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, November 20, 2015

Scrimmage shows where Gator soccer needs work

The soccer season at Xavier Prep is about to begin, and it looks like the Gators are making strides toward becoming more comfortable with their surroundings.
As one might expect, there were some good things and others not as good when the team scrimmaged at home against Gilbert Perry on Thursday (Nov. 19).
No score was kept in the scrimmage, and the teams did not wear numbered jerseys.
“We had a much better second half, and were able to look at 19 of our players (out of 23). Some did not play due to injury and another was at a region/national team camp,’’ said XCP coach Barb Chura.
“We have a long way to go and need to train more as a team. We had three or four very good opportunities to score and did not capitalize.
“I liked for the most part our defenders and midfield, but we lack a scoring threat at the moment. That will come with more training. We have a lot of talent but need to work at finding the pieces and putting it all together.
“I think this will be a good team, but in these early stages, I think it’s going to be a challenge of finding the right mix.’’
A scrimmage offers a coach the opportunity to look at as many players as possible.
“I’m so glad we got to see many kids,’’ Chura said.
“I think the players know that every game will be tough and we are going to have to get better and commit to what we are wanting to do in order to be successful.’’
Xavier's first game of the season will be Dec. 1 against Scottsdale Desert Mountain at Petznick Field. Junior varsity plays at 4 p.m., varsity at 6.

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