GRANVILLE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Matthew Kirby loved baseball and had a happy-go-lucky attitude.
That's how friends are remembering the 17-year-old.
"He brought a smile to your face whenever you saw him," said his former teammate Tyler Herkey. "He was really funny."
Kirby, a former South Granville High student, died from COVID-19, according to Dirtbags Baseball.
He used to play on that travel team with Herkey.
"I was just in shock," Herkey said. "I was like, that can't be right. Like, there's just no way ... It was just really sad for me and just really hard to hear that."
The Dirtbags started a GoFundMe to help Kirby's family with medical and memorial expenses. The page says his parents are battling COVID-19.
"It's just an unfortunate situation across the board with the pandemic from, you know, in the United States of America, and especially when it hits to a kid that you know, it kind of hits a little deeper," said Trey Daly, Dirtbags Baseball General Manager. "He always had this infectious personality that you couldn't emulate in other kids ... He would always leave it out on the baseball field. Everything he did, he did with all his heart."
A spokesperson for Grace Christian School in Raleigh said Kirby was a former student there years ago.
A Granville County Public Schools spokesperson said Kirby had attended the school for about a year and a half and was not planning to attend that school during the next school year. The spokesperson said Kirby was considered part of the family.
"You never really think about a young person passing away, especially a talented person athletically, academically and just in all phases of life, so it definitely makes you realize that those times on the field and together should always be valued and cherished because you don't know if you'll have another day," said Ryan Falcon, a Dirtbags coach who worked with Kirby for about eight years, even before he joined the team.
Granville County mourns death of teen to COVID-19