DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

XCP's Martin receives tennis coaching honor

Laurie Martin is a firm believer that no freshman tennis player should be turned away if they want to learn how to play the game.
That is why she runs a “no-cut’’ program – everyone is allowed to play.
That means that Martin and her assistant coaches – daughter Amanda Martin and Barb Chura – must keep track of about 60 girls throughout the fall.
The U.S. Tennis Association has noticed, and has honored Martin and 13 other coaches from across the country with the “No-Cut Coach All-Star Team’’ for 2014.
“At Xavier, it is tough to make sports teams because they all are so good,’’ said Martin, who has guided the XCP varsity to three straight Division I titles in the spring.
“I don’t believe in cuts because I want to teach tennis as a lifetime sport, something the girls can play long after they are out of high school.’’
Candidates for the No-Cut coach team are nominated by their respective sections (Phoenix is in the Southwest) and then evaluated by a national committee.
“I am very honored to be recognized, but I don’t coach for awards,’’ Martin said. “My rewards come every day when I go out on the court and help the girls learn and have success.’’
Having 60 girls playing on the team requires a lot of time and effort on the part of the coaches, such as the monitoring of paperwork and making sure the athletes watch (introductory) videos.
“It (award) is a reflection of the whole program, of the whole staff,’’ Martin said.
She also has been grateful for the support from the school administrators.
“I have incredible support of Sister Joan (Fitzgerald, principal), Sister Lynn (Winsor, athletic director), Sister Nancy (Perlick, assistant athletic director), Sue Roth (athletic administrator) and Laurie White and her staff of athletic trainers,’’ Martin said.
“Without their support, none of what I do would be possible . . . the proudest part of the award is that it is giving Xavier recognition for excellence on and off the (court). It truly takes a village to run a no-cut team.’’

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