Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 | 11:14 p.m.
The Western High football team might not make the playoffs this fall, but the Warriors have a great chance to close the season on a two-game winning streak.
That’s something coach Fernando Carmona feels will give his team plenty of momentum for their off-season program.
Western’s Tadarrel Mason rushed for five touchdowns and 220 yards Thursday in a 36-28 victory against visiting Sierra Vista in the Warriors' homecoming game. It was Western’s second win of the season and its first since Sept. 3.
“The wins have been hard to come by,” Carmona said. “This one was sweet being our homecoming.”
Mason was a one-man show as Western led from start to finish. “He was just amazing. He pretty much carried us,” Carmona said.
Western closes the season next week against Pahrump, which has lost more than 30 straight games. It’s looking to triple its win total from last year.
“From one win to three is definitely a huge step,” Carmona said. “We have a lot of juniors who play a big role for us. They are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
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