Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 | 11:54 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer dish on all things Las Vegas high school football again this week. Among the debates, other than the usual picks segment, are whether it's acceptable for an NFL player to introduce his high school alma mater instead of his college.
Clark played much of the first half of the season with one of its best players, Kareem Warren, out with an injury.
The Chargers reaped the benefits of having Warren back in action Friday night. Clark beat Western 27-13 to notch its first victory of the season behind a rushing touchdown and more than 100 rushing yards from Warren.
“I feel like he started getting his groove back again tonight,” Clark coach Don Willis said.
Warren also recorded an interception on defense. Clark trailed winless Western 13-12 at halftime, but Warren and the rest of the defense bared down in the second half.
The offense also didn’t turn the ball over in the final 24 minutes in contrast to the first half when they lost three fumbles. As impressive as Warren played in the game, fellow running back Donte Bowen was even better.
Bowen ran for two touchdowns and nearly 150 yards.
“We struggled in the first half but we started taking care of the ball more than anything,” Willis said. “We came back strong.”
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