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.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Gators dominate sports awards

What an amazing year for Xavier Prep athletics !!
Several Gator athletes and coaches were honored by the media outlet on Sunday night (April 30) at the second annual High School Sports Awards ceremony at Arizona State’s Grady Gammage Auditorium.
Xavier had two athletes earn Player of the Year status for their respective sports.
Senior Makena Patterson was selected for volleyball and freshman Ashley Menne was chosen for golf.

Xavier's Makena Patterson appears to be bigger than life as she accepts's award for volleyball Player of the Year at a ceremony on Sunday night. (Xavier photos).
In addition, Xavier had three Coach of the Year winners.
They were co-coaches Sr. Lynn Winsor and Tui Selvaratnam in golf, Barb Chura in soccer and Sue Contreras in badminton.

Xavier's annual display of golf excellence was reflected in freshman Ashley Menne's Player of the Year award and the Coach of the Year honor that went to Tui Selvaratnam, left, and Sr. Lynn Winsor, right.

Menne was co-medalist along with Xavier teammate Elizabeth Caldarelli and Chandler Hamilton’s Hannah Li at the state tournament. Li also was a Player of the Year finalist, along with Kelly Su of Scottsdale Chaparral.
Two more Gators are under consideration for the beach volleyball Player of the Year honor. They are seniors Macy Gordon and Cierra Flood. The pair will join their teammates on Tuesday night (May 2) as Xavier attempts to win its sixth straight state title against Goodyear Millennium at Gilbert Mesquite.
The beach volleyball awards and all-state teams will be announced in the days following the title match.
Under the leadership of Winsor and Selvaratnam, Xavier won its sixth straight championship and 34th overall.
Late former ASU head men’s basketball coach and former NBA player Steve Patterson certainly would be proud of his daughter, Makena, after her name was announced as the Player of the Year recipient. Steve Patterson passed away in 2004. He was ASU coach from 1985-89.
At 6-feet-4, Makena Patterson was a formidable presence at the net. The Texas A&M-bound player finished the season with 349 kills, eight assists and 101 blocks to help Xavier reach the state semifinals. Other Player of the Year finalists were Hamilton’s Preslie Anderson and Phoenix Mountain Pointe’s Chapin Gray.
Patterson also was named an Under Armour All-American, one of just 24 players nationally to be so honored.
Chura had one of her most rewarding seasons, leading Xavier to a 15-2-3 record and state title. The Gators defeated Phoenix Desert Vista 2-0 in the championship game.
Contreras took over the badminton program before the season began and guided Xavier to the state title with a 17-0 record. She also is an assistant coach for the XCP beach volleyball team.

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