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.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Gator volleyball gets academic award for 2020-21

 The Xavier Prep indoor volleyball team has shown that it is as good in the classroom as it is on the court.

The Gators are one of Arizona’s honorees for the United States Marine Corps/American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the 2020-21 school year. College and high school teams from across the nation were recognized.

Xavier head coach Lamar-Renee Bryant was recognized for her leadership skills.

In a notification/congratulatory letter from the USMC/AVCA, it said Bryant was a coach who kept her program afloat during a challenging time (Covid pandemic).

The letter stated, “Volleyball coaches continued to demonstrate their important role supportingplayers’ academic achievements. Lamar-Renee was a crucial anchor for players adjusting tochanging school experience.’’

Xavier’s 2021-22 season opener is set for Aug. 31 at Mesa Mountain View (subject to change). Mountain View was another recipient of a Team Academic Award, along with Phoenix Arizona Lutheran, Chandler High, Tempe Corona del Sol, Phoenix Desert Vista (Ahwatukee), Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge (Tucson) and Glendale Mountain Ridge.

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