Friday, Sept. 3, 2010 | 11:04 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer break down the first week of high school football games and look ahead to this Friday's gridiron action.
“We slid one past the goalie,” Western coach Fernando Carmona said jokingly. “It was a battle all the way.”
Western trailed second-year Sunrise Mountain 7-0 in the first half but got a 12-yard scoring run from Tadarrel Mason in rallying for the win. It was the season opener for both schools.
Last year, in Carmona’s first year at Western, the Warriors finished 1-8, beating Pahrump Valley to open the season. With the struggles of last year behind them, they hope to have better fortunes this fall.
“It had been a year since Western last won a game, so the kids were pretty excited,” Carmona said.
Mason finished with about 140 rushing yards.
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