The story was practically written and it was supposed to be a happily-ever-after ending for Breon Pass and his family.
The 16 -year-old hometown hero, a junior wide receiver on the Rams football team as well as the point guard on the basketball squad, is in the enviable position of playing at the Division I level in either sport. He’s already received more than a half dozen scholarship offers from schools in both the ACC and SEC.
Despite that success, it has been a bittersweet year for the Pass family as well as the Reidsville community. The Rams lost their beloved head basketball coach, and Breon’s dad, Curtis Pass, on June 21 after he passed away due to a heart attack at the age of 41.
Tommy Massey, chaplain for the Reidsville football team for the past seven years, knew Curtis well. He led a ceremony on the sideline with Breon and Reidsville Athletic Director Joe Walker at halftime of the Rockingham game to honor the life and legacy of coach Pass. It came as a complete surprise to Breon, but he said it was a moment he will never forget.
“I didn’t even know it was going to happen. They just told me at halftime that they wanted to do a tribute for my dad. The fans have shown so much support for me and my family. I broke down because I saw so many people that have been there for me over these last few months and a lot of them for my whole life. It was a nice feeling,” Breon said.
It was a much needed healing night all the way around for the thousands of people in attendance Massey said.
“I held it together while I was speaking the words because I knew I needed to be strong for Breon and the family, but as soon as I finished I was walking to the locker room with Breon and I just broke down. Breon, here’s a 16-year-old kid that said ‘it’s okay pastor Tommy, just let it out.’ That just shows you the strength that he has and that is the kind of thing that Curtis imparted to him. I’m glad I can do this, so it was a special moment for me to honor my friend like that and be there with Breon in that moment,” Massey said.
A long-time assistant under former Reidsville head coach Ron Parsons, Pass considered the Rams job, which he took over in 2016, a dream come true and he said last year that being able to coach his son at his alma mater was a real blessing in his life.
Trust the process
Trust the process was a mantra that the elder Pass preached to his son and players and it is a motto that Breon continues to embrace to this day.
Because of his high-profile, blue chip status, Pass always gets the best from a competition standpoint as well as his fair share of jeers from opposing fans, but either way he said he just uses it as motivation to continue to develop his game.
“Everybody knows who I am because of my situation and I do my best to put on a show for them, but I don’t feel pressure. I just feel like I have to play more with a purpose now for my dad. I think he is with me when I’m playing. I feel like he is watching over me, protecting me. When I score I give my dad and god the glory. I feel like he’s with me now because he taught me everything I know, so I just give him thanks,” Pass said.
For the time being Pass still hasn’t made a decision on which sport he will play at the next level, but he wants to decide sometime during his senior year whether it is going to be football or basketball, and he hasn’t ruled out playing both in college either.
“My dad was always hard on me when it comes to school and he taught me that athletics is a privilege that is earned. I’ve just got to study hard and keep my grades up and just keep grinding. He was on me every day about how I’m doing in school. Are you studying? What are you doing to get better in the class room? I just have to keep doing what he told me. I hear him in my head saying — just trust the process,” Pass said.