Las Vegas High School Football
Photo Credit: Ja’Shawn Scroggins

Las Vegas Wildcats: Las Vegas High School Football Preview


When a person talks about the history of Las Vegas sports, and football in particular, Las Vegas High School can not be left out of the conversation. Over the long history of Las Vegas High, the years under Head coach Kris Cinkovich played an enormous role in how football in the valley changed.


Vegas brought in an offense that based mostly in the gun. The Wildcats utilized fast, athletic receivers, a zone-blocking scheme, and smaller but fast and agile running backs, instead of the more traditional, power backs Las Vegas had become accustomed to at the time. This was around the time Steven Jackson had just made a name for himself in the valley.

After coach Cinkovich resigned to take a job as Offensive Coordinator at the University of Idaho, his head coaching position was given to his protege Chris Faircloth. He took the Wildcats to the next level, winning the State Title in 2005 beating Bishop Gorman and Demarco Murray, then beating a very talented and fierce Hug high school.

Las Vegas High School Football
Photo Credit: MyTV LV

When coach Faircloth decided to hang up the whistle, he turned the program over to his right-hand man James Thurman. Under Thurman, Las Vegas high fell slowly into mediocrity until the program was put into the careful hands of coach Erik Capetillo three years ago.

Since Capetillo took over, he has been rebuilding the program to resume the glory achieved under Coaches Cinkovich and Faircloth, who he played and won a state title for in 2005. Coach Cap built his Wildcats from the players who live in the neighborhood, as opposed to recruiting kids from other parts of the city to LVHS.

Last year, his Wildcats finally bore fruit in a 9-2 season that saw them sport the best passing offense in the valley. They did it with the best, and in my opinion, the most talented quarterback in the state of Nevada in Ja’Shawn Scroggins, who last year lit the board up with 2647 yards passing and 39 touchdowns.


Last season the Wildcats had one of the most exciting and spectacular seasons they’ve had in over a decade of play.


The Wildcats stunned the valley with a 9-0 start to the season averaging 26.2 points per game. The only blemish on their record was a 42-21 loss to eastside powerhouse Desert Pines at home, after a surprising upset 41-23 loss to Palo Verde High School in the first round of the playoffs.

Photo Credit: Ja’Shawn Scroggins

It was a loss that further exposed a prominent issue for the Wildcats last season. While the Vegas offense ran through the season on the backs of Ja’Shawn Scroggins and the state’s top receiving duo of Miles Davis and Victory David, who combined for over 1700 yards and 23 TD’s, the defense struggled mightily.

In 2019 the Wildcat defense surrendered 204 points, a figure that on the outside is not too bad until one takes into account strength of competition. Against the top competition in the valley, such as Legacy, Desert Pines, Canyon Springs, and Palo Verde, the defense gave up an average margin of 26.6 points per game. Growing pains for a team coming into its own as an elite team in the valley once again.

For Las Vegas to be edge out Shadow Ridge for what may be a final 5A spot (which would round out the 5A at 12 teams instead of 11), the defense has to find a way to improve. For that to happen, the Wildcat staff will have to find some sizable and athletic defensive lineman to sure up the trenches and stop the run. The issue cost them two games last year, including the playoff loss to Palo Verde.

The Wildcats missed being put in the 5A division and have stayed in the 4A division with teams like Shadow Ridge, Sierra Vista, and Cheyenne. They all pose a significant threat to the Wildcats as a legitimate contender for the most dominant team in the 4A. Las Vegas High will have to show that they were screwed and should be in the 5A with the team they defeated last year.


With Star QB Ja’Shawn Scroggins returning for an encore season next spring, the Wildcats will have to rely on their well-regulated program to sure up their losses at wide receiver, offensive line, and running back. With a huge target in 6’5 tight end receiving threat Fernando Carmona, Las Vegas will show the valley that last year was only the beginning. The program is again heading toward that championship pedigree.


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-JaRon Turner – Franchise Sports Media

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