The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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A tennis court with a deeper meaning: Honoring Laurie Martin

Charley Fisher, XPress Staff
In front of the Laurie Martin Championship Court, a bench with Martin’s face and name was created. The bench allows the spirit of Martin to be around the players who are playing on the court.

On Monday, June 6, 2022 Laurie Martin, a 17-year varsity tennis coach at Xavier College Prep, passed away. Martin suffered a brain injury due to a fall, leaving behind her husband Stan, her daughters Amanda, Courtney, Natalie, and her son Tanner. 

During Martin’s time at Xavier, she had a total of 271 wins and 16 losses, 5 Division 1 state championships, 6 state runner-up titles, and 13 sectional/regional titles. In her last season, Martin had a total of 14 wins and 1 loss which led her team to the State Division 1 Runner-Up title. 

Throughout her career, Martin was named the 2020 Southwest United States Professional Tennis Association Pro of the Year, Arizona Republic Girls Tennis Coach of the Year, and National High School Coaches Association Finalist of the Year. 

Martin’s greatest accomplishment at Xavier, however, was starting the No-Cut freshman tennis program in 2009. In this program, freshman girls are given the chance to play for the XCP tennis team regardless of skills, without being cut from the team, thus giving them a chance to try something new. 

Laurie Martin was an integral part of Xavier. She was not only a mother and coach but a role model and supporter of her girls. 

Joy Rodey, head varsity tennis coach at Xavier, acknowledges Martin’s dedication to the sport of tennis. “Coach Martin gave so much of her time, energy and tennis knowledge, even way beyond Xavier,” said Rodey.

Martin left a powerful legacy at Xavier. “Her legacy was to give any and all girls at Xavier the opportunity to learn and play tennis and become part of a team at school wherein they could meet new friends, especially at the beginning of the year with Freshman Tennis,” Rodey said. 

Her legacy demonstrates her activism in the field of tennis. Sister Lynn Winsor, vice principal for activities/athletics at Xavier, highlights Martin’s activism, “She attended The Phoenix Open, and went to foreign countries to watch tennis.”

Recently on March 30, 2023, one of Xavier’s tennis courts was named in Martin’s honor. A small bench was placed immediately outside of the court, engraved with the message: “In loving memory of Laurie Martin.” 

The court dedicated to Martin is known as the “first court.” Martin always had the team’s number one players play on the first court.

The Xavier community decided to name the court, “The Laurie Martin Championship Court” during the dedication on March 30.

The Chandler High vs. Xavier College Preparatory match also occurred on the day of the dedication, which happened purposely. 

“We chose the date of the dedication to coincide with our match against Chandler High because Coach Martin’s niece plays for that team. We asked her if she would be the first to play on the Laurie Martin Championship Court,” Rodey said.

Father Harold Escarcega, Xavier’s head chaplain, blessed The Laurie Martin Championship Court during the dedication. He sprinkled the court with Holy Water and conducted a service for Martin’s family and Martin’s team who attended.

“Praying for a person can make us feel closer to them,” Escarcega said.

The Laurie Martin Championship Court is more than just a tennis court to the Xavier community. The court reminds the Xavier community of Martin’s loyalty to her team. “[Martin] knew the ins and outs of tennis and she knew the strategy, but the way she cared about her team is what I think is so impressive,” said Winsor.

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