Both Gordon, 17, and Zuckor, 14, were killed Monday when a schoolmate allegedly opened fire at Santana High School in this middle-class suburb of San Diego.
Gordon was a long-distance runner and captain of the track team, friends said.
"That guy would never say anything bad about anyone," said Kevin Wilson, 17. "He was a great guy. He was very smart, followed politics, always up on things. He was going somewhere."
Gordon was "excited about where his life was headed," teacher Pam Hayden said.
He had already enlisted in the Navy, choosing to be a cryptanalyst in the intelligence service, and was to enter basic training in July, said recruiter Michael A. Mullinix.
Chris Mazzi, 18, said he had known Gordon since middle school and they both wanted to be pilots. Mazzi placed a sign in front of the school Tuesday that read: "You're flying now, Randy."
Zuckor was described by friends as a skateboarder who enjoyed playing basketball. His coach, Dan Scott, called him a "rebounding machine."
Scott's son, Landon, 13, had gone hiking and bicycling with Zuckor the day before the shooting. The boy said that when he heard Zuckor had died, his first reaction was disbelief: "You've got to be joking. It's Brian. He falls down and gets back up."
Brien Herth, 14, said Zuckor went out of his way to make friends, giving classmates the address of a Web site that showed him flying off a bicycle and landing headfirst on the ground.
Zuckor's family pastor, the Rev. Bob Mentze of Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church, said the boy had dreamed of becoming a movie stuntman.
"He played with a lot of energy," Mentze said. "He could fall and roll and get right back up."
Zuckor's parents had divorced and he helped care for a younger brother and sister.
Ruth Ashcraft, a neighbor, expressed concern for Zuckor's mother, who must raise the two younger children on her own.
"Oh my God, what is she going to do?" she said. "He was her rock."
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