It was two years ago in Spooner Wisconsin that I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Zach Kraft. A young man who wanted to play NCAA hockey in the worst of ways.
I got to spend quite a bit of time with him before actually seeing him play, and I came away impressed with the young man. Later, I came away impressed with his ability as a player. After watching just one game, you could see he had a passion for it and the skill set to match.
I got to watch him two more times that season before a concussion, and the constant headaches sent him to the hospital. It was there he learned the news that it wasn’t just a concussion.
Shocked is the only word I can use to describe when I got a call from his coach telling me about Zach’s brain cancer. News like this is never easy to digest, but when hearing it about this young man, there was such an overwhelming sense of sadness that it really cant be described.
Life is certainly not fair. But Zach would never have said that to anyone. When I saw him after the diagnosis, he said that he will get back on the ice as soon as he could, and that he was going to beat this thing.
Though Zach may now be gone, he did beat cancer. He never let his illness effect his positive spirit and how he would try to pass that positivity on to other people. That kind of life energy is never ending in how it will live on through those whos lives he touched.
Zach Kraft was an impact person. Not simply an impact player on the ice, but an impact person. He never lost his smile, and always tried to help others. People who knew him were better for it. He will be missed by many.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher