Zach's Story...

An inspiration to us all...

Riverdale High School junior offensive lineman Zach Polsenberg was lovingly referred to by his friends as the “Gentle Giant.” But when the almost 6-foot-5, 320-pound was on the football field he would become an animal. Zach had aspirations of playing for the Buffalo Bills which was his favorite NFL football team. He loved country, rock and roll, top 40, however his favorite singer was Michael Jackson.

Zach, 16, collapsed near the end of a football practice on June 29, 2017. His core temperature was 107 degrees for more than an hour. He was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with heat stroke. He had suffered internal injuries and was in a coma. He struggled for 11 days and was taken off of life support on July 10, 2017.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, in the last 22 years, 61 football players have died from heat stroke and most of them were high school players. Ninety percent of the cases recorded that the heat stroke deaths occurred during practices.

Zach was an inspiration to all that met him as he was tough but had a big, caring heart. #ZachStrong

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