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Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017: Sachem East athlete dies in workout mishap

   Leading off today: A Sachem East football player died Thursday morning after a log fell on his head during an offseason workout drill at the school, police said.

   Joshua Mileto, a 16-year-old about to enter his junior year, was participating in a strength and conditioning camp drill in which athletes were carrying a log overhead when the log fell and struck him, Newsday reported. Mileto was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Suffolk County Police Assistant Commissioner Justin Meyers said.

   Suffolk County Police detectives were investigating Mileto's death Thursday.

   "The district is devastated by this horrific accident and words cannot express the grief we feel as a school community," said Dr. Kenneth Graham, superintendent of the Sachem schools. "We extend our deepest condolences to the student's family and friends during this terribly difficult time."

   The school district called off all remaining activities Thursday after the tragedy. Suffolk County police confirmed to the newspaper that another Sachem East football player was injured Wednesday and transported to the Stony Brook hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

   Most high school teams in New York begin official practices Monday though conditioning workouts are common at this time of year. Offseason practices and camps cannot be mandatory under New York State Public High School Athletic Association rules, Executive Director Robert Zayas told the paper.

   Mileto's death is believed to be the first during a high school sports-related activity in the state since Loyola School sophomore Thomas Jakelich, 16, died following a collision with another player during a boys varsity soccer game Oct. 26, 2015, on Randall's Island.

   The last football-related deaths came in 2014. Shoreham-Wading River football player Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old junior guard and linebacker, died after he collided with an opponent and collapsed during a game. Authorities said Cutinella died from his head injury after undergoing surgery.

   On Sept. 1, 2014, Curtis High junior lineman Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed after wind sprints during a Labor Day practice and later died at a Staten Island hospital.

   In March 2014, New Paltz sophomore Kyle Brewer, 16, died after suffering two heart attacks triggered by an undetected heart condition. He was initially stricken and collapsed during track and field practice at the school.

   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.

   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.

   Other recent deaths of football players in New York include:

   In 1983, Yonkers football player Fernando Guedes, 17, died after collapsing during the season-opening game vs. Scarsdale. The death prompted the district to briefly suspend all sports while it investigated how an athlete with a serious heart ailment was allowed to participate.

   Newburgh Free Academy tri-captain James Arline, a 17-year-old senior linebacker, fell ill shortly after an October 1992 road game and died of a stroke. It was uncertain whether it was related to a blow suffered in the game.

  
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   Torrance Wright Jr., a 17-year-old lineman for Rochester's Franklin High, collapsed and died during a four-team scrimmage in Livonia the week before the start of the 1999 regular season.

   Spackenkill junior football player Mark Milano died Oct. 7, 2006, from complications involving pain medication at his home a day after dislocating an ankle during a game at Millbrook.

   In July 2012, Nicholas Dellaventura, 15, died after being overcome by heat during an offseason workout at St. Joseph-by-the-Sea.

   Other recent deaths in other New York sports include:

   In April 2007, Pittsford freshman lacrosse player Jeff Milano-Johnson, 14, died after he was struck in the back of his head just below the helmet by a ball during warmups before a game at Spencerport.

   Another freshman lacrosse player died in March 2000. Louis Acompora, a Northport goalie, was struck in the chest by a ball during a freshman game. Acompora, 14, suffered commotio cordis, a rare form of cardiac arrest considered reversible with the assistance of an automated external defibrillator, which typically was not available at sports contests at that time.

   His parents became active in raising awareness through the Louis Acompora Foundation, and then-Gov. George Pataki signed into law a bill in June 2002 requiring that a portable defibrillator be placed in each high school. "Louis' Law" was the nation's first to require AEDs, which are now commonplace at schools, public buildings and sporting events in many states.

   Binghamton High lacrosse player John Mack died Nov. 30, 2006, two days after suffering cardiac arrest when checked across the chest during a pickup lacrosse game in the offseason.

   New York City-area runners Stephanie Companioni (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Tanya Lovelace (St. Francis Prep), collapsed and died in February and April 1991, respectively, after competing. Both were reported to be instances of sudden heart failure.

   In April 2007, runner Arielle Newman, 17, of Staten Island's Notre Dame Academy died when her body absorbed lethal levels of methyl salicylate, an ingredient found in sore muscle treatments like BenGay, Icy Hot and Tiger Balm. Newman was using a cream, adhesive pads containing the anti-inflammatory and another product with the chemical, the medical examiner determined.


  
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