Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009 | 12:22 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun reporters Ray Brewer and Steve Silver break down last week's high school football contests and preview this Friday's upcoming games including the Henderson Bowl between Green Valley and Basic as well as the Cleat game Chaparral and Eldorado.
The Gaels (8-0) have outscored league opponents 326-23 in six games, including beating Bonanza 70-0 last week. Gorman has only punted 10 times in eight games.
“It’s tough having two games in a row where the score is lopsided,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “But we could have actually been a lot sharper in doing some of the little things.”
Victor Belen had a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Gaels, who were minutes away from their third straight shutout before Western returned a kickoff for a touchdown late.
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
Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].