Ronnie Bass

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Ronnie Bass
Born Ronald Edwin Bass
(1955-10-28) October 28, 1955 (age 58)
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Ronald Edwin "Sunshine" Bass (born October 28, 1955) is an American football player who once played for the 1971 T.C. Williams High School and later the University of South Carolina. Ronald is most famous for his accomplishments at the University of South Carolina and for his character in the 2000 film Remember The Titans, where he was portrayed by Kip Pardue.

Early life[edit]

Ronald was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida in October 1955, the son of Williamson G. "Bill" Bass and Betty Jean Bass. Williamson G. Bass was a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force. Due to Bill's job, the family moved a lot while Ronald was growing up. The family moved to Smackover, Arkansas, Stillwater, Oklahoma, Huntington Beach, California, and finally Alexandria, Virginia. Most of Ronald's education took place in Huntington Beach, where he attended Gill Elementary, Stacey Jr. High, and Marina High School. Upon moving to Alexandria, Ronald finished his last two years of High School at T.C. Williams in the Class of 1972.

Ronald married Susan Carol Walsh, daughter of James J. and Joyce Walsh, in 1985 in Columbia, South Carolina. They have two daughters and one son, Alexandria, Lindsay and Ronnie.

High School at T.C. Williams[edit]

Ronald loved all sports, but it was during his early years at Huntington that Ronald started to become more fond of football. Growing up Ronald would play after school every day after football practice. At Marina High, Ronald started his sophomore year as a defensive back while also playing backup quarterback. Moving to Virginia was a big transition for Ronald. At T.C. Williams High School, Ronald became the starting quarterback while also adopting the nickname "Sunshine". The nickname came from Ronald's teammates on the football team at T.C. Williams for the reasons of which, Ronald Bass claims in an interview on CockyTalk with Dooms,[1] for having blonde hair and was sun burnt. Ronald started both his junior and senior year and led T.C. Williams to the Virginia AAA state High School championship his junior year, in 1971.

In 1971, the three Alexandria high schools - T.C. Williams, George Washington and Francis C. Hammond - merged when a Federal order mandated that the city more fully desegregate the school system. T.C. Williams became the city's lone senior high school, accepting only 11th and 12th graders, while G.W. and Hammond taught only ninth and 10th graders. Life at T.C. Williams became very tense because of this radical school reorganization. The combination of the three schools into virtually one created an intense internal competition within all of the school's sports teams and organizations. The 1971 football team's leadership helped unify the school and largely break that tension. The Titans finished that season 13-0, and from their success it also helped bring the entire community together. Coach Herman Boone and Coach Bill Yoast were major influences in all of the players lives. Ronald's senior year at T.C. Williams was not as successful. The 1972 team went 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the district and lost their division (to Fort Hunt High School by a single point, 8-7) and did not get into the Northern Virginia regional championship round of the Virginia Class AAA football playoffs.

College at The University of South Carolina[edit]

Ronald went on to play at the University of South Carolina on a football scholarship. Ronald started at quarterback his junior and senior year and lettered all four years. During one of his games his sophomore year Ronald ran for 211 yards against the University of North Carolina and was named Sports Illustrated's player of the week. Going into the game (Ron’s first start as a college quarterback) the Gamecocks were 14-point underdogs. South Carolina went on to win the game 32-14.

Life after College[edit]

After graduating from the University of South Carolina, Ronald became a sports analyst and announcer for ABC and NBC. Ronald also worked on the creation of the 2001 film Remember The Titans. Ronald currently lives in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and has been a resident there for 1 year.

His son Ronnie Bass Jr. Plays for the North Myrtle Beach Chiefs Jv and Varsity Teams.

In popular culture[edit]

Remember The Titans[edit]

Bass and others have stated that many scenes in the 2000 film Remember The Titans are fictional, and do not portray the real-life Ronald Bass accurately. For example, in the movie, Ronald is depicted as a long-haired hippie. Ronald has been quoted in the Greenville News as saying, "I was never quite like that ... But that's Hollywood. I'll say for the record my hair was never that long."

In the film, Ron "Sunshine" Bass, played by Kip Pardue, arrives after camp begins and is introduced to the Titans' coaches by his father, Col. Bass (Andrew Masset). In real life, Sunshine had been in Alexandria before camp started, and had practiced with Rev, his rival quarterback, in the unofficial workouts during the summer. "Ronnie went down (to the Burg) every day, and he related to the kids there in the ghetto," Boone says in his DVD commentary. "This is one of the reasons they called him 'Sunshine.' ".[2]

Bass has also commented on the scene in the movie in which his character kisses Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst) on the lips in the locker room. Bass has stated that this scene never happened.

Regarding the racial tension at T.C. Williams High School, Bass told the Greenville News that the movie exaggerated the racial tensions that existed in Alexandria at the time. "They (the movie) had a community divided down black and white, and it really wasn't like that in 1971 Alexandria," he said, although he admitted that the Titans' championship run did help bring the community together. "My friend Bill Yoast ... told me Disney had taken liberties with the facts, suggesting an overheated atmosphere of racial animosities and fears at the school and in the community that just hadn't existed," added Patrick Welsh, who taught at TC Williams in 1971, in a Washington Post article.[2]

Bass has also observed that in the movie, "(Denzel Washington) did come across as a disciplinarian, which coach Boone was; he was a perfectionist, which coach Boone tried to be; and he had a temper and was in your face a lot. Boone admits, in his DVD commentary, that he was a disciplinarian, but adds that he has a warm side that doesn't come across in the film.[2] "I wanted to make the team," Bass noted. "I think that's where most of the kids' minds were. We were just trying to play football."

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c [2]

External links[edit]