New York

Long Island High School Football Head Coach, Assistant Reassigned After 16-Year-Old Player's Freak Log Death

Joshua Mileto, 16, died after a 400-pound log fell on his head during an offseason training exercise

What to Know

  • Sachem East's football team will play this season despite the death of a 16-year-old player, a spokesperson says
  • Joshua Mileto died on Aug. 10 after a 400-pound log he and four other players were carrying struck him on the head, police said
  • The district has announced coaching changes pending the outcome of an investigation

The head coach of a Long Island high school football team, along with an assistant, have been reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of a 16-year-old player killed by a 400-pound log during an offseason workout, NBC 4 New York has confirmed. 

Joshua Mileto, a student at Sachem East High School, died on Aug. 10 after the log he and four other players were carrying struck him on the head during a summer camp military-style drill, police have said.

A number of team coaches were on hand at the time. The strength and conditioning camp was held on school grounds and wasn't affiliated with Sachem East High School, but it was run by some of the high school coaches. 

The school said last week its football season would go on. In the meantime, defensive coordinator Anthony Gambino has been named the interim coach. 

A local high school athletic trainer not affiliated with the school has told News 4 he didn't think the log drill was appropriate for teens, but people in the community think it was simply a tragic freak accident. 

"I don't think he should be accountable for anything," said Farmingville resident Melissa Calle. "It wasn't his fault, and accidents happen." 

"How could the coach foresee a log falling on the boy? It's a very sad tragedy. I feel for the family of the boy, and the coach, too," said Ceceil Arante. 

Hundreds of people turned out earlier this month for the teen's funeral in Lake Ronkonkoma.

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