Pusch Ridge’s Brysen Barrios earns prestigious Ed Doherty Award nomination medallion

Brysen Barrios is the fourth Southern Arizona player to earn the Ed Doherty Award nomination medallion (Pusch Ridge graphic)

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club announced Tuesday the recipients of the Week 7 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions™ and among the five players recognized was Pusch Ridge senior running back Brysen Barrios for his performance Friday in a 41-20 victory over Sabino.

The others are Corona del Sol senior QB Connor Ackerley, Higley senior WR Carter Hancock, Westwood senior RB/DB Nikita McCrimon and Hamilton senior LB Alex McLaughlin.  

All of them will receive their Nomination Medallions at an upcoming school event. 

By earning Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions, they will attend the end of season Ed Doherty Award Luncheon on Dec, 17, when one athlete will become the recipient of the Ed Doherty Award.  

Details on their individual performances from Week 7: 

Brysen Barrios – Sr. RB/FS – Pusch Ridge  

Barrios led the Lions to a 41-20 win over Sabino with an all-around effort totaling 191 yards on 31 carries with three TDs, a 2-pt conversion run, blocked FG and four tackles.


Week 4: Sabino junior QB/CB Cameron Hackworth

Week 5: Douglas junior RB/ATH Emiliano Berthely

Week 6: Marana senior QB Elijah Joplin

Week 7: Pusch Ridge senior RB/LB Brysen Barrios

Connor Ackerley – Sr. QB – Corona del Sol   

Ackerley set a school passing record with 406 yards passing, completing 14 of 21 attempts with six TDs in 45-14 win over Shadow Ridge.

Carter Hancock – Sr. WR – Higley  

Hancock helped the Knights knock off defending 4A champs Casa Grande 35-0 with 11 receptions for 232 yards and three TDs.  

Nikita McCrimon – Sr. RB/DB – Westwood  

McCrimon delivered on both sides of the ball in the Warriors’ 59-58 win over previously unbeaten Marana. On offense, he rushed for 209 yards on 20 carries, scoring four TDs, and he had 4 catches for 44 yards. Defensively, he tallied four tackles, broke up 2 passes and had a 100-yard interception return for a TD.  

Alex McLaughlin – Sr. LB – Hamilton  

In a defensive battle and 10-8 victory over defending 6A champs Highland, McLaughlin led the Huskies with 12 tackles (11 solo) and two QB hurries.  

To learn more about the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club and to purchase tickets to the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon, click here.  

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 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 37 years, the Ed Doherty Award has been 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’s Andy and Javier Morales are among the voters for the Ed Doherty Award.


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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