“I feel like I've lost one of my own children.” —Gerry McGrath, Stingers football head coach
Twenty-two-year-old Concordia student and varsity football player Ricky Zieba died on June 24 after falling asleep at the wheel and rolling down an embankment as he was driving to his family’s cottage.
Zieba managed to hold on to life until he was found by his brother Jason 17 hours later. He died just after the ambulance arrived.
Zieba had been staying at his family’s cottage since the sudden death of his girlfriend, who died of heart failure while the two were vacationing in Florida earlier this year. Friends and family insist that he had embraced life with new vigour since the loss of his girlfriend and was preparing to come back for his second season with the Stingers.
The promising young linebacker made an impression in his first year on the Stingers’ football team. Zieba played eight regular season games with Concordia in 2008. He collected 20 solo tackles, seven assists, a sack and an interception in that short amount of time. This performance earned him the title of outstanding rookie on defence.
Zieba was laid to rest in the Cotê-des-Neiges cemetery on June 29. His family requested that mourners refrain from buying flowers and donate to the Stingers instead.