San Manuel RB Christian Velasquez one of four Week 5 Ed Doherty Award winners

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club announced the winners of the Ed Doherty Award Week 5 Performance Medallions this afternoon. Five players were recognized for outstanding play during their games last week: Christian Velasquez (RB, Sr., San Manuel), Israel Loveall (QB, Sr. Bagdad), Kris Jackson (RB, Sr., Mesa), Brock Purdy (QB, Sr. Perry) and Gerald Wilbon (DB, Sr., Red Mountain). By earning these medallions, all five players are added to the end of season awards luncheon on December 9 and are officially eligible for the 2017 Ed Doherty Award.

“Week 5 provided more exceptional performances, including record-setting efforts from two of our winners,” stated Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club Selection Committee Co-Chair Rob Yowell. “Israel set a state record for career TD passes at any level and Christian’s 514yd game set a 2A single game mark. Brock and Kris have been up for consideration by the committee each week and Gerald was our first defensive standout. These five young men gave us memorable games and deserve their official nominations for the Ed Doherty Award.”

Three players named were on the 43-player Watch List (Loveall, Jackson and Purdy), while Velasquez and Wilbon came from the field. Each player will receive their medallions at an upcoming school event later this week and will join the other medallion winners at the Ed Doherty Award luncheon on December 9.

Christian Velasquez, San Manuel, RB, 5-6, 186, Sr.
He set two 2A single-game state records with 514 rushing yards and nine TDs in a 78-13 2A win over Tombstone. He averaged 32.1 yards a carry.

Gerald Wilbon, Mesa Red Mountain, DB, 6-2, 175, Sr.
In a 41-28 win over Gilbert, he intercepted two passes against elite QB Jack Plummer (and Week 4 medallion winner), taking the second one back 100 yards in the last minute to seal the win.

Kris Jackson, Mesa, RB, 5-11, 205, Sr.
On homecoming, in a 31-29 win over Chandler Basha, Jackson broke Vai Sikahema’s single-game school rushing records with 341 yards, doing it on 36 carries and breaking loose for an 80-yard score.

Brock Purdy, Gilbert Perry, QB, 6-1, 197, Sr.
Last week in a 56-6 rout of previously unbeaten Gilbert Highland, Purdy passed for 205 of his 279 yards in the first half, when he threw three TD passes. He also ran for 116 yards.

Rob Yowell (Co-Chairmen)
Ward Hickey (Co-Chairmen)
Ralph Amsden (Arizona Varsity)
Chris Eaton (Gridiron Arizona)
Jason Jewell (24/7
Andy Morales (
Richard Obert (Arizona Republic)
Rhett Stallworth (Yuma Catholic Administrator)
Jason Skoda (

From news release.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at


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