Skip to main content

Tributes paid after death of former Fridley High School track and football star

A fundraiser has been launched for Ben Zayzay.
Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 2.56.47 PM

Tributes have been paid following the death of a former student and football player of Fridley High School.

Ben Zayzay, of Brooklyn Park, died last Saturday by suicide.

He was part of the Fridley High School class of 2018, where he played as a defensive back in the football team as well as being on the wrestling and track teams.

Fridley Football paid tribute this week on its Facebook page, calling it a "very sad day in Tiger nation," saying Zayzay "influenced many lives" during his time at high school.

Zayzay was attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he's also a member of the football team.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Black Student Union described ZayZay as a "happy, loving and super funny man that impacted many and was someone you could always depend on."

"He worked hard in everything he did, he was a track star and amazing football player all through out high school and continued that legacy in his freshman year here at UWRF with football."

A fundraiser has been launched on GoFundMe to help his family with the funeral expenses.

"Ben was an amazing man and deserves a huge celebration of his life," TerriAnn Johnson, who created the campaign, wrote.

"His family has been working hard to piece everything together but I would like to ask for help from anyone else. Just to ease their minds a little and to provide them with the things they are going to need."

The campaign has so far raised a little over $4,000 since it was started earlier this week.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available

The national network is available to help anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress with free and confidential emotional support.

It's available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. If you or anyone is in need of support, please call 1-800-273-8255.

Get more information here

Next Up


Hospital chiefs say nursing strike will come at 'worst possible time'

A nurses union announced an almost three-week strike to take place in the Twin Cities.


Sven Sundgaard: What's in store for MN's weather in December?

Sundgaard recaps Minnesota's fall and looks ahead to December.


Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.


Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.


Nicollet Mall's new Ties Lounge & Rooftop closes 'indefinitely'

The establishment aimed to reconnect the downtown community.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.15.44 AM

Chinese restaurant closing after 50 years in Columbia Heights

The beloved family-owned restaurant will close Dec. 24.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.43.40 AM

Kris Laudien leaving KARE 11 after four years on 'Sunrise'

KARE 11 announced the appointment of Jason Hackett to the morning show this week.


Screen Shot 2019-11-03 at 8.40.08 AM

Tributes paid to Eagan boy, 13, killed in bike collision

A fundraiser has already surpassed $40,000.

Screen Shot 2021-08-30 at 9.13.28 AM

Tributes after sudden death of Robbinsdale football coach

Andrew Ariegwe, 27, was a football coach at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

Screen Shot 2019-07-30 at 4.59.00 PM

Man, 28, arrested in connection with Fridley child luring

He has been taken into custody on sexual assault and false imprisonment charges.

Screen Shot 2019-11-27 at 9.45.20 AM

After boy's death, new school zone speed limit to be set in Eagan

7th grader Patric Vitek died while bicycling on the road earlier this month.

Tributes paid to mom and her 2 children killed in crash

A fundraiser has been started for the family.

Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 11.28.51 AM

Teen missing in Fridley is found safe

The 18-year-old was reported missing after being last seen Thursday evening.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 8.56.43 AM

Tributes, donations after death of popular South High School teacher

The fundraiser had raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 goal as of Tuesday.