LAKE RONKONKOMA, N.Y. — A grief-stricken Long Island community is remembering a popular high school football player who died last week during a pre-season conditioning camp.
The funeral for Joshua Mileto was on Tuesday in Lake Ronkonkoma.
Newsday reported that hundreds — including uniformed football players from Sachem High School East — attended his wake on Monday.
The 16-year-old died last week after he was struck on the head by a log that he and teammates were carrying during a training exercise.
Police said the teen was injured about 8:40 a.m. on Thursday on the athletic field of Sachem East High School. The off-season workout was part of a strength and conditioning camp.
Joshua Mileto, 16, of Farmingville, was participating in a team drill in which the players carried a log above their heads when the log fell and struck Mileto in the head, police said.
The 5-foot-6, 134-pound wide receiver and defensive back was declared dead later at a hospital.
Sachem East graduate Carlin Schledorn, who played football as a junior, said carrying the log — about 12 feet long and the diameter of a utility pole — was a “team building” exercise.
“It’s very big. It’s like a tree, and it’s a challenge for people who weightlift,” he said. “Five or six people do it at once. I feel horrific for the team and coaches because I know them, and they are all great men.”
Sachem School Distinct Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Graham says his district is “devastated” by the student’s death.
“Words cannot express the grief we feel as a school community,” he said in a statement on the school district website. “We extend our deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends during this terribly difficult time.”
The teen loved the New York Giants, and he also played baseball.
The high school’s football season starts in September.