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Cunnings resigns from football post

Head football coach Bonner Cunnings announced his resignation on Oct. 19, after being part of the FC football program for three years. The administration sent out an e-mail to notify FC families at 5:56 that night.

“We regret to inform you that our P.E. teacher and football coach, Bonner Cunnings, unexpectedly resigned from Fresno Christian Schools this morning,” the e-mail states. “Administrators asked Mr. Cunnings to take some time in prayer before making this decision; however, he asked that his resignation be effective immediately.”

According to Athletic Director Cynthia Ward, Robert Foshee and Rayne Simons will be coaching the team in Cunnings’s absence.

At a meeting after school that day, in Room 608, the football team heard the news from Principal Todd Bennett and Ward.

“The administration took the time to explain the situation so we could have an idea of what’s happening,” captain Zach Camden, ’11, said. “At the moment we’re hurt, but we don’t know where Coach Cunnings stands. It would be best for the team to hear from him what he has to say.”

When captain Andrew Evans learned of the resignation, he said he struggled to process the news.

“My immediate reaction was that it’s not a permanent thing — they’re just saying this, and he’ll be back in a couple days. But as time went on, it became evident that this is real; he’s not coming back. That’s where I kind of got taken out emotionally,” Evans said.

Although Camden says he is unclear about the reasons behind Cunnings’s resignation, he intends to stay focused on the rest of the season and on his responsibility as a captain.

“I’m still confused, because I feel like I don’t know the whole story,” Camden said. “I feel a little disappointed, but at the same time I can’t let it affect me, because if we are to keep playing — which I hope we do — I can’t let it affect how I play or what I do.”

As the players adjust to the new circumstances, many hold a range of emotions but refrain from judging Cunnings’s motives, Camden said.

“There’s a lot of mixed emotions right now. Nobody really knows the whole story, so nobody wants to jump to conclusions,” Camden said. “But I think it’s definitely a negative feeling at the moment.”

Amid the setback, Ward appreciates the players’ attitude and behavior, she said.

“I’m so proud of these athletes who have become mature young men,” Ward said. “In the face of adversity, they have chosen to take the high road and look with optimism to the completion of the season. I continue to receive compliments from other schools’ coaches and athletic directors on the character and sportsmanship of our players.”

According to the e-mail, the football program will proceed with its plans for homecoming and for the rest of the season.

“Our football program will continue moving forward with our season,” the e-mail states. “We look forward to a great homecoming game this Friday [Oct. 22] against Fowler.”

For more information on football, read the Football sport shorts, 2010.

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