WADING RIVER - Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of a Shoreham-Wading River High School football player, Tom Cutinella.
Cutinella's parents are opening up to News 12 sports director Kevin Maher about losing their son, preserving their legacy and their conflicted love of the sport that killed him.
A year after his death, Cutinella's bedroom remains pretty much the way he left it. With football awards he never got to touch hanging on the walls and a championship ring he never got to wear, with his number 54 on it.
Kelly and Frank Cutinella say their first year without their oldest son has gone quickly. They try to focus on the good moments and not the reason he died. Frank says Tom was killed from a helmet-to-helmet hit he never saw coming.
Despite Tom's death, the Cutinellas know there is nothing they can do to make football safer without changing the game. However, they would like changes in the mentality of the sport.
The Cutinellas say the sport leads to aggression, which leads to mistakes, which lead to hits like the one that killed their son.
Kelly and Frank say they are focusing on the positive things people have done in Tom's name.