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, June 1, 2018

Brad Downes takes over XCP softball program

Xavier Prep’s softball program has a new boss.

He is Brad Downes, an assistant coach for the Gators in 2018 who takes over Carrie Markham.

Markham resigned after three seasons to return to her pitching instruction business full-time. She was 20-5 in her first season in 2016, was 8-15 in 2017 and 4-17-2 in the team’s most recent season.

Downes also is a coach for the Arizona Hotshots club team and serves as president of Hotshots Softball of Arizona, Inc. From 2009-17, he also was the softball and baseball coach at Horizon Honors High School in Ahwatukee.

According to Xavier athletic director Sr. Lynn Winsor, “Mr. Downes brings to Xavier’s softball program high school coaching experience and softball club involvement. We see Mr. Downes building on the foundation laid by Xavier’s former coaches and we anticipate an increase in interest and participation in the Xavier softball program.’’

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