Krista McNallyJun 13, 2018, 6:56 pmJun 14, 2018, 1:09 pm

Teammates of football player killed during practice file suit against Sachem School District

Students say they have not received enough counseling since the incident


HAUPPAGUE — Teammates of the Sachem High School East football player who died during a drill spoke out about the emotional pain they’ve felt since the loss of Joshua Mileto and how the school has not done enough to address it.

"I barely sleep,” Sachem East football player Nicholas Paolucci said. “I probably get about two to three hours at most."

Paolucci was one of the five boys holding the log overhead before it fatally struck Mileto. He along with several other teammates and parents have filed a notice of claim against the school district because they say the district turned its back on them and didn’t offer them enough counseling.

“I feel like the school could have done a lot more to help us, but they haven't," Paolucci said.

The players were sent a letter with a phone number they could call for counseling after it happened and only two sessions were offered in school by the Long Island Trauma Center.

"We were promised they would come back after and they never came back," said teammate Matthew Kmiotek.

The claim is for $15 million to cover the costs of emotional distress and private counseling. The reason the parents did not file earlier, they say, is because they kept getting told help would be available. They were also told that speaking out was not an option.

"When the event occurred, they told us we may not have a football team, and speaking to the media may jeopardize it," Kmiotek said.

The boys and parents say they absolutely needed the counseling sessions in school. Their lawyer, Kenneth M. Mollins, says the school has a legal duty to protect all of those in the zone of danger.

"All they want is the school to recognize the kids who were on the log, in the zone of danger. They need help," Mollins said.

The teammates say they have found comfort in their family, friends, coaches, and continuing to play to honor Mileto.

FiOS1 News reached out to the district for comment and have not yet heard back at this time.

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