Tom Cutinella, Shoreham-Wading River High School football player, remembered at vigil
Hundreds of students, teachers and parents gathered for a vigil at Shoreham-Wading River High School to remember Tom Cuinella, who died Wednesday night after sustaining injuries from a collision during a football game.
Five competing football teams were also in attendance to show their solidarity.
School officials say Tom Cutinella, 16, collided with another player during Wednesday night's game at John Glenn High School in Elwood. After the impact, they say he got up for a split second, but then collapsed to the ground.
Police say Cutinella was rushed to Huntington Hospital, where he had emergency brain surgery. He died a short time later.
The school district released a statement about him, saying "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."
School officials say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. They said they would also be re-examining their athletic equipment.
Suffolk police are also investigating Cutinella's death to see if he had any previous medical conditions or head injuries.
No decisions have been made about when or if the football team will take the field again. Four other high schools in the league postponed their games Thursday night.
According to a school spokesperson, a visitation for Cutinella will be at the St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church at 1488 North Country Road in Wading River on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. A funeral mass will be held Tuesday morning at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church.
The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcat Athletic Club has established a scholarship fund in Cutinella's memory. The scholarship will go to a student-athlete who epitomizes "what Tom stood for in the sports and academic world," according to Ed Troyano, president of the SWR Wildcat Athletic Club. Donations can be made at the booster club's website.