Bio

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 AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Gator golf can't gain any ground, ties for 4th

Xavier Prep’s golf team tied for fourth place in Saturday’s (Aug. 31) final round of the Antigua National High School Golf Invitational at the Whirlwind Golf Course in Chandler.

The Gators just couldn’t seem to gain any traction in an attempt to pull out a victory. They were plagued by inconsistency.

In individual play, Xavier’s No. 1 player, senior Ashley Menne, finished at 3-under-par and tied for the second spot in the tourney with Sydney Bryan of Mesa Red Mountain.

Other Xavier scores: sophomore Ivy Song, +4, tied for 16th; junior Mary Beth Doss, +11, tied for 36th; senior Breyana Matthews, +11, tied for 36th; freshman Annie Dawson, +17, tied for 52ndh; and junior Lauren Garcia, +29, tied for 69th

Xavier will play a tough three-way match with Chandler Hamilton and Mesa Red Mountain at its Phoenix Country Club home on Tuesday (Sept. 3). Tee time is 2:30 p.m.

Final team scores

Troy (Fullerton, Calif.) +16, Phoenix Pinnacle +17, Punahou Gold (Honolulu) +22, Punahou Blue (Honolulu)  +23, Xavier Prep +23, Mater Dei (Chula Vista, Calif.) +26, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows +46, Archbishop McCarthy (SW Ranches, Fla.) +44, Goodyear Millennium +45, Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge +46, Chandler Hamilton +58, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) +60, Gilbert Highland +61, Punahou White (Honolulu) +95,  Bay Port (Green Bay, Wis.) +99, Mesa Red Mountain +123, Waxahatchie (Waxahatchie, Texas) +168, Gilbert Perry +203.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Xavier tries to survive in tough golf field

Competing against some of the best golf teams from across the country, Xavier Prep’s Gators finished Friday’s (Aug. 30) first day of the Antigua National High School Golf Invitational in a fourth-place tie out of 18 teams.

The two-day event is being held at the Whirlwind Golf Course in Chandler, near the Wild Horse Pass Resort off Interstate 10.

Xavier was tied with the Punahou Gold Team from Honolulu at 13 over par. Troy of Fullerton, Calif., was the leader at +9, followed by Phoenix Pinnacle at +11 and the Punahou Blue Team at +12.

Senior Ashley Menne, Arizona’s three-time state champion, was tied with two others for the individual lead at 2 under par. The first-round field listed 100 players.

Other Xavier scores: senior Breyana Matthews, +3, tied for 16th; sophomore Ivy Song, +5, tied for 30th; junior Mary Beth Doss, +7, tied for 45th; freshman Annie Dawson, +8, tied for 49th; and junior Lauren Garcia, +12, tied for 64th.

Players in Saturday’s (Aug. 31) are scheduled to tee off at approximately 7:15 a.m.

First-round team scores

Troy (Fullerton, Calif.) +9, Phoenix Pinnacle +11, Punahou Blue (Honolulu) +12, Punahou Gold (Honolulu)  +13, Xavier Prep +13, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows +16, Mater Dei (Chula Vista, Calif.) +17, Archbishop McCarthy (SW Ranches, Fla.) +23, Gilbert Highland +25, Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge +25, Chandler Hamilton +27, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) +30, Bay Port (Green Bay, Wis.) +32, Goodyear Millennium +32, Punahou White (Honolulu) +44, Mesa Red Mountain +54, Waxahatchie (Waxahatchie, Texas) +89, Gilbert Perry +108.

Varsity, JV badminton split against Hamilton

The Xavier Prep varsity and junior varsity badminton teams were at opposite ends of the scale during their 2019 season openers on Thursday (Aug. 29).

The varsity put up a hard-fought challenge before falling to host Chandler Hamilton 9-0, and the JV came up with a big 9-0 reversal of Hamilton.

The teams will be back in action on Sept. 5 when they travel to the west Valley for a match against host Peoria Liberty. Start time is 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Scrimmage gives Gator volleyball a better idea

Xavier Prep’s two-time defending state champion volleyball team got to see what life might be like for them this season with their appearance onWednesday night (Aug. 28) in an annual four-team scrimmage at Chandler Hamilton.

The Gators looked good at times against Chandler Basha, Phoenix Sunnyslope and Hamilton, other times not as good.

The team was competitive for the most part, but had many new players trying to fit in and learn more about what their roles will be.

The girls will head back to practice in preparation for their season opener on Tuesday night (Sept. 3) at Mesa Mountain View. Then the team will participate in the annual House of Payne tournament on Sept. 6 and 7 at Chandler High. The event will feature many of the teams expected to challenge Xavier for the title trophy.

Xavier played six “games,’’ two against each team, with 15-minute time limits for each game. No score was officially kept.

“This tells us what we need to work on,’’ said Xavier coach Lamar-Renee Bryant afterward. “Next week, we will find out where we are as a team and it’s “game on.’ ‘’

The coach pointed to the efforts of two seniors, middle blocker Jasmine Knight and defensive specialist/libero Abby Converse, who fared well. Knight looked strong on offense and defense and Converse worked the back line with a number of defensive digs.

One of the main objectives during the preseason is to find a setter to replace Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year Shannon Shields, who graduated and now is at the University of Louisville.

The candidates are sophomore Alexa Shiner and freshman Lexi Yoza. Both played well at times and set their teammates up with good passes.

Senior Katelen Tellez also played well at outside hitter/opposite.

Xavier rolls to big win in home golf debut

Xavier Prep’s golf team made its season debut on its “home’’ course at Phoenix Country Club on Wednesday (Aug. 28) by defeating Tempe Corona del Sol by 31 shots. Queen Creek also had two individuals who played.

Senior Ashley Menne again was the medalist, with an even-par 36. She was followed by sophomore Ivy Song, junior Lauren Garcia, junior Mary Beth Doss and senior Breyana Matthews, all with 1-over 37s.

Senior Sissi Wang was at 2-over 38, freshman Annie Dawson was at 3-over 39, sophomore Kate Ryan was at 4-over 40.

Also, sophomore Ava Mayberger was at 8-over 44, sophomore Ashley Sanchez was at 13-over 49, senior Danae Bravo was at 14-over 50, senior Sydney Trout was at 17-over 53 and freshman Sophie Stamatis was at 19-over 55.

The Gators will play this weekend at the annual Antigua Invitational at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, west of Interstate 10 at exit 162, Wild Horse Pass/Sundance Road, and follow the signs. Tee times both days are at 7:15 a.m.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Gator golfers coast past Desert Vista, Basha

With only one day to rest after finishing third in a Tucson tournament over the weekend, Xavier Prep’s golf team coasted to victory over host Phoenix Desert Vista and Chandler Basha on Monday (Aug. 26) at Foothills Golf Club in Ahwatukee.

The Gators finished with a 2-under-par 142, with Desert Vista posting a 26-over 170 and Basha coming in with a 78-over 220.

Xavier senior Ashley Menne, coming off an individual victory in the Nighthawk Invitational over the weekend, earned medalist honors in this one with a 2-under 34.

Junior Mary Beth Doss posted a 1-under 35, sophomore Ivy Song was at even-par 36, junior Lauren Garcia had a 1-over 37 and senior Breyana Matthews had a 3-over 39.

Xavier returns to action on Wednesday (Aug. 28) with their first home match of the season, facing Tempe Corona del Sol and Queen Creek at the Phoenix Country Club. First tee time is at 2 p.m.

Badminton experience, success drive XCP assistant

Karina Magana was a successful high school badminton player in her native Lima, Peru. She played from age 13-17 and later went to college and started a family in the United States.

She did not play the sport for about 33 years, until about two years ago, when some of her friends back home encouraged her to get back on the court.

“At the beginning, I wondered if I could still even hit,’’ said Magana, a Valley resident who attended the University of California-Berkeley and St. Mary’s College in nearby Moraga, Calif. “It began to come back to me.’’

But she quickly realized “that I needed to train seriously’’ if she would be capable of earning medals while playing against tougher competition.

She began playing again at the AZBC (Arizona Badminton Center) in Mesa. About that same time, she joined the Xavier Prep coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach and is entering her third season this fall.

Meanwhile, she continues to play competitively and has earned several medals in national and international competition, including Gold in the recent European Masters Games in Turin, Italy. She plays both singles and doubles.

Magana has her eye on a possible spot in the Pan American Masters Games in September 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the sport must be approved first.

“Playing in those tournaments is a lot of fun, a great experience. You get to meet people from all over the world,’’ she said.

She has three children who are athletically oriented. Nicholas was a swimmer at Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High, swam at the University of Virginia and became a dual citizen with Peru and swam for the Peruvian Olympic team in Rio during the 2016 Games before being sidelined by illness.

Daughter Francesca also was a swimmer at Desert Mountain and went on to swim at the University of Idaho. And a second son, Diego, was a four-year starter in basketball at Desert Mountain before going on to play at Amherst in Massachusetts.

In 2014, Magana and her children lost husband and father Daryl to cancer.

“It was emotional and still is,’’ she said. “There are always going to be obstacles in life. That’s what I try to tell the girls here.’’

Xavier badminton coach Laura Forbes is glad to receive help from an experienced player such as Magana, and the Xavier players have formed a close bond with her.

“They just love her,’’ Forbes said.

And Magana feels the same about them.

“The girls are great,’’ she said. “They are very interested in the game. They want to be here and they want to improve. You can see the improvement in some of them from last year to this year.’’

She helps them with the skills they need to be successful such as swinging the racquet in the correct way and footwork, and offers them some advice on the mental aspect.

“There’s some nervousness and that is to be expected,’’ she said. “We all get nervous, even our opponents. I get it, too, even after all this time. You have to be able to not get stressed out, to be able to control it. When you’re out on the court, don’t look at your opponent – focus on the bird.’’

And although some people might not think so, badminton requires being in condition.

“You are going to need it,’’ she said, “with all the sprinting back and forth across the court.’’

The type of experience that Magana can pass along is proving to be invaluable for the Gators.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Menne wins golf title, Gators finish third

High school golf fans in Arizona saw over the weekend why Xavier Prep senior Ashley Menne has been able to use a consistent overall game to win three straight Division I state individual titles in her first three years.

She shot a 10-under-par 133 over the Catalina and Sonoran courses at the Omni Tucson National resort to outlast runner-up Tucson Salpointe Catholic sophomore Mackenzie McRee and win the Nighthawk Invitational individual title for the third straight year. Tucson National will be the site of the Division I and II state tournament for the third straight time in 2019.

In the team standings, Xavier finished third with a 27-over 599 behind winner Chandler Hamilton (23-over 595) and runner-up Cave Creek Cactus Shadows (25-under 597).

Xavier, which has won 36 state titles over the years and eight in a row, had four other finishers in the Nighthawk . They were sophomore Ivy Song, 10th (+8 151), junior Mary Beth Doss, tied for 11th (+10 153), senior Breyana Matthews, 23rd (+19 162) and junior Lauren Garcia, 25th (+29 172). Fifty golfers participated in the event.

“We are so proud of Ashley,’’ said Sr. Lynn Winsor, co-head coach with Tui Selvaratnam. “She played awesome golf for two days and deservedly won the tournament.

“Only four shots separated the top three teams at the Nighthawk and Coach Tui and I are confident in our girls. We have many more matches and invitationals ahead of us this season. Go Gator Golf.’’

The Gators have a quick turnaround and will be back in action on Monday (Aug. 26), meeting Phoenix Desert Vista and Chandler Basha at the Foothills Club West in Ahwatukee. First tee time is 3 p.m.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

New coach excited about Gator badminton

Laura Forbes has coached several different sports during her tenure at Xavier Prep, but one of the most exciting for her is rapidly approaching.

She has assumed leadership of XCP’s badminton program, which just wrapped up tryouts and will begin its season on Aug. 29 at Chandler Hamilton, the team which defeated the Gators in the quarterfinals of the Division I state tournament a year ago.

Following a practice in the Activity Center earlier this week, Forbes talked about how much she is enjoying things thus far. She is being assisted by Shaun Fitzgerald and volunteer Karina Magana.

“I love it,’’ Forbes said. “It is maybe the fastest racquet sport there is. Our girls are high-energy.’’

There is a combined 20 players who soon will be placed on the varsity and JV rosters. Of that number, 13 have experience and the others are playing competitively for the first time. The roster includes five sophomores and a pair of freshmen. The lists will be determined as the result of a “ladder’’ competition.

“We don’t really have a lot of practice time before that first match, so we will need to be very efficient as we prepare,’’ Forbes said.

“I think we are going to have a good team, though. We’re going to go ahead and put the bird in play.’’

Xavier finished 11-4 in 2019 but figures to challenge Premier Region rivals Hamilton and defending state champion Gilbert Perry for overall supremacy.

Forbes and her assistants stressed conditioning, accuracy with serves and communication between doubles teammates. The accuracy portion was achieved when the players set up and attempted to get the bird to land within the circle of a plastic Hula Hoop lying on the ground, working both sides of the court.



XAVIER PREP 2019 BADMINTON ROSTER

(Listed alphabetically)

*Note: Varsity and JV teams will be determined prior to first match on Thursday, Aug. 29).

Zoe Barton, Jr.; Sophia Bonilla, So.; Jillian Brown, Jr.; Mia Byrd, Sr.; Carolyn Cobb, So.; Mayse Dunn, Sr.; Lauren Etsitty, Jr.; Sam Gburek, Jr.; Malindi Kilb, Jr.; Alex Kockinis, Sr.; Jasmine Leyva, So.; Sienna Martinez, Jr.; Ava Novak-Buckey, Fr.; Daisy Ontiveros, So.; Dani Rivera, So.; Gigi Riviere, Fr.; Sophie Riviere, Jr.; Alonda Tarin, So.; Lina Vanderwey, Jr.; Mia Velasco, Jr.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Few golf teams can match Xavier Prep's Gators

This isn’t a game of putt-putt. This is the real deal, and nobody does it better than Xavier Prep’s Gators.

The school has won 36 big-school golf championships, including eight in a row, and will attempt to write another chapter beginning this weekend when it participates in the Nighthawk Invitational at the two courses at the Omni Tucson National resort, site of the Division I state tournament in recent years and the spot again this fall.

The team’s top player doesn’t need much of an introduction. She is senior Ashley Menne, who won individual state title trophies in her first three years and is looking to make a clean sweep. Menne also has won numerous national tournaments outside the Xavier confines and will join the program at Arizona State in 2020.

“We think we have a very good team,’’ said Sr. Lynn Winsor, co-head coach with Tui Selvaratnam and the school’s athletic director. “We have our top girls returning and they have experience. Everyone is excited and enthusiastic.’’

The Gators have been practicing of late at their Phoenix Country Club home to get ready for the start of the season.

“The girls have been valiant in the oppressive heat, but we have made sure they are hydrated out there with Gatorade, water, ice and cold towels,’’ Winsor said.

Xavier has 13 players on the team compared to 16 a year ago, but that allows the team to be more efficient, according to Winsor.

She added that the program has received great support from the parents. The program also has been the recipient of a grant from the Phoenix Thunderbirds, sponsor of the annual Phoenix Open in Scottsdale. Xavier is not the only school to benefit – other schools receive monetary assistance and all must apply to be recognized. Many Xavier golfers volunteer at the Open.

Xavier will have a good balance between seniors and underclassmen. There are five seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen.

“We want to be able to finish strong, do it again (win title). It’s always fun,’’ said Menne.

She has played in several out-of-state tournaments over the last year and says her putting has improved.

“And I hopefully will be better with my chipping,’’ she added.

Menne will be joined at ASU by current Xavier senior teammate Breyana Matthews, who finished in a tie for third place at state a year ago.

“It will be fun to play together, but we want to win another title here first,’’ Matthews said. “We can’t get ahead of ourselves, though, we need to be patient and take one match at a time.’’

Matthews hopes greater accuracy with her short game will help carry her this season.

Senior Sydney Trout said one of the keys to the Gators’ success is due to the closeness between the players and coaches.

“We have really bonded,’’ she said. “It’s great knowing you have support from each other and a lot of teams don’t have that.’’

Consistency off the tee is a benefit to Trout, but she also has enhanced her overall game with better chipping and putting.

Xiaoyu (Sissi) Wang, a senior who was on last year’s team, enjoys her overall experience at Xavier, including the academic aspect. She is a native of China and transferred to Xavier after playing at a school in Florida.

She would like to go on and play in college, and she hopes she has helped her chances by playing a lot more golf over the last year.

“I am trying to read the greens better and control the speed of my putts,’’ she said.

Senior Danae Bravo believes the Gators will be up to the challenge presented my teams such as Phoenix Pinnacle, Chandler Hamilton and Mesa Red Mountain.

“I think it’s about not letting the pressure (of a winning streak) get to you,’’ Bravo said. “You need to just play and relax.’’

She has played a lot over the summer, focusing on putting, at Valley courses such as Moon Valley and Cave Creek.

Xavier’s first competition in the Valley will come on Monday (Aug. 27) against Chandler Basha and host Phoenix Desert Vista at the Foothills Golf Club in Ahwatukee.



XAVIER PREP 2019 GOLF ROSTER

(Listed alphabetically)

Danae Bravo, Sr.; Annie Dawson, Fr.; Mary Beth Doss, Jr.; Lauren Garcia, Jr.; Breyana Matthews, Sr.; Ava Mayberger, So.; Ashley Menne, Sr.; Kate Ryan, So.; Audrey Sanchez, So.; Ivy Song, So.; Sophie Stamatis, Fr.; Sydney Trout, Sr.; Xiaoyu (Sissi) Wang, Sr.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Volleyball has third straight state title in its sights

They are out there, waiting to pounce on Xavier Prep’s volleyball team.

Who is out there?

Just about any team you can think of.

That’s what happens when a team like Xavier wins two 6A Conference state championships in a row.

There’s a big target on the Gators’ backs entering the 2019 season, and everyone wants a piece of them.

Coach Lamar-Renee Bryant picked the team last week and the Gators began preseason practice this week at nearby Brophy Prep.

The team lost a handful of key players to graduation from last year’s 33-9 finisher, including setter Shannon Shields, libero Ashley Yeung and outside hitter Hayley Nash.

This year’s team will feature seven returning players and seven new ones, including a pair of freshmen. There would have been eight returners, but junior Serena Turner has decided not to participate and will concentrate solely on beach volleyball, which she will play two years down the road at Stanford.

“We will be super young and will have to learn how to play together,’’ Bryant said.

At 6-foot-1, Turner gave the Gators some size but now they will have to press on with a bigger role falling on the shoulders 5-10 senior Bri McKnight. She will get assistance up front from 5-10 senior Jasmine Knight at middle blocker and 5-11 senior Juli Westfall on the outside.

Figuring out how to replace Shields, last season’s Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona, will be a key element. There are three candidates --  junior Zaira Reyes, sophomore Alexis Shiner and freshman Lexi Yoza. For four years, Shields had developed into one of the top setters in the state’s history.

A similar situation exists when talking about someone stepping in to replace Yeung at libero.

At least in the beginning, Bryant might go with two different people, senior Abby Converse and junior Kaori Robertson, until one grabs the reins for her own. Both will be counted on for their all-around play this season.


Seniors Abby Converse, left, and Bri McKnight,  right, await their chance to return service during a preseason practice at Brophy this week (Photo by Don Ketchum).
“We will definitely have a big target on our back,’’ Bryant said. “It will be about us staying focused and being in the moment. We are going to have to be ready to go every time out.’’

One of the most cerebral players for the Gators will be Converse, who with Turner helped Xavier claim the beach title last spring. Converse seemingly doesn’t have a lot of free time. She is a member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Student Leadership Activities Committee, is a member of Xavier’s Mu Alpha Theta, is in National Honor Society, and is involved with Xavier’s student government as Secretary of State. And there is public-service and charity work.

Converse also hopes to be accepted to Stanford and play beach volleyball there.

She has learned quite a bit in the sand that helps her on the indoor court.

“In beach, you are a hitter half the time, you learn what’s going through a hitter’s mind and that helps out here,’’ she said. “I have a better idea of that they are doing on the other side and am able to adjust accordingly. ‘’

She is well aware of the challenge that awaits the Gators over the next few months.

“That’s one of the biggest things for us – everybody wants to have their best game against us. We need to work every single day and work hard.’’

After graduating from XCP, Knight will move on to Virginia Commonwealth, where she will join former Xavier teammate Alyna Draper.

“With a lot of different players, it will be different than last year, but we can still do what we need to do if we work hard,’’ Knight said. “It all starts right now. There are a lot of really good teams waiting out there for us.’’

Because the Gators do not have as much height as they have had in the past, Knight says she is taking it upon herself to be more precise on the block.

“You can’t wait too long. You have to be ready to go get the ball,’’ she said.

The Gators will need to play smarter and not be outworked.

“That’s what we did last year. We did that against a lot of good teams and did not allow them to beat us,’’ Knight said.

Knight and McKnight are close friends, having worked together at Xavier since they were freshmen.

McKnight said as seniors, they will help with the team-bonding aspect this year.

“We definitely need that, getting together for activities such as team meals on game days,’’ she said. “We want to work with the younger players. We have a really good group. Soon, it will be their time to shine.’’

Her “volleyball IQ’’ has improved, “and that will help me know better where to place the ball’’ while floating in the air for the kill, she said.

McKnight, who is heading to UC-Santa Barbara, also is looking to help Knight on defense.

“When you make a good block and the crowd goes crazy, that’s a great feeling,’’ she said.

Another great feeling would be to hammer home the match point for the championship as McKnight did last season against Tempe Corona del Sol.

Will the Gators get that chance? We are ready to find out.

Xavier will participate in an annual four-team scrimmage on Aug. 28 at Chandler Hamilton. The other teams are Hamilton, Chandler Basha and Phoenix Sunnyslope. Hamilton is among the favorites to push Xavier this season.

Xavier will play in three tournaments this season – the House of Payne at Chandler High on Sept. 6 and 7, the Durango Classic in Las Vegas on Sept. 20 and 21, and the Nike in the Phoenix area on Oct. 4 and 5.

XAVIER PREP 2019 VOLLEYBALL ROSTER

(Listed alphabetically)

Abby Converse, 5-7, Sr.; Jasmine Knight, 5-11, Sr.; Bri McKnight, 5-10, Sr.; Zaira Reyes, 5-10, Jr.; Kaori Robertson, 5-6, Jr.; Alexa Shiner, 5-7, So.; Isabella Sinacori, 6-1, So.; Emma Soderstrom, 5-8, So.; Kate Tax, 6-0, Fr.; Katelen Tellez, 5-9, Sr.; Tiffany Tellez, 5-9, So.; Quinn Voorhees, 5-10, Sr.; Juli Westfall, 5-11, Sr.; Lexi Yoza, 5-9, Fr..

Friday, August 16, 2019

Gator golfer Menne part of prestigious tourney

Xavier Prep senior Ashley Menne, a three-time Division I individual state champion, will be in the international spotlight from Sept. 24-29 as she represents The First Tee of Phoenix in the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee in Pebble Beach, Calif.


Ashley Menne, Xavier's 3-time D-I state champion. (Xavier photo).
Menne, who will study and play golf at Arizona State beginning in the fall of 2020, will be joined by two male golfers from the Valley – Scott Schlader of Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee and Cade Kilanowski of Gilbert Perry.

The 16th annual event will be televised internationally on the Golf Channel.

The participants feature 78 teen golfers from across the USA and they are paired with 78 PGA Tour Champions and 156 amateurs during an official PGA Tour Champions tournament.

Menne, Schlader and Kilanowski will compete for the Pro-Junior Team title. They will join 75 other participants from First Tee chapters across the country.

Tournament play will take place on the Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course on Sept. 27-28, with the finale solely at Pebble. In the finale, 23 First Tee juniors will compete based on 36-hole performances.

A national panel of judges selected the players based on their understanding and application of the values and life skills learned through First Tee’s programs as well as their playing ability.

The First Tee is a youth development organization dedicated to helping young people  build character through the game of golf.

Menne has been a member of The First Tee of Phoenix for nearly five years. The group has served in Maricopa County since 2001.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

XCP volleyball is nationally ranked by media

Xavier Prep has won two straight 6A Conference volleyball state championships, but to make it three, the Gators will have to rely on steady improvement with many of its returnees this fall.

Still, XCP has been rated No. 33 in the nation by MaxPreps and No. 49 by prepvolleyball.com.

Xavier’s top returning players are senior outside hitter Bri McKnight, senior middle blocker Jasmine  Knight and defender Abby Converse.

XCP has been having tryouts this week in the Activity Center and Vestar Hall, and next week open full preseason practice at the Brophy auxiliary gym and Vestar.

The team will participate in the annual four-team preseason scrimmage at Chandler Hamilton on Aug. 28 with Hamilton, Phoenix Sunnyslope and Chandler Basha.

Stay tuned to The XCP Files for season previews on volleyball, golf, badminton, freshman tennis, cross country and swimming/diving in the coming weeks.

Another great year is ahead for the XCP teams!!