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.

Friday, January 23, 2015

XCP athletic trainer White to enter Hall of Fame

Laurie White is a humble, selfless person. She normally doesn’t like the spotlight shining on her.
She just does her job with kindness and a smile.
White, in her eighth season as Xavier Prep’s head athletic trainer and nearing 30 years in her field, will be honored on Sunday (Jan. 25) when she becomes the first female to be inducted into the Arizona Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame.
“This is a great honor,’’ White said on Thursday night (Jan. 22) during XCP’s soccer match against visiting Phoenix Mountain Pointe.
The soccer team honored White in a special way at halftime, when a handful of players presented her with a soccer ball signed by Coach Barb Chura and all of the team members.
It was special in that many of her players also are her students in the two sports medicine classes and the advanced wrapping and taping course that she leads at XCP.

Xavier senior soccer players Kelly Harris (12), Amanda Lane (21) and Kendall Ward (16) present Gators athletic trainer Laurie White with an autographed ball at halftime of Thursday match vs. Mountain Pointe. (Photo by Sr. Lynn Winsor).

White’s husband, Chris, has been the head athletic trainer at neighboring all-boys Phoenix Brophy Prep for nearly 30 years, and their daughter, Carly, is a senior at Xavier this year. An older son, Ian, attends college in New York state.
White said she knew she had been nominated a few weeks ago, but then someone let the cat out of the bag when she found out she indeed would be inducted.
“Someone contacted me and said, “How many people would you like at the luncheon?’ ’’
Ooops. But it was a good ooops, obviously.
White grew up in Connecticut, where she was a three-sport athlete in high school. She played field hockey, basketball and softball. She developed an interest in sports medicine during that time.
One of her close friends was a cheerleader who fell during a pep rally. When a man attempted to help the friend, White blurted out, “No, don’t move her!’’
“I guess that’s where it really started,’’ White said.
She moved to Arizona in 1985, became certified in 1986 and got her first job in 1987. That was with a sports medicine program at Phoenix Carl Hayden and Phoenix North highs that was overseen by then-Phoenix Suns physician Dr. Paul Steingard.
She then went to Phoenix Barry Goldwater in the Deer Valley Unified School District for two years before returning to the Phoenix Union High School District at Phoenix Alhambra for a number of years.
White heard of the job opening for head athletic trainer at Xavier through a friend. She applied and was hired.
“It felt like it was meant to be,’’ she said. “I have really enjoyed my work here.’’
That work includes helping out the visiting teams whenever they stop at Xavier.
She thinks back to those early days and how her love of sports led her to this point.
White is ably assisted by Leah Fayson and Alyssa Sleight, but still finds plenty of work to keep her busy. There is almost no time that goes by the wayside, and if there are a few moments where she isn’t taping ankles, she simply enjoys watching the Gators’ games.
Chura couldn’t say enough about the job White has done.
“She has helped our program so much,’’ Chura said. “A couple of years ago, we had eight or nine of our top players who weren’t sure they were going to be able to play in the state tournament because of injuries, but Laurie put them all back together. I haven’t seen anyone better at any level.’’

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