Thursday, October 2, 2014

High school football player dies after 'big hit' in game: Report

A member of a Long Island high school football team died Wednesday night after colliding with an opponent and collapsing during a game earlier in the day, authorities said.

Junior guard Tom Cutinella was pronounced dead at Huntington Hospital after sustaining a head injury during the Shoreham-Wading River High School afternoon varsity game against John Glenn High School, police told Newsday.

"He was a great kid,"said Shoreham's head coach Matt Millheiser said before leaving the hospital late Wednesday night with some of his football staff.

"It was a big hit," Millheiser said shortly after Cutinella was taken off the field by ambulance after collapsing. 

The Suffolk Division IV game was halted in the third quarter with Shoreham-Wading River leading 17-12.

A spokeswoman for both districts, Deirdre Gilligan, confirmed Cutinella's death, saying he had been in the intensive-care unit Wednesday night after undergoing surgery.

Cutinella is the third young football player to die since Sunday.

Isaiah Langston, a 17-year-old linebacker for Rolesville High School in North Carolina, collapsed during pregame warm-ups last Friday and died Monday morning. His older brother, Aijalon Langston, told ABC the death was related to a blood clot in the brain.

Demario Harris Jr., a 17-year-old cornerback for Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Ala., died Sunday after he collapsed during a Friday game following a tackle. The hit ruptured an aneurysm in his brain, Harris’s coach, Brad McCoy told "The doctors told me it could have happened in his sleep or walking down the hallway." 

Shoreham-Wading River school board member Jack Costas said safety will likely be discussed Tuesday when the board meets.

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