Marana QB Elijah Joplin recipient of Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallion

NOTE: AllSportsTucson.com’s Andy and Javier Morales are two voting members of the Ed Doherty Award sponsored by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. The Ed Doherty Award signifies the Arizona high school football player of the year honor.

Marana junior quarterback Elijah Joplin was one of six players recognized Tuesday by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club as a recipient of the Week 6 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions.

The others are Carter Allen (Sr., WR, Central); Devondre Bucannon (Sr., DB, Chaparral); Adam Damante (Jr., QB, ALA-Gilbert North); Blaine Hipa (Jr., QB, Chandler); and Jordan Legg (Jr., QB/K, Dobson).  

Marana QB Elijah Joplin is a Class of 2023 standout (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

All six players will receive their Nomination Medallions at an upcoming school event this week. By earning Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions, they will attend the end of season Ed Doherty Award Luncheon on Dec. 18, where one athlete will become the recipient of the Ed Doherty Award.   

Details on their individual performances last Friday are as follows:  

Elijah Joplin – Jr. QB – Marana  

Completed 17 of 26 passes for 338 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-7 win over Flowing Wells.  He added 27 yards rushing and another TD in the Tigers’ victory.  Marana improved to 4-0 with the victory.

Carter Allen – Sr. WR – Central  

Allen set a school record with 275 receiving yards on eight receptions with two touchdowns in the Bobcats’ 30-16 win over Sierra Linda. He added an interception in the end zone helping Central improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2006.  

Devondre Bucannon – Sr. DB – Chaparral  

With the Firebirds trailing 20-7 in its rivalry game with Saguaro, Bucannon made a game-changing play forcing a turnover as the Sabercats were about to score another touchdown.  He subsequently broke up another pass late in the game before recovering an onsides kick to secure the 27-26 win.  

Adam Damante – Jr. QB – ALA-Gilbert North  

In a 42-6 win over Fountain Hills, Damante was 31 of 37 for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns as ALA-Gilbert North improved to 5-0.  

Blaine Hipa – Jr. QB – Chandler  

Hipa returned to the lineup after missing the previous week to lead the Wolves to a 41-21 win over Liberty.  He was 27 of 39 for 361 yards and three touchdowns, breaking open the game after it was tied at 21. 

Jordon Legg – Jr. QB/K – Dobson  

Legg used his arm to pass for 328 yards and two touchdowns, and his foot to kick two field goals in the Mustangs’ 33-32 overtime win over North Canyon.  

To learn more about the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club and to purchase tickets to the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon, visit http://www.gcsgridiron.com/.   

About Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club   

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is the steward of the Ed Doherty Award and is the most meaningful advocate of high school football in the State of Arizona. The mission of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is to represent Arizona amateur athletics by bringing national attention to the extraordinary qualities of our young people and serve in the pursuit of athletic achievement, academic advancement and greater social affinity.   

About the Ed Doherty Award    

For 36 years, the Ed Doherty Award has been the State of Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor and is awarded annually to the state’s most outstanding high school football player by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. The Ed Doherty Award recognizes the player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winner of the award epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. In addition to on-field performance, the Ed Doherty Award recognizes the well-rounded accomplishments of community involvement, school pride, and academics.  


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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