Friday, Sept. 2, 2011 | 11:38 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer recap the action from the first week of high school football and look ahead to another slate of games. Popular topics include this week's Arbor View vs. Palo Verde showdown and last week's stunning upset by Bonanza over Silverado.
The Clark football team didn’t play its best the past two weeks during a pair of scrimmages preparing for the season.
But it didn’t appear that way Friday night.
The Chargers got three touchdowns and 185 rushing yards from senior running back Marquise McKinney in a 41-18 victory against host Western in the first game for both schools. It was also a Southwest Division contest, giving Clark a leg up in its quest to reach the playoff for the first time in nearly a decade.
“Our kids are definitely feeling better about themselves,” Clark coach Don Willis said. “We had some rough scrimmages, but the kids played better tonight. This is going to help our confidence for the next one.”
McKinney scored two touchdowns rushing and one receiving, while his brother, freshman Deyon McKinney, scored on a 25-yard touchdown run.
Shane Mclin added to the Chargers tally with a 3-yard scoring run, and quarterback Copper Platt passed and rushed for a touchdown.
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