PRP prepares for state baseball tournament without legendary coach
Pleasure Ridge Park is preparing for its first state tournament since the death of legendary head coach Bill Miller
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The postseason was his season.
"Coach Miller, this was his favorite time of the year," said Pleasure Ridge Park head baseball coach Richard Hawks.
And this year, it's a chance to prove how far a team has come.
"Everything we always did was about this time of year," said PRP assistant head coach Sherm Blaszczyk.
Now the Panthers will do it without former coach Bill Miller, who passed away in April after a two-and-a-half year battle with lung cancer.
"It was hard to believe that was happening at that time," Blaszczyk said. "It was one of the saddest moments of my life, and I'll never forget it."
Miller left quite a legacy: the most wins in state history and six state championships, including just last year. Miller lead PRP to the title while fighting cancer. So a deep run in the playoffs is familiar to this team however,
"Since 1980, this is the first time we had to go through the tournament with out him," Hawks said.
It wouldn't be inaccurate to say the Panthers are playing for Miller this postseason. They are. It's just that it doesn't take much of an attitude change to get there.
"I don't want to put pressure on just the state tournament for him, because we've played every single game this year for him, and I don't think anything will change," senior second baseman Noah McDonald said. "I think we'll keep winning for him."
Maybe he's not feeding the machine anymore or running the show on the field named after him, but Miller's presence is felt.
"He's keeping us on a roll. For real," senior shortstop Jalil Akbar said. "He's an angel in our dugout. He means a lot to us, and we're trying to win another state championship for him."
This postseason, his season, Miller will be missed, But won't be missing.
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