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Reseda Athlete Remains in Coma After Collapsing

September 23, 2003|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Reseda football player Nick Zemke remained in a coma at Northridge Hospital Medical Center on Monday after collapsing during his team's game Friday night against Woodland Hills El Camino Real.

Zemke, a junior, was listed in critical but stable condition Monday after undergoing brain surgery late Friday.

He lost consciousness during a timeout in the second quarter of the Regents' 45-6 loss.

On Monday, the team voted to play its nonleague game Thursday night at home against Lake Balboa Birmingham.

Principal Alfredo Tarin viewed a tape of Friday's game with other school officials and said that nothing appeared out of the ordinary with Zemke until the timeout.

Zemke told Matt Graham, an assistant coach, that he was dizzy before collapsing.

"As far as we can tell, he was not involved in the play previous to that," Tarin said.

Graham said Monday that Zemke is a "very fit, fully prepared young man" who appeared to be normal before the game.

Reseda was trailing, 10-6, in the second quarter when Zemke collapsed. Tarin and Graham said coaches and school officials have been in daily contact with Zemke's parents, who have remained with their son at the hospital.

-- Eric Stephens

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