It hasn't been an easy 2019 season for the Westville baseball team thus far, simply going by on-field results.
The Tigers possess an 0-21 record after falling to Milford on Friday afternoon. They've been involved in some heartbreakers, including 12-9 and 12-8 losses to Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman and North Vermillion (Ind.), respectively, in which Westville led late.
But even beyond that, the Tigers have experienced some hardships.
One came to junior Cyrus Dougherty, whose mother, Brandy, is in need of a kidney transplant.
Not only has Dougherty excelled on the diamond in spite of this family difficulty — he boasted one home run and 24 strikeouts pitched as of The News-Gazette's last statistical update — but he's also received support from the student body.
In our latest High School Confidential feature, fellow Westville student Saddie Scaggs noted that Tigers student council was selling green ribbons to spread awareness of kidney disease while also hosting a combined basketball and kickball tournament to raise funds for the Dougherty family.
A second piece of bad news was attached not to a Westville baseball player, but to its coach.
Joe Brazas' grandfather, who went by Burr, died on March 23 at age 91.
An obituary in The News-Gazette noted Burr passed peacefully at his home in Westville.
I actually had the chance to meet Burr last summer. He was one of 32 area prep football alumni we recognized in our 2018 special section, representing the Tigers as a Class of 1945 graduate.
Burr was joined by his surviving wife, Beverly, as well as Joe and his wife, Jana, last July just beyond the Westville gridiron, as Burr showed off his best Heisman Trophy form for some photos with our Rick Danzl.
Though he needed some help moving around, Burr was still very sharp mentally. He had plenty of jokes to crack about his playing days, and he and Beverly traded playful barbs back and forth during this photo shoot.
It was a unique experience to chat with Burr about the sport of football, which has changed so much from his high school days.
Burr spoke of wearing a leather helmet and not donning any additional padding. As the future University of Illinois athlete described it: "You never did complain. That was it."
Even with this tough road Westville baseball has been on, the team continues to play its games and give local foes a fight.
I for one hope they can find at least one victory before the season is out.