ENNIS -- The goal was to make them feel at home, Because home doesn't feel right.

"Our study collapsed, my son's bedroom on the front of our home is destroyed," Stephanie Kucera said. "Our back porch was sucked up into the roof."

She came to Ennis to watch her twins play. One is a shortstop, the other a pitcher.

And if ever boys needed to play, and a town needed to cheer, it's now.

"Just brings them back to being a kid again," said Chauncey Buckley, an Ennis sophomore.

The West Trojans are on the path to the playoffs, and it started Friday night in Ennis.

"We are the neutral site of a warmup playoff game," explained Penny Boston, a librarian in Ennis ISD. She helped organize the Friday night show of support.

People held signs and cheered as the team arrived at the field, and their families did, too.

Kucera said it was touching.

Ennis wasn't rocked by a deadly explosion, but people here share the pain because they share a heritage.

"We are connected -- there is a similarity," said Jennifer Kitchens, a secretary in Ennis ISD. "It's the Czech connection. West has a big Czech community, and so does Ennis."

After two-and-a-half weeks of worry, Friday night felt like the perfect time for America's pastime.

"We are a baseball town, we love baseball," said Kucera, who hopes the team makes a run at a state title.

The competition matters because it's a chance to feel good, but competition now been put in a new perspective.

"Just let them leave their cares behind for at least a little while longer," said Ennis teacher Caren Lawrence.

West won the game, beating Melissa 11-2.


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