New York teen football player dies after collision

Thu Oct 2, 2014 2:01pm EDT
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By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 16-year-old New York high school football player died at a Long Island hospital after colliding with an opponent during a varsity game, school officials said on Thursday.

The death of Tom Cutinella, a junior at Shoreham-Wading River High School in Shoreham, New York, comes at a time when awareness is already growing about the long-term health effects of head injuries in professional and youth sports, particularly football.

Cutinella died from a head wound he suffered during a game against Elwood John H. Glenn High School on Wednesday night, according to local media reports and Steven Cohen, superintendent of Shoreham-Wading River Schools.

"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," Cohen said in a statement.

Cutinella, who played guard and linebacker for Wading River, collapsed while blocking for a teammate, Newsday reported.

Cutinella also played lacrosse and was a member of the school's Natural Helpers program, a volunteer peer-helping program.

"He excelled academically, had a great sense of humor and was just a great individual overall," Cohen said.

Across the country, eight high school football players died last year from injuries, including those to the brain and spine, directly related to the playing the sport, according the Annual Survey of Football Injury Research.   Continued...