Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 | 2:05 a.m.
Upset over the outlandish scores posted around the valley last week, Las Vegas Sun sports reporter Ray Brewer loses his sanity on this week's podcast. Co-host Case Keefer tries to stay out of the way during his rant on defense, but has plenty to add on other topics — including impressive games from Arbor View and Bishop Gorman, "the hut drill" and the two highly-anticipated games in Henderson on Friday.
After all, most ninth-graders are somewhat reserved during their first days of high school, surely not knowing what to expect and hoping those exaggerated horror stories aren’t as bad as they appear.
Marshall didn’t take long to become the big man on campus, helping the Rattlers advance to the 2007 state basketball championship game and earning a scholarship to play at UNLV.
At Mojave, which hasn’t enjoyed much athletic success since opening in 1996, Marshall is considered the best athlete to play any sport.
On Thursday night, Marshall will return to campus as the honorary captain for the football team’s homecoming game against Western. It’s also the Thursday Night Lights television game of the week, which puts the Rattlers (3-2 overall, 1-0 league) in unfamiliar territory: citywide spotlight.
Marshall, who never played football at Mojave, is used to being the center of attention as one of the nationally ranked UNLV basketball team’s best players. And while his athletic success has brought him local prominence, that’s not why Mojave officials are bringing him back.
To excel at the next level, you also need to be competent in the classroom and a productive member of society. In Southern Nevada, Marshall takes great pride in representing UNLV, always the first to volunteer to help promote his hometown program.
He feels the same way about his high school.
“Mojave has the reputation of being a tough school,” Marshall said. “I remember being a skinny teenager just hoping to make a name for myself. It really has all been a blur. It seems like yesterday when I was at Mojave.”
Marshall and Byrant Lewis, the best player on last year’s Mojave team, will accompany captains to midfield for the coin toss. Marshall will also address the team in the locker room, talking about the importance of taking care of your body and getting an education.
“He has a huge influence on people over here,” Mojave High coach Joe Delgado said. “A lot of people don’t think too high of Mojave. He proved that it doesn’t matter where you go to school or who you play for. What matters is how much time and effort you put in on the field, court or classroom.”
Marshall, who last year averaged 12.5 points 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds at guard for UNLV, was the Gatorade Player of the Year at Mojave during his senior year of 2009. He averaged 25 points, six assists and five rebounds per game as a senior, and 19 points and nine rebounds as a junior.
When the Rattlers lost 54-51 to Galena in 2007 state title game, Marshall nearly drained a desperation half-court shot as time expired at the Orleans Arena.
Marshall is humbled at the thought of being the school’s all-time best.
“I can’t take a lot of the credit for that,” he said. “It was all of the teachers and principals who put me in the right position. It was a team effort.”
Lewis, who is gray-shirting at Victor Valley College, gained more than 1,000 all-purpose yards last year. Delgado believes that is a school record. He has also invited all of the seniors from last year’s team — his first as head coach — back for the homecoming game.
The goal is the develop tradition in the program, which has played just one playoff game in its history.
“We are trying to think of new ways to bring the community and alumni together,” he said. “There hasn’t been a lot of players in the past come back. They are always welcome.”
Mojave High School is Rattler Nation, but really it’s home to underdogs.
Minutes from the Nellis Air Force Base the school is nestled near Commerce Street and West Ann Road, an area littered with foreclosed homes.
The school is attended by many students who are underprivileged or at-risk. After Mojave failed to meet No Child Left Behind standards it became one of five Clark County Schools determined to do a 180.
In order to make the turnaround a reality, Mojave has implemented new faculty, extended the school day by 20 minutes and is geared towards boosting school spirit.
“The problem we have right now is that our children aren’t proud of their own school,” Mojave principal Antonio Rael explained an August interview. “When our children begin to take pride in our school, our community will follow.”
- Year built:
- Rattle Snake
- Principal (Year Hired):
- Antonio Rael (2001)
- School motto:
- “Promoting Achievement, Creating Success”
- Mission Statement:
- “The Mission of the Mojave High School Community is to provide a safe learning environment that will empower students to develop excellence, pride, respect, and skills necessary for future success.”
- Approximately 2,000
- School Report Card:
Compiled by Gregan Wingert