Leading off today:
A Shoreham-Wading River football player died Wednesday after he collided with an opponent and collapsed during a game, downstate news media reported.
Authorities said Tom Cutinella, a junior guard and linebacker, died at Huntington Hospital after suffering a head injury during the third quarter of a Section 11 game vs. John Glenn High in Elwood. A school district spokesperson said Cutinella had been in intensive care after undergoing surgery.
Dozens of friends, teammates and relatives kept vigil outside the hospital awaiting word on the youth's condition. When a hospital official announced Cutinella had died, students cried out and two people collapsed to the ground weeping, Newsday reported.
"He was a great kid," S-WR coach Matt Millheiser told the paper before leaving the hospital late Wednesday.
Millheiser characterized the play on which Cutinella, 16, was injured as "a big hit." He was initially treated on the field as the teams went to opposite end zones to wait. The crowd applauded as he was placed on a stretcher, with some fans shouting his first name, the Riverhead News-Review reported.
Cutinella, who also played lacrosse, began playing football for S-WR as a freshman and was in his first varsity season.
The game was being played midweek as many schools around the state made their traditional adjustment to schedule around Yom Kippur.
S-WR school board member Jack Costas told Newsday safety will likely be discussed Tuesday then the board next meets.
"We're a small community and we're all devastated," he said. "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."
Said Superintendent Steven Cohen: "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."
Cutinella is the second high school football player in the country this week and second in New York this season to die during football-related activities.
On Monday, Rolesville (N.C.) junior Isaiah Langston, 16, died. He had collapsed during warm-ups before a Sept. 26 game and the cause of his death remains undetermined.
On Sept. 1, Curtis High junior lineman Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed after wind sprints during a Labor Day practice and later died at a Staten Island hospital. The cause of his death has not been released.
There have been a number of deaths at high school practices and contests across the state in recent years.
In September 2013, Brocton junior Damon Janes, 16, died three days after collapsing during a Section 6 football game. His death was the sixth ever in Western New York high school football and the first there since Mike Dwyer of Olean Archbishop Walsh in 1977.
Also in 1977, Fulton senior Rick Luciano complained of chest pains during the fourth quarter of a game in North Syracuse. After being checked by a paramedic at the scene, he was released to his family and transported to an area hospital, where he was stricken and died.
Ronan Guyer, a 14-year-old Southold freshman, died in November 2012 five days after being placed in a medically induced coma. While scouting the course to be used the following day at the NYSPHSAA cross country championships at Elma Meadows, Guyer slipped on a muddy area and fell on his chest, triggering cardiac arrest.
In October 2011, Phoenix varsity football player Ridge Barden died following a head injury suffered in a game. He complained of a severe headache following a play and collapsed while trying to stand up. Autopsy results showed he died of bleeding in the brain, due to blunt force trauma.