortunately for him, the only nightmares Antonio Bass gives are to opposing defenses. To Coach Fairly, Antonio is the type of athlete every coach dreams about. "He was not a problem at all, he's just a class kid, very enjoyable to coach".

    Some say the thing that stands out the most about Antonio is his commitment to improve and his love for the game. "Practice wise, he'd stay a hour, hour and half after practice with some little freshman that he didn't know, the kid wanted to catch the ball with him. I'm ready to go home an hour and a half after practice and I got to shoe him off the field. It wasn't like he was a kid that said hey, I'm just going to check in, do practice and I'll see you later coach, he was literally the last one out the door." Jackson, even with Bass suffered through a heart breaking season, from close games every week, to overtime loses and missing a chance to go to the state playoffs butBass was a leader not a complainer. "He never had a bad word to say throughout the whole season, never ask me to throw the ball more, never complained when someone did something they weren't suppose to do or dropped the football. Most of the time he'd pat the guy on the shoulder and say we'll get them next time."

    Bass is not the first player Jackson has had that attracted attention from big schools, "we've had gifted kid's come through here before that didn't take care of the extra things, GPA, getting your ACT test done on time". With Ann Arbor only 30 minutes away, Coach Fairly is hoping Antonio can be someone who current and future Viking players can look up to. "He could be a role model for our kids at Jackson High". When it came time for Antonio to decide where he would play his college football, the comfort and friendships he built up with Michigan was too much to pass by.

One particular relationship for Bass was with Michigan's star freshman running back Mike Hart. "In his heart, when he went over and Mike Hart was his host and they hung out together and people were kidding him about looking like Braylon Edwards, just that band of comroderery it was just a little deeper than staying overnight with somebody, and so he made a connection". Coach Fairly feels that when things get tough early on for Antonio he will have support from the relationships he's made at Michigan, "When Coach Carr starts yelling and screaming and their upset with him, you got your buddy to lean on". With Antonio's big heart for the game and his 6'2 frame, there will be plenty of room for his teammates to lean on him as well.    


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