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, November 26, 2018

All-Region teams loaded with Gators

Winning a state championship often is accompanied by athletes listed on all-region teams, and that certainly was true for Xavier Prep’s Gators this fall.

Xavier’s Division I golf state title team featured the Division I Premier Region Player and Coach of the Year. The school’s cross-country team had the Coach of the Year and several other honorees.

Junior Ashley Menne was named Region Player of the Year after winning the state individual golf title for the third straight year. The Gators’ Tui Selvaratnam was Coach of the Year.

Xavier won the 36th state title in school history and its ninth in a row.

All-Region First Team selections were junior Breyana Matthews, sophomore Lauren Garcia, freshman Ivy Song and sophomore Bailee Tayles. Listed as Honorable Mention were seniors Eve Worden and Emily Cons.

Dave Van Sickle was the Premier’s Coach of the Year after guiding the Gators to their 10th state title.

First Team choices were junior Mia Olsen, sophomore Jamie Stelnik and junior Grace Valandra. On the Second Team were seniors Karina Hawkins, Karina Smith and Helen Innes and sophomore Sammy Braun. Senior Karli Baker was Honorable Mention.

Congratulations to all of these great Gator athletes and coaches. The Xavier community is very proud of your accomplishments!

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