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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Xavier 4th in Aguila golf, state tourney next

 Xavier Prep’s golf team got a taste of what the atmosphere at next week’s Division I state tournament in Tucson will be like when it faced many of the state’s top teams at a state preview tournament on Tuesday (Oct. 20) at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen.

The Gators finished in fourth place in the 19-team event at 15-over-par, 10 shots behind winner and defending state champion Phoenix Pinnacle.  Pinnacle was at 5-over 293, followed by Tucson Ironwood Ridge at 8-over 296, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows at 12-over 300, and Xavier.

It had been about three weeks since the Gators’ last competitive match, as the result of course availability around the Phoenix area due to annual fall overseeding.

“This course played long, which is just what the state tournament will be like (on Oct. 26 and 27 at the Omni Tucson National’s Catalina Course next week),’’ said Xavier co-head coach Tui Selvaratnam (with Athletic Director Sr. Lynn Winsor).

“It’s not like our girls haven’t been doing anything these last three weeks. They have been working very hard on their game,’’ said Selvaratnam, who will take most of her players to Tucson on Thursday (Oct. 21) for a practice round, as she has done on a few occasions earlier this school year.

Xavier’s team is made up mainly of underclassmen, including freshmen. In many cases this season, they have played more like older, more seasoned players, which is a good thing.

“We are young and vibrant, a good bunch of kids,’’ Selvaratnam said. “If they play the good golf like they know how, we can be very competitive.’’

In other words, the school’s 37th state championship can become a reality.

Xavier scores at the Aguila:

Ivy Song, Jr., 74 (+2), Kate Hauptman, Fr., 75 (+3), Lauren Garcia, Sr., 75 (+3), Annie Dawson, So., 79 (+7). Also, Jayden Jevnick, Fr., 81 (+9), not included in team score.

Extra Gator players:

Lena Durette, Fr., 78 (+6), Mary Beth Doss, Sr., 79 (+7), Kalyn Doss, Fr., 82 (+10), Kyla Layman, Fr., 83 (+11).

Team scores:

Phoenix Pinnacle 293, Tucson Ironwood Ridge 296, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 300, Xavier Prep 303, Anthem Boulder Creek 312, Peoria Liberty 324, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep 332, Waddell Canyon View 333, Goodyear Millennium 334, Phoenix Horizon 337, Tempe Corona del Sol 347, Phoenix Desert Vista 351, Tucson Salpointe Catholic 359, Scottsdale Desert Mountain 373, Gilbert Perry 376, Gilbert Highland 378, Phoenix Sandra Day O'Connor 381, Glendale Mountain Ridge 390, Scottsdale Chaparral 394.

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