Teammates of 17-year-old Brewer High School junior Bryce Basso, as well as Brewer faculty members, remember him as a hard-working, positive person and player on the football field, the wrestling mat, the baseball diamond and in everyday life.
Basso fatally fell Friday while hiking at Acadia National Park.
Scott Flagg, Brewer’s varsity football coach, remembers the starting defensive back as a player who always got along with everyone, had a good demeanor and never expected anything would be given to him.
One story from this past football season came to Flagg’s mind that exemplified Basso’s approach to sports.
“He got ill last year and lost his starting job briefly and never said a word about it,” Flagg said. “When he came back, he worked his way back into it and ended up getting the position back. A lot of kids would complain in that situation, but with him you knew he would just work and do what he had to do.”
Basso was also a wide receiver on the football team. In the winter, Basso was a wrestler who practiced with Bucksport because Brewer didn’t have a team, and in the spring played baseball his freshman and sophomore years for Brewer.
When Basso walked into a room, the energy always improved, Flagg said.
“He just would light up whatever he was at,” Flagg said. “If he showed up to summer practice, the mood was better. If he went to a summer weight lift, everyone was happier. He was liked by everyone.”
Cameron Hughes, a senior starter on the Brewer football team, spoke fondly of Basso’s effort on the football field.
“Bryce was the nicest kid you’d meet,” Hughes said. “When he played, he played with so much effort and fight. Never backed down. Showed up to every summer workout and worked hard. Just an overall great human being. So sad about what happened, the whole football team is really hurting.”
A steady player with an even-keel demeanor, Basso started the last two years at defensive back for the football team. He was “well-liked” by everyone. Friday, the baseball team came together to talk about Basso’s passing.
“He played so humble and always gave it everything he had,” Brewer senior Evan Nadeau said, who played football and baseball with Basso. “His passing has had a devastating impact on our school. We just had baseball practice and had a great conversation about Bryce and how he meant to our school and family. Bryce may be gone from the earth, but he has left behind a legacy that I hope other future Witches will follow.”
Brewer High School is open to all students on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is no vigil happening Friday night.
“He was a very nice young man and our hearts break for his family,” Brewer superintendent Gregg Palmer said Friday.
Senior Ryder Goodwin, Basso’s teammate on the football team, said he will never forget Basso due to the person he was.
“Bryce was always a very hard worker and was one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met,” Goodwin said. “He always brought a sense of joy wherever he was. I have played football with him for as long as I can remember and he is definitely one I will never forget.”
BDN reporter Kathleen O’Brien contributed to this report.