A New York high school student has become the third football player to die in the past week after suffering an injury during practice or a game.
Tom Cutinella, a player on the Shoreham-Wading River High School football team, suffered a head injury from colliding with an opponent during a game in Long Island, NY. Cutinella was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery, but was later pronounced dead.
According to ESPN, Cutinella played as a guard/linebacker and the collision occurred around 6 p.m. ET, in the third quarter of the game. “We’re a small community and we’re all devastated,” school board member Jack Costas told Newsday. “It’s always tragic when someone so young and so full of life has their life ended. It’s going to be a very, very difficult road ahead from this.”
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Cutinella's passing is sadly not the only in the last month — or even in the last week.
On Sunday night, Alabama high school football player Demario Harris Jr. died due to a tackle he experienced in last Friday night's game. Though no cause of death has yet been determined, a ruptured aneurysm or a brain hemorrhage caused by a hit are both possibilities. "He may have had a pre-existing condition, but there is no way to tell now," write Harris' father in a Facebook post.
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Similarly, a high school linebacker in North Carolina, Isaiah Langston, died Friday after he collapsed during his game's warmups, possibly a result of a blood clot in his brain.
In 2013, the NY Daily News reported that between July 1990 and June 2000, an average of 12 high school or college football players died each year.