A Shoreham-Wading River football player died Wednesday from an injury sustained during a game, superintendent Steven Cohen confirmed in a statement.
Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old junior, was injured during the third quarter from a hard hit during the team’s game at Elwood/John Glenn. He was transported to Huntington Hospital and the game was suspended.
“The Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education and Administration are truly devastated by this awful news and we all extend our deepest condolences to Tom’s family and friends during this difficult time,” Mr. Cohen wrote.
The injury occurred at about 5:45 p.m. and the ambulance left the field at 6:05 p.m. An ambulance was not stationed at the field, as is customary at many football games, and it took about 10 minutes to arrive.
Cutinella had played football at Shoreham since entering high school in ninth grade, Mr. Cohen said, and this was his first year on varsity. He was also a lacrosse player, a member of the Natural Helpers program and excelled academically, Mr. Cohen said.
“He 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,” Mr. Cohen said.
After Cutinella suffered the injury, the game was stopped. Both teams went to opposite end zones while Cutinella was put on a stretcher. The crowd applauded with some fans shouting his first name.
“Each student is a valued member of our educational community and a young person’s death is always tragic and a sudden loss like this can have a profound effect on the entire school community,” Mr. Cohen said. “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.”
WITH MICHAEL LEWIS