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A high school football player from Elwood, NY, died Wednesday after colliding with an opponent during a game and sustaining a head injury.

Tom Cutinella, a player for the Shoreham-Wading River High School, was pronounced dead at the hospital after he spent some time in the intensive-care unit following a surgery. The guard/linebacker was injured during the third quarter of the varsity game.

Shoreham-Wading River Schools superintendent released this statement following the teenager’s passing:

“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.”

Tom is the third high school football player to die within recent days.

Cornerback Demario Harris Jr. of Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Alabama, died Sunday after collapsing on the field Friday following a tackle.

According to, coach Brad McCoy said a neurologist told him that the player had ruptured an aneurysm in his brain. However, according to the report, the player’s father, Demario Harris Sr., said in a Facebook post that the teen had suffered a brain hemorrhage caused by a hit in the game.

“He may have had a pre-existing condition, but there is no way to tell now,” the post read, according to

Linebacker Isaiah Langston of Rolesville High School in North Carolina died after collapsing during Friday’s pregame warm-ups, family and the school district said Monday. Although he did not know the official cause of death, the player’s brother Aijalon Langston told ABC 11 that it was related to a blood clot in the brain.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all three families during this difficult time.


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