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.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gator crew has strong effort at national regatta

Athletes from Xavier Prep’s crew (club) team (rowing) competed well at the recent Scholastic Nationals regatta.
Xavier’s lightweight double with senior Brooke Elford and junior Dominique Jablonski finished third.
And in fifth place was the JV 4+ group with sophomore Rachel Chung, sophomore Maddie Wickers, sophomore Claudia Garcia, freshman Lizzie Paddison and freshman Makenzie Ashton-Borrego.
The crew team was coached by Xavier alumnus Shannon Elford.
Congratulations to all !!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Former Gator golfer coaches ASU to title

It was another significant Xavier Prep achievement when former Gator golfer Missy Farr-Kaye coached Arizona State’s golf team to its ninth NCAA championship.
Farr-Kaye has the rare status of being an NCAA champion as a player (with ASU in 1990), assistant coach (ASU in 2009) and this year’s head coach. She took over the ASU program in the fall of 2015.
Farr-Kaye also is the sister of late LPGA player Heather Farr, who also played at Xavier.
Congrats, Missy! You did the Gators proud!
Cheyenne chooses Bridgestone
Another former Xavier golfer, LPGA pro Cheyenne Woods, recently signed a multi-year deal to exclusively play and promote Bridgestone’s high-performance golf balls.
Woods selected the Bridgestone Tour B330-RX after testing and comparing it to other models.
The golf balls are said to help generate more power and have a good spin that helps with longer, straighter shots.
It’s the dogs’ turn
Xavier faculty and staff will have their annual Dog Daze event, this year with a Disney theme, on June 1 at 10 a.m. in the back courtyard next to the tennis courts.
For more information, please contact Sue Roth in the athletic office.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gators' Woodrow honored for academics, athletics

It was a memorable day for Xavier badminton player Emily Woodrow. The senior was recognized for her academic prowess at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Champions Luncheon on Monday (May 15) at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
Woodrow was a finalist for the AIA's Scholar Athlete of the Year award.
Way to go, Emily !!

Emily Woodrow (holding award) got plenty of support from the Xavier staff. From left, badminton coach Sue Contreras, faculty member Carol Hodus and guidance counselor Stephanie Dirner. (Xavier photo).

Monday, May 15, 2017

XCP summer sports camps are cool idea

Xavier Prep’s athletic facilities certainly won’t be sitting idle as the summer gets cooking in June.
Seven sports will be represented starting June 5 and running through June 23.
Eligible participants are from grades 5 or 6 (depending on the sport) through 9.
Fees are $100 per camp. Camp forms and information are on the school’s Web site, Just click on the area that says “Summer Camps.’’ Athletes are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, and the deadline is Friday, May 19.
Badminton and beach volleyball coach Susan Contreras is the camps coordinator and can be reached at
The sports camps are for badminton, basketball, softball, swimming (at the Brophy Prep pool), tennis, volleyball and beach volleyball.

Dates and times:
Badminton – June 12-16, 2-4 p.m. daily, grades 6 through 9.
Basketball – June 19-23, 2-4 p.m., 5 through 9.
Softball – June 12-15, 8-11 a.m. 5 through 8 at Petznick Field.
Swimming – June 19-23, 2-4 p.m. at Brophy (both girls and boys).
Tennis – June 5-9, 7-9 a.m., 5 through 9.
Volleyball – June 5-9, 2-4 p.m. (grade 9), 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (separates for 5-6 and 7-8).
Beach volleyball – June 19-22, 7-9:30 a.m., 6 through 9 at the XCP/Cavanaugh courts, 5th Street and Meadowbrook (just south of campus).

Athletes will have some one-on-one instruction with coaches, with an emphasis on fundamentals. Team competition will be included, as will learning offensive and defensive team strategy.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Distance runner Carter closes out career with win

Xavier Prep distance runner Sarah Carter capped off her brilliant career on Thursday (May 11) with a victory in the 1,600-meter run in the Arizona Meet of Champions at the Brophy Sports Campus.
Carter, who finished second in two events at the recent Division I state meet, had a time of 4:55.97 in the 1,600.
Three other Xavier runners competed in the event.
Sophomore Helen Innes was ninth at 5:22.16, freshman Mia Olsen was 11th at 5:26.94 and sophomore Karina Smith was 13th at 5:31.50.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rankin returns to coach Xavier swimmers, divers

One of the reasons why Xavier Prep’s swimming and diving team should have plenty of momentum in 2017 that has carried over from 2016 will be the presence of head coach “Mo’’ Rankin.
Gator swimmers will be seeing a lot more of Rankin than in her first season. The second-year coach will be on campus full-time as a member of the XCP financial aid office, helping potential students secure a place among the student body at the school that is known far and wide for its academics and athletics.
“I’m very excited about this new opportunity,’’ said Rankin, who has been a coach for USA Swimming and has been a coach and worked in the office of Arizona Swimming in the past.
She led XCP to a fourth-place finish at the Division I state meet last fall and has been encouraged by all of the hard work her swimmers put in at that time and have done so since.
Rankin has been able to monitor her athletes’ progress and will do so again in the days leading up to the start of the season in August/September. She will attend various club meets and is starting a summer clinic for incoming freshmen that will be held nearby at the Brophy Aquatic Complex.

Xavier coach Mo Rankin eagerly awaits her second swimming season. (Xavier photo).
 Rankin’s daughter will participate in XCP swimming as a freshman this fall.
“We have a strong incoming freshman class and that should make our team stronger overall,’’ Rankin said.
More balance is expected across the board between the sprints and the distance events, as well as with the divers, who had a strong showing at state.
“I think we will have a much larger group of girls qualifying for state,’’ Rankin said.
Two of the team leaders will be seniors Kaitlyn McCoy and Mary Roediger. McCoy was a double winner at state in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke. She also swam on a few of the relay teams. Roediger also competes in the relays and specializes in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke.
According to Rankin, feedback from parents and athletes last season was an important piece of the puzzle.
“It went really well,’’ she said. “The girls also developed an incredible camaraderie and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted my daughter to come and swim at Xavier. The girls are a great support for each other.’’
Coaches need support, too.
Rankin has received plenty of that during the offseason when she dealt with cancer that has necessitated chemotherapy treatments. She said she was ready to complete the last of six treatments last week and looks forward to making a full recovery.
“Everybody at the school and in the swimming community has provided wonderful support,’’ she said.
With Rankin leading the way, it should be an exciting season for the Gators.