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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

High School Notebook

September 28, 2000|LAUREN PETERSON

Rio Mesa High will be without three senior starters--running back Corey Nunnery, receiver Tunde Alonge and linebacker John McBride--who missed practices last week and did not play in a 45-7 loss to Agoura on Friday, Spartans Coach George Contreras said.

"They just stopped coming to practice," Contreras said.

Nunnery led the struggling Spartans (0-3) with 153 yards rushing and one touchdown in 35 carries through Rio Mesa's first two games and also had three receptions for 59 yards.

Alonge was tied with Nunnery for the team lead with three receptions for 31 yards. McBride had 12 tackles, including one for a loss, and had forced one fumble from his outside linebacker spot.

Nunnery and Alonge said problems began after the three players skipped practice on Sept. 18 to visit Nunnery's girlfriend and the couple's son, born Sept. 9.

"I just left," Nunnery said. "I should have told [Contreras] where I was going. But he didn't really give me a chance to explain when I talked to him, either. He just said the decision was final."

Alonge said he was told the same.

"He just said I wasn't on the team anymore because I wasn't headed in the same direction as the team," Alonge said. "He told me it was for the good of the team.

"We expected to miss the game. That's what happens when you miss practice. But we didn't expect to get kicked off the team."

Nunnery and Alonge said they would like to return, and Contreras said he got the same impression from speaking to McBride.

"Every one of us has other things going on in our lives, and if there's a problem, I'm there all day," Contreras said. "I'm trying to run a football team. If they want to be part of the team, they have to be there for those two hours every day.

"These aren't like tail-end kids who weren't involved. They needed to make a commitment."

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