The newest Arizona Cardinal, Zack Golditch, has had one of the most unconventional routes to the NFL filled with trying times that would most likely break the average person. From becoming a high school football star, to a mass shooting victim fighting for his life, and now Zack has officially become an NFL player.
When Golditch was just 17 years old, living in Aurora, Colorado, he was playing football for Gateway High School, and quickly becoming the school’s sport star. Zack was enjoying a relatively normal day, visiting a movie theater to catch a quick film during some downtime. While Zack Golditch was in the theater, he was suddenly struck in the side of the neck during the shooting in the multiplex theater on July 20, 2012.
Golditch was sitting in a seat located close to a wall in the theatre when a bullet fired in an adjacent theater, eventually ripping through the wall. The bullet struck Zach Golditch in the neck, barely missing his carotid artery. With his adrenaline coursing through his veins, Golditch said his “instincts completely took over,” which he believes essentially saved his life.
“I looked up and saw somebody who got injured over my right shoulder,” Golditch said. “Regardless, that bullet was coming for me. If I was in a different position, the doctors told me it would have been a lot worse. So, I was fortunate that way. But I’m also here because I ran out. I called 911 and ran.”
Although Zack knew his wound was very serious, he realized he was able to still move, and more importantly able to run. The young football star took off running as fast as he could to ultimately stay alive.
“The thought of losing my life, not being able to function properly, not being able to see, breathe, smell and move was not of my concern because my flight response kicked in,” Golditch said.
After Zack’s trip to the hospital, doctors became mesmerized at how lucky the young man is to be alive. With the bullet entering under his left ear and tearing completely through his neck, exiting out the right side. Doctors determined the slug only passed millimeters away from his carotid artery, which if nicked would have caused him to bleed out very quickly.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of fragile stuff happening around your neck,” Golditch added. “I don’t know the anatomy of the neck, but I was told I was pretty lucky.”
Zack Golditch credited that horrible day that killed 12 people, wounding another 70, as a defining moment for himself and his town.
“It not only showed a new side to myself, but it showed how strong Aurora is. It showed how supportive people really are. It brought out the best in people.”
Eventually, Golditch went on to recover from his gunshot wound, earning himself a full scholarship to Colorado State where he played as a starting offensive lineman. Zack was also awarded with first-team All Mountain West honors during his senior year of college.
Now, Zack Golditch stands at 6-5, weighing in at 295-pounds, and has become the newest addition to the Arizona Cardinals squad. Congrats Zack! Keep pounding!