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.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

World Cup title can serve as motivator for youth

Did you happen to see the front page of the sports section on Monday (July 6), where the American women’s soccer team was celebrating its victory over Japan in the World Cup Final?
In the background, hanging over the railing, is the Arizona state flag.
It was a symbol of support and a symbol of hope for our state, and the young athletes playing the sport here. It certainly helps that American player Julie Johnston was a graduate of Mesa Dobson High and played club ball in the Valley.
If a young woman was sitting atop the fence, deciding whether she should give the sport a try, perhaps the emotion of the moment will motivate her to make the move.
Perhaps not this coming season, but in future years, when the new players will sprout their wings, the programs such as the ones at Xavier Prep and others around the state will get stronger because of it.
It will be exciting to see, that’s for sure.
Xavier fans will get to see the unveiling of the new Gators team this winter, under the leadership of coach Barb Chura, so come out to Petznick Field and watch. These players work hard and one day, you might just see one of them in a World Cup Final.

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