More than football: Rivals come together for tribute to teen who passed away

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LYNDHURST, Ohio-- Fierce rivals come together on the field to honor a player who recently passed away.

Hoover High School football player, Zach Herrera, 16, collapsed in June from a brain aneurysm and was taken off life support in July.

Since then, North Canton has been rallying behind the Herrera family and Friday night, the South Euclid Lyndhurst School District also showed them support.

“We watched it on the news,” said Karl Williamson, Brush High School principal, “And knew we wanted to do something special.”

Before kick-off at the Brush home opener, a truly solemn moment of silence was held for Zach and the Vikings.

Zach’s teammates also placed his #40 jersey on the visitors' bench by their team and wore stickers on their helmets.

“Oh, he was just a great person to everyone, always nice to everyone,” said classmate, James Huff.

Viking fans say the show of respect from Brush was both unexpected and greatly appreciated on such a difficult night.

After the tribute, both teams played their hearts out, hoping to win but say good sportsmanship and compassion was much more important.

“To be so gracious to our team and thoughtful in that manner certainly speaks to their character,” said Tim Walker, athletic director.

Contributions in Zach’s memory may be made to the Orange Crush Football Booster Club, P.O. Box 3001, North Canton, OH 44720 or the Zach Herrera Trust, c/o Tom Hartnett Esq., Day Ketterer Ltd., 200 Market Ave. N., Canton, OH 44702.

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