A cross country athlete is killed by his father and a football player dies at practice in a sobering start to the 2003-04 California prep sports year.

The current school year for prep sports in the state hasn't begun with the best of news. A boy running with his cross country team has been shot and killed and another boy has died from unknown causes after collapsing at a football practice.

The most recent of the two deaths was last Thursday when 14-year-old Evan Nash died after being shot several times by his own father. Nash was running with other teammates of the Point Loma of San Diego cross country team. His father, possibly "dealing with a custody issue," according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, hid behind a parked car, stepped out, and starting shooting his son. None of the other Point Loma runners was hit.

After the shooting, the father retreated to a nearby house and engaged in a 10-hour standoff with authorities. He then shot himself in the head and pronounced dead on the scene.

The football death occurred the previous week at Desert High of Edwards Air Force Base. The boy who died was identified as 17-year-old Raul Ramirez, who was not on the team last year. According to the Bakersfield Californian, Ramirez lived in Texas last year and moved to live with a sister at the air base. He was reportedly walking during a morning workout and collapsed.

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