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The high school sports community is mourning the death of the third high school football player to die since last Friday.
Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old junior guard/linebacker from Shoreham-Wading River High School in Suffolk County (NY), died Wednesday afternoon after suffering a severe head injury following a collision with an opponent from Elwood-John Glenn High School in the third quarter.
Cutinella also played lacrosse for Shoreham-Wading River and was involved in many extracurricular activities.
Steven R. Cohen, Shoreham-Wading River’s superintendent of schools, released the following statement:
“The Shoreham-Wading River School District community is terribly saddened to learn of the tragic death of Tom Cutinella, a high school junior and varsity football player. Tom passed away after colliding with an opponent in Wednesday night’s game against Elwood John H. Glenn High School.”
“Our school community is truly devastated by this awful news and we all extend our deepest condolences to Tom’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
“Tom played football for the district since he entered the high school in ninth grade, becoming a member of the varsity team this year. In addition, Tom played lacrosse and was a member of the Natural Helpers program, which focuses on peers helping peers. He excelled academically, had a great sense of humor and was just a great individual overall. He was well-liked among students and staff and he will truly be missed.”
“Each student is a valued member of our educational community and a young person’s death is always tragic. A sudden loss like this can have a profound effect on the entire school community. Grief counselors will be made available to students and staff for as long as needed as we mourn and cope with the loss of such an amazing life.”
Cutinella’s death is the latest tragedy on the football field, with three players fatalities in the span of less than a week.
The dangers of football were the subject of a Sept. 14 cover story in Time Magazine.
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