MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America
  • Another sudden and jarring tragedy has struck a high school community, this one in Shoreham, N.Y.

    Photo courtesy of Twitter

    Tom Cutinella

    According to Newsday, Shoreham-Wading River (Shoreham, N.Y.) junior guard and linebacker Tom Cutinella was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time ago, after a collision on the field in the third quarter of a game against John Glenn earlier in the day.

    Cutinella was rushed to an intensive care unit at Huntington Hospital, where he died after surgery. School districts where both teams are located confirmed Cutinella's passing.

    "He was a great kid," Shoreham-Wading River coach Matt Millheiser told Newsday shortly after he heard the news. Millheiser told the newspaper while Cutinella was taken from the field, "It was a big hit."

    Some 60 friends and family waited at the hospital for what they hoped was positive news. The game was stopped after the collision with Shoreham-Wading River ahead 17-12.

    This is the second football player in the country this week — and at least sixth this season — to collapse on the football field and later die.

    On Monday, Rolesville (N.C.) junior Isaiah Langston died after collapsing during pregame warm-ups for a Friday game at Southeast Raleigh. The cause of his death is unknown. He was 16.

    Douglas County (Douglasville, Ga.) senior lineman Zyrees Oliver died Aug. 11 after being removed from a ventilator. He reportedly suffered from over-hydration after drinking two gallons of water and two gallons of Gatorade after practice.

    A week earlier, Noah Cornuet, a 16-year-old sophomore from Burrell (Lower Burrell, Pa.) collapsed on the first day of practice following a round of wind sprints. Several reports indicated Cornuet died of atrial myxoma, a rare heart tumor.

    On Aug. 22, Walker Wilbanks, a junior three-sport standout at Jackson Prep (Miss.), felt ill during a game with Oxford and was rushed to the emergency room, where he apparently had a seizure. He died three days later. An autopsy doctor said Wilbanks died from a severe loss of sodium that caused water to build up in the brain. He called it a "freak" occurrence that could not have been prevented.

    On Sept. 1, Curtis (Staten Island, N.Y.) junior lineman Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed during practice and later died at Richmond University Medical Center. The cause of death of the 6-2, 295-pound 16-year-old has yet to be reported.
  • Photo from Twitter/@KevinCramer5

    Dez Bryant took a photo with several students outside a homecoming dance last weekend.

    On Sunday Dez Bryant caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown to help his Dallas Cowboys dominate the New Orleans Saints. But that may not have even been the highlight of his weekend.

    According to a TMZ report, the former Lufkin (Texas) standout showed up outside the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas in a black Bentley just as a Carroll (Southlake, Texas) homecoming dance was ending.

    "We all freaked out and asked for a picture," Carroll football and baseball player Kevin Cramer told TMZ. "He was an awesome guy ... and extremely kind to all of us."

    Bryant was kind enough to snap a photo with a few lucky students after they started throwing up the receiver's signature "X" celebration.

    Bryant was a man among boys in high school, registering 53 catches for 1,207 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior year. See video highlights of him below.



  • Long before he was torching opposing secondaries at Lambeau Field, Jordy Nelson was lining up behind center for Riley County (Riley, Kan.)

    The Packers star receiver played quarterback in high school, throwing for over 1,000 yards as a senior.

    Nelson was deadlier with his legs, however. He topped 1,500 yards on the ground and rushed for 25 touchdowns, earning area Player of the Year honors in the process.

    A superb all-around athlete, Nelson also starred on the hardwood and captured multiple state titles in track and field.

    Check out Nelson in action on the football field in the video above.
  • Wake County Public Schools confirmed the death of Rolesville (N.C.) junior football player Isaiah Langston on its Twitter account a short time ago.

    Facebook photo

    Isaiah Langston, Rolesville

    Langston collapsed during pregame warm-ups before Rolesville's game at Southeast Raleigh. After the game, players, fans and coaches from both schools joined hand-in-hand around the field and said a prayer for Langston.

    "The loss of one of our students affects all of us," the school district posted on Twitter. "Our thoughts are with Isaiah's family as we extend our deepest sympathy to them."

    The cause of his death has not yet been determined. He was 16.

    He is at least the fifth football player nationally to die this season after collapsing on a football field.

    Douglas County (Douglasville, Ga.) senior lineman Zyrees Oliver died Aug. 11 after being removed from a ventilator. He reportedly suffered from over-hydration after drinking two gallons of water and two gallons of Gatorade after practice.

    A week earlier, Noah Cornuet, a 16-year-old sophomore from Burrell (Lower Burrell, Pa.) collapsed on the first day of practice following a round of wind sprints. Several reports indicated Cornuet died of atrial myxoma, a rare heart tumor.

    On Aug. 22, Walker Wilbanks, a junior three-sport standout at Jackson Prep (Miss.), felt ill during a game with Oxford and was rushed to the emergency room, where he apparently had a seizure. He died three days later. An autopsy doctor said Wilbanks died from a severe loss of sodium that caused water to build up in the brain. He called it a "freak" occurrence that could not have been prevented.

    On Sept. 1, Curtis (Staten Island, N.Y.) junior lineman Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed during practice and later died at Richmond University Medical Center. The cause of death of the 6-2, 295-pound 16-year-old has yet to be reported.


  • During the season-opening game for Rock Island (Ill.) against Peoria Manual on August 29, senior running back/strong safety Prince Gbeddeh suffered a dislocated kneecap.

    Courtesy photo

    Prince Gbeddeh

    Paramedics rushed Gbeddeh to the hospital when things took a turn for the worst.

    According to the Quad City Times, doctors discovered that an artery in Gbeddeh's leg had ruptured in the injury, causing internal bleeding that affected his kidneys and lungs.

    Reports indicated there was a chance that Gbeddeh would not survive the night. However, doctors were able to transfer an artery from his healthy leg to restore blood flow and stabilize Gbeddeh.

    Gbeddeh is now on the road to recovery, but after 20 days in intensive care, he has amassed medical bills that could top $500,000.

    The Illinois high school football community is rallying around Gbeddeh, who is a Liberian refugee who came to the United States in 2008 with his mother and four siblings. Prior to his injury, Gbeddeh was working two part-time jobs to support his family.

    Now, the Rock Island-Milan School District has created an online fundraiser to help support Gbeddeh and his family.

    Already, nearly $6,000 has come in in support of Gbeddeh, and the movement continues to spread. Manual, Rock Island's opponent in Week One, held a fundraiser in support of Gbeddeh. Other school districts are also stepping up to help raise money.

    "Makes me feel very happy. I love them for that. I love them so much," Gbeddeh told KWQC, of the support he's received.

    To donate, visit the GoFundMe page set up for Gbeddeh.
  • File photo by Susan Lehner

    Antione Custer rushed for a career high 247 yards and three touchdowns, leading De La Salle to a 47-24 win over Servite Saturday.

    For the first time this season, the De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) football team trailed after Servite's (Anaheim, Calif.) Travis Waller completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Bynum. That gave Servite a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter.

    File photo by Louis Lopez

    Travis Waller, Servite

    Evidently the Spartans didn't like the feeling. It took them nine seconds to take it back on a 60-yard touchdown run from Antoine Custer on the next play from scrimmage.

    De La Salle, No. 6 in the MaxPreps Xcellent national rankings, sprinted home from there, piling up more than 500 yards of offense — 460 on the ground, in a 47-24 home victory Saturday night.

    Waller, a 6-foot-5 specimen, in the mold of Vince Young while at Texas, definitely made the Spartans (5-0) uncomfortable, but Antione Custer and Andrew Hernandez combined for 367 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

    Custer rushed 22 times for a career high 247 yards and three scores and Hernandez added 15 carries for a career high 120 yards and three touchdowns.

    The Oregon-bound Waller passed for 178 yards and rushed for 80 more, but after Servite closed to 20-17 early in the third quarter, De La Salle went on four consecutive long touchdown drives.
  • Photo by Jann Hendry

    Fans take cover as a big storm hits the Bishop Gorman High School stadium on Friday night in Las Vegas. The kick off was delayed by lightning.

    LAS VEGAS – The atmosphere for the Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) was truly electric on Friday.

    Literally.

    The much-anticipated game between the MaxPreps Computer Rankings' No. 1 and 3 teams was delayed by lightning right after the coin toss. See video of the downpour via the Los Angeles Times.

    Photo by Jann Hendry

    Bosco's Jason Negro (left) and Gorman's Tony Sanchez.

    Gorman won the toss, elected to receive and the crowd was in a frenzy. Then came sprinkles, then came thunder, then lightning. Within five minutes, the rain poured, the thunder and lightning was close and referees called the game for 55 minutes.

    In the meantime, Snoop Dogg, whose son Cordell Broadus is a star receiver for Bishop Gorman, left his primetime spot in the middle of the center section to get to his car and out of the rain.

    Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said his team has faced lightning delays in the past. But this one had unusually poor timing.

    "It happens," said Sanchez, who yucked it up with his good friend and Bosco coach Jason Negro an hour before the game. "The weather can change fast. Both teams will need to adjust. It's all part of the experience."

    During the delay, UCLA football coach Jim Mora, at the game in the stands, requested rain gear from the Gorman staff.

    Photo by Jann Hendry

    A fan takes a photo of a smiling Snoop Dogg sitting in the stands before the storm hit.

  • Photo by Daniel Kucin

    Joe Haden speaks at halftime Friday night at Friendly High.

    Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden wanted to see where his generosity had gone, so he stopped by his alma mater on Friday night, and inspired the Friendly (Fort Washington, Md.) football team to a 13-12 victory over Largo (Upper Marlboro, Md.).

    MaxPreps photographer Daniel Kucin was on hand and caught an image of Haden at halftime of the game, speaking in front of fans at the school where he starred before moving on to an All-American career at the University of Florida.

    According to the Washington Post, Haden donated uniforms and equipment to the school before the season. The 2007 alum went back and chatted up the players before the contest began.

    “What’s good fellas, y’all looking sweet in them jerseys.

    “Don’t take this for granted tonight, playing in high school with your homeboys. This is fun. Turn up tonight, let me see something.”

    The team went 14-0 in his senior season, he set a state public schools record for passing and he moved on to become a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2010.
  • Photo by Troy Cherry

    NFL quarterback Josh McCown was on the field at a high school football game on Friday.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be playing in Pittsburgh on Sunday, but injured quarterback Josh McCown was in North Carolina on Friday night.

    The reason? He attended his daughter's high school homecoming festivities.

    Bridget McCown is a sophomore at Marvin Ridge (Waxhaw, N.C.) high school, and she took home sophomore queen honors.

    Her dad, who injured his thumb in a loss to the Falcons last Thursday, wore a hand brace as he posed for pictures with Bridget.

    The elder McCown was not a good luck charm for Marvin Ridge, which lost 20-17 to Davidson Day.
  • Courtesy of Twitter

    Staudt's magical scorecard.

    Coatesville (Pa.) junior Samantha Staudt recently had the type of afternoon on the golf course that legends are made of.

    The 16-year-old sank two holes-in-one in her varsity debut on Tuesday at the Inniscrone Golf Club in Avondale.

    "I didn't even know what to do," Staudt told Philly.com. "On the first one, we were going crazy, but I've never heard of anyone having two in one round."

    Staudt ended the day 1-under-par 35, and has become a bit of an Internet sensation ever since, becoming the subject of a tweet from ESPN's @SportsCenter account.

    Staudt posted the incredible scoreboard on Twitter.