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Gulf suspends player 2 games in

Gulf senior Chad Kleinatland will miss the rest of the season after he was suspended from athletics for 90 days in accordance with the school district's policy regarding athletes who have been arrested.

Kleinatland, 18, was arrested in May for possession of darvaset, a controlled substance, at River Ridge, his former school. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation.

"Chad called me (Tuesday) and said he was suspended from football and it was because of his record," Kleinatland's mother, Lynn Cumbie, said.

Expelled from River Ridge after his May 3 arrest, Kleinatland was given the choice of attending an alternative school or another high school. Mitchell was full, so he chose Gulf over Hudson.

Kleinatland's father, Ronald, said Gulf knew about his son's arrest from the time he enrolled at the school but permitted him to practice for two months and play two games.

"I have no problem with (the suspension) if they had done it up front," Ronald Kleinatland said.

Kleinatland missed the past few days of school because he was upset about the suspension, his father said. The suspension will make it difficult for him to earn a college scholarship because he has so few games on videotape.

"This throws a monkey wrench into everything," Ronald Kleinatland said.

Kleinatland, a sure-handed pass catcher, was one of the Bucs' most experienced players and part of their four-receiver rotation. Sophomore Marcus Neeson or senior Eric Greenleaf is expected to step into his role.

"We've got a couple other kids we believe can fill in behind him," coach Keith Newton said. "But (Kleinatland) is a senior, and he's been around."

Kleinatland was one of Gulf's captains for Friday's game at River Ridge, which the Royal Knights won 17-14.

"We were trying to use that to our advantage, him being a former River Ridge kid," Newton said. "And he had had two really good games previously up to that point."

Kleinatland did not make a reception against River Ridge, but he caught a 41-yard pass in a loss to Land O'Lakes the previous week.

Newton said the suspension hasn't been a distraction for his 0-2 team because Kleinatland spent so little time around the players.

"The kids never got to know him very well because he was new," Newton said. "They did not know him from River Ridge. When he came here, he was quiet, to himself, but on game night he performed and the kids respected him for that."