Zach Zarembinski, a standout two-way lineman for Hill-Murray’s football team, suffered a brain bleed on his left side during a Saturday afternoon playoff game and was taken by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

His mother, Tracy, wrote in a CaringBridge post Sunday that “he received an emergency craniotomy to remove the left side of his skull to allow his brain to swell. He immediately responded positively. He stayed stable overnight.”

Hill-Murray activities director Bill Lechner, who attended the Pioneers game Saturday at St. Paul Johnson High School, said Zarembinski “jogged off the field” with teammates after a punt.

“Then all of a sudden they’re yelling for us,” said Lechner, who credited athletic trainer Laura Henn for quickly getting Zarembinski the needed care.

Hill-Murray coach Pete Bercich posted Sunday on Twitter, "We want to thank the St. Paul Fire Dept and the EMTs for their amazing response as they saved a young man's life."

Zarembinski's mother wrote that her son “suffered an injury resulting in a brain bleed on his left side.” Lechner said he did not notice Zarembinski, a 6-2, 308-pound senior, in any prior distress in the Class 4A, Section 3 semifinal game, a 28-0 St. Paul Johnson victory.

“No one saw a hit or anything,” Lechner said.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help his family with medical costs incurred. The page reported pledges of about $15,000 Sunday evening. 

“Please continue to pray for Zach,” Tracy wrote. “We need all hands on deck for this one.”

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