Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 | 11:12 p.m.
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Back from Arizona, a heartbroken Ray Brewer recounts the costly mistakes that made Nevada teams go 0-2 in this year's Sollenberger Classic. Fellow Las Vegas Sun sports reporter Case Keefer helps him cope by looking at this week's national showdown between Bishop Gorman and Maryland's Our Lady Of Good Counsel. The two also babble semi-coherently on the rest of the week's games and high school football players' favorite rappers. Don't forget to subscribe to Prep Sports Now on Itunes.
The players on the Sunrise Mountain High football team will cherish this victory forever. That’s especially true for a group of eight seniors who have been in the program the past four years.
The Miners picked up their first varsity win in school history Friday, using 144 yards rushing and two touchdown from Romello Tatum and two passing and rushing touchdowns from Chris Moore in blanking Western, 48-0.
Sunrise Mountain has always struggled with numbers since opening four years ago, only winning two junior varsity games and often losing by lopsided finals.
Friday, they returned the favor.
Following the game, coach Ky Edwards received a Gatorade bath in celebration, the team posed for a photo to document the night and Principal John Barlow was presented the game ball.
“These kids aren’t used to having a lot of success at anything,” Edwards said. “So, this is big for them to get that feeling and have this night. It’s their night. The seniors who have been here four years never quit through all the adversity.”
Moore, who rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown, had touchdown passes to Jordan Callaway and Daqwuan Doyle. Sherman Nash added a touchdown run for the Miners.
While the victory was nice, Edwards still found several of areas on which his team can improve. After all, the plan is to duplicate this night a few more times this season and beyond.
“We didn’t play as good as we could,” the coach said. “Once we knew we could win, it got a little sloppy.”
The Gatorade bath, a common practice on football sidelines when a coach is drenched following a big win, was a little sloppy, too.
“It was pretty sticky but worth it,” Edwards said.
A fresh coat of paint and a fresh perspective are among the changes being made around Western High School.
Western is one of five turnaround schools that missed the marks set by No Child Left Behind and now faces the challenge of increasing student achievement.
The school is the third oldest in the district and its campus lies near Decatur Boulevard and Veterans Memorial Highway. The majority of students attending Western are minorities from disadvantaged homes. Western is known for having a rough past, but students are optimistic about the future of their school.
Change is apparent according to students interviewed in September.
“When I was in eighth grade, I was told I was going to get shot or stabbed when I came to Western,” said senior Kole Yanez, 17. “That might have been true 15 years ago, but now, you don’t see that here.”
Rules are tightly enforced on campus. The school keeps a strict dress code policy and cell phone use during class time is not permitted.
Halls are designated by grade level giving students a sense of ownership and community. Pride is clearly visible at pep rallies and sporting events. The newfound pride might just be he medicine needed to alleviate the 8 percent dropout rate, the highest in the district.
“It’s like building a house. You need a strong foundation,” said Neddy Alvarez, principal. “You need those strong relationships. When kids know we care about them, the learning will take place.”
- Year built:
- Principal (Year Hired):
- Neddy Alvarez (2008)
- Mission Statement:
- “The mission of Western High School is to promote scholarship, encourage good citizenship, and embrace our cultural diversity.”
- Approximately 2,400
- Notable alumni:
- Frank Hawkins, former NFL player
Capt. Nicole Malachowski, first female Thunderbird
Ronnie Vannucci, drummer of The Killers
Tom Collins, Clark County commissioner
- School Report Card:
Compiled by Gregan Wingert