Remembering former Rio Vista Cross Country Coach Donte Johnson after his sudden death

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Thursday afternoon, the C-VAL cross country championship was held at Woodward Park.

This race is suppose to be full of excitement for student athletes but instead students and parents of Rio Vista Middle School are struggling with the loss of their head coach Donte Johnson.

Dawnette Sorenson said Donte Johnson coached their daughter. Sorenson said he inspired their daughter and so many other student athletes.

“He was amazing,” said Sorenson. “Everybody just loved him he was so nice and positive to everybody and encouraging.”

Cedric Pulliam is also a cross country runner and coach. He said he along with the whole cross country community will feel this loss.

“He was heavily involved with his church, and his daughter and also the community,” said Pulliam “He loved training kids and helping kids out.”

Now his athletes will run with purpose honoring the life and memory of Coach Johnson.

Amy Allen is a Friend of Coach Johnson. Allen said he recruited her daughter to run for him. Now she’s without words on how to process the devastating news.

“After the race today we will be walking over to the hill area where they have done multiple work outs with him and lay flowers for him and we have stars that the athletes are able to write on,” said Allen.

Central Unified provided counselors for the students at school and also at the cross country race. Pulliam said many of the students are running for him for now on.

“His legacy will never die,” said Pulliam. “It is always in us and you can tell by the way the kids run and the way the kids talk about him and carry themselves that he impacted them big.”

For local, national, and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our FREE mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Don’t Miss

Sunday Service
Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know

Bulldog Insider Podcast

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.