Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 | 11:22 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer compare the run Moapa Valley is on in the Division 1-A to the one Bishop Gorman has put together this season in the upper decision. Other familiar arguments arise, including a debate on whether Arbor View should be considered as the second-best team in the state. Give us your thoughts in the comments.
The Pahrump Valley High football team is going to the postseason.
The Trojans’ A.J. Segura rushed and passed for a touchdown Friday in a 21-8 victory against Western to clinch a berth from the Sunset Region of the Division I-A in the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
The program, which last year snapped a near 30-game losing streak, was overmatched in recent seasons in competing in the large-school classification. But after being reclassified to the Division I-A this fall with realignment, and continuing to make strides as a program, they are playoff-bound.
It was also Pahrump’s homecoming game, giving players a night they soon won’t forget.
“For our seniors, it’s been a long four years, so this was especially gratifying for them,” first-year Pahrump coach Joe Clayton said. “It was our homecoming game and the community was real supportive in coming out.”
Segura’s touchdown pass with 10 yards to Dalton Beighley, and his rushing touchdown was from about five yards out. Senior Cody Keasling scored the other touchdown on a short run.
Clayton, who helped bring Pop Warner football to Pahrump and has coached several of the town’s children as youngsters, hopes this season is a springboard for more things to come. Because Western doesn’t field a junior varsity team, several of Pahrump’s underclassmen dressed for the game.
“They are getting a taste of what it’s like at an early age,” Clayton 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