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.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Coaches "very proud of effort'' by badminton players

 It was the second time out on the badminton floor for Xavier Prep this season, and the Gators came up with a competitive effort against some of the better teams around in the Firebird Invitational at Scottsdale Chaparral on Saturday (Sept. 26).

Xavier coach Laura Forbes said that her singles players, Sophie Riviere, Lina Vanderwey and Mia Velasco, each won their first-round matches.

“They all played exceptionally well,’’ Forbes said.

However, only Vanderwey was able to advance to the quarterfinals before losing to a strong player from Glendale Ironwood, who eventually finished in second place in the tourney.

Xavier’s three doubles teams all won their first-round matches. They were Zoe Barton and Malindi Kilb, Gigi Riviere and Sophia Bonilla and Jasmine Leyva and Caroline Cobb. All were eliminated in the second round.

“It was an excellent experience for all of our players and we (coaches) were very proud of their effort against some very high-caliber competition,’’ Forbes said.

The Gators will play again on Monday (Sept. 28), a road match at Mesa Red Mountain. Their next home match will be Wednesday (Sept. 30) against Mesa Skyline.

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