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, December 1, 2021

New Xavier Prep tennis courts are true blue

 After about eight months of eager anticipation, the brand-new courts at Xavier Prep’s Stark Tennis Center are open for play.

Varsity and JV players for XCP and freshman players who played competitively during the recently completed fall season were allowed to get their feet wet starting Nov. 29 on the new blue surfaces that resemble an inviting swimming pool or pond to cool off in.

What a wonderful place to play! (Xavier photos)

Where do Gators live? In a blue lagoon!

And with the addition of lighting, the courts will be available for night matches. And the courts themselves can be configured for the fast-growing sport of pickleball.

There are picnic-type tables to use for social events, along with a grassy area similar to the one that was used previously.

The only thing missing are the large ash trees that had to be removed due to overgrowth of the root system. New trees have been planted in their place and should be able to provide plenty of shade once they reach maturity.

Xavier has long been a force on Arizona’s high school tennis scene. Now we have the courts to match that!

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