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STEPHENVILLE A football player at Tarleton State University died Monday morning after suffering a head injury during spring practice.

Zach Shaver, 18, was a redshirt freshman from Wichita Falls Rider High School, the university said in a news release.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of this young student-athlete, Tarleton athletics director Lonn Reisman said in a statement. This is a tragic loss for the Shaver family and my heart goes out to them. I am thankful for our athletic training staff, the emergency medical teams and the hospital staff for their professional response.

Shaver, who joined the school's team last fall as a defensive lineman, was injured during what was described by the school as a routine football play at Tarleton's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Shaver fell to the ground and was airlifted to Texas Health Fort Worth Hospital for treatment, where he passed away on Monday morning.

Zach was a great person and teammate, and he was a pleasure to coach, said Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler in a statement. We ask that everyone pray for his friends and family to help them through this difficult situation.

Shaver is survived by his parents, Robbie and Jennifer, and a sister, Emily, the school's statement said.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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