Sports and extracurricular activities thrive at Xavier

by MaryJose “MJ” Martinez, XPress Staff Writer, Courtesy Xavier College Prep

When it comes to sports, Xavier prides itself on the fact that it is the winningest high school in Arizona. This has been especially exemplified this past winter season, as Xavier soccer, spiritline  and archery came home with major wins to add to Xavier’s sports legacy.

Soccer State Championship

On February 24, the Xavier varsity soccer team battled it out against the third-ranked Perry Pumas for the 6A State Championship crown, winning 3-2 on penalty kicks.

The game was described as being “intense and it was a nail-biter the whole time. Everyone came with a will to win,” said defender Jayme Brown ‘22.

Xavier varsity soccer team celebrates its victory against the Perry High School Pumas. Xavier won in penalty kicks, 3-2. Stos Zafiropoulos, courtesy photo

Head coach Barb Chura said, “There is so much on the line in a state title, so you play with guts, heart, determination and fight.”

Spiritline wins at nationals

That same day, spiritline traveled west, where they competed in the 2022 USA Spirit Nationals weekend in Anaheim, Calif., after being qualified in Arizona earlier in the fall. The Gators competed in five divisions against twenty other schools on the varsity level from all over the country.

On the first day of nationals, Xavier competed in the 5-man stunt group, or the “All-Girl Stunt,” where five of the best girls from each team do as many difficult skills as they can in one minute.

The next day the girls had “Game Day,” which allows teams to encourage crowd participation and to showcase their crowd-leading skills. The “Medium Varsity Show Cheer” competition was also taking place that day. Show cheer is when a team displays skills such as stunts, tosses and pyramids with music.

“Knowing that we had the potential of winning another one was exciting, so everyone went all out to make it three for three,” said varsity spiritline member Joslyn Jenkins ‘24.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, spiritline was not able to see their competitors’ performances, “so we had no idea how well we did, so it was shocking and exciting,” said Gaspar.

Ultimately, spiritline came home “All-Girl Stunt” national champions, “Game Day” national champions and “Medium Varsity Show Cheer” champions.

Spiritline and coach Monica Gaspar pose in front of the fountain at the Anaheim Convention Center with their 2022 USA National Spirit Champion banner. Xavier won the “All-Girl Stunt,” “Game Day” and “Medium Varsity Show Cheer.” Kara Ward, courtesy photo

Xavier archery hits the mark

Twenty-seven Xaiver archers competed in the 2022 AZ Archery in the Schools State Championships. There were 437 archers from 33 schools, 173 of which were high school students. Out of all those students and schools, the Xavier Gators took home 3rd Place in the High School Division for bullseye with a score of 3,106 and 2nd Place in the High School Division for 3D with a score of 1,569!! These scores have qualified Xavier Gators to go to the National Tournament in Salt Lake City, at the end of April.

Robotics Returns to Xavier

by Campbell Linaman, XPress Sports Editor

Xavier College Prep requires each of its students to take a computer science class, putting emphasis on the subject due to the ever-increasing importance of technological knowledge in today’s world. This school year, a new opportunity has come for students to be even more involved in the subject. Though discontinued for a couple of years, robotics is making a comeback at Xavier.

Under the leadership of Leon Tynes, robotics coach and computer science teacher, who is new to Xavier this year, a group of approximately thirty students are bringing the team back to life.

Robotics at Xavier has an edge over other schools because of the school requirement to take Computer Programming Essentials during sophomore year. At many other schools, students do not have this requirement and so consequently a smaller portion of their students have experience with coding.

Robotics leaders at Xavier agree that an important part of restarting robotics is making it accessible and open to as many girls as possible.

During the first semester, robotics students, with the help of Leon Tynes and the Xavier maintenance staff, worked to set up and upgrade the new robotics room downstairs in the Virginia Piper Center. Campbell Linaman, courtesy photo

Richardson said that this is “one of our biggest goals” and “any Xavier student who’s interested in learning more and getting involved is welcome.”

“We’ve got to get more girls in STEM and this starts them into that. You don’t necessarily have to go into coding, or engineering, but having that knowledge allows you to apply it anywhere that you want to. The more exposure that girls get at this age, the better they’re going to do when they go to college,” said Tynes.

Xavier robotics’ assisted Brophy’s team at its invitational in January, the first event it has competed in since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s SLAC not slackers!

By MaryJose “MJ” Martinez, XPress Staff Writer 

Throughout the school year, Xavier offers a variety of opportunities to its students to become involved or to pick up a leadership role whether that be in athletics or academics.

The AIA Student Leadership Advisory Committee (AIA SLAC) is a committee made up of students from schools all over Arizona that promote the spirit of leadership within their communities.

This year Xavier has five representatives on AIA SLAC: Meghan Schouten ‘22, Emma Petersen ‘22, Noelle Peterson ‘23, Jayden Jevnick ‘24, and Lourdes Lauterborn ‘24.

In September of 2021, Emma Petersen ‘22, Meghan Schouten ‘22, Noelle Peterson ‘23, Lourdes Lauterborn ‘24, and Jayden Jevnick ‘24 returned to Xavier from their second AIA SLAC meeting. In their meeting, AIA SLAC discussed plans and future events for the year. Sr. Lynn Winsor, courtesy photo

Discussing what it means to be a leader on AIA SLAC, Schouten said, “We work towards helping the community come together and bring ideas back to our campuses on how to improve and build leadership.”

This is Lauterborn’s first year on AIA SLAC, she is on the varsity soccer team. Lauterborn likes everything about being a leader and describes it as a good environment to learn how to become a better leader.

Jevnick, who was on the golf team, has been a part of AIA SLAC since the spring of last year. “I really like it. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of a smaller community of athletes who are also leaders at their schools, and it’s nice to meet people from all over the state,” said Jevnick.

In an all-girl school like Xavier, it means a lot for it to have five of its students represent Xavier and everything it stands for on SLAC. After all, “part of [Xavier’s] mission is to empower young women to leadership,” said Sister Lynn Winsor, Xavier’s vice-principal for activities/athletics.