Male Athlete of the Month

Jet Sports Training Male Athlete of the Month: Marana QB/basketball player Elijah Joplin

Marana’s Elijah Joplin defied an early medical review of his broken orbital bone injury last summer and became one of the top QBs in the state with his Ed Doherty Award nomination in December (Javier Morales/

Marana senior quarterback Elijah Joplin capped his high school football career with his second consecutive nomination for the prestigious Ed Doherty Award in December while also resuming his basketball career with the Tigers.

The fact that Joplin played his senior season with Tigers, including being able to compete in basketball, is somewhat of a miracle after he lost vision in his right eye following an accident last summer playing 7-on-7 football at a northside park.

Joplin broke an orbital bone and was told initially that he may not be able to compete in sports again.

He came back strong and resumed starting duties at quarterback three games into the season.

He concluded his high school career with 6,074 passing yards while completing an astounding 436 of 595 pass attempts (73.3 percent) with 63 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In addition to playing basketball, he plans to be a distance thrower in track and field with the Tigers.

Joplin’s accomplishments in football with the Ed Doherty Award nomination in December and his contribution to Marana’s basketball team merits him the Jet Sports Training Male Athlete of the Month.

He became only the sixth player in Southern Arizona history to break 6,000 career passing yards.

1 Rhett Rodriguez, Catalina Foothills 8,694 (2013-16)
2 Trenton Bourguet, Marana: 7,612 (2015-18)
3 Andrew Cota, Sunnyside/Salpointe, 7,554 (2010-13)
4 Reggie Robertson, Sahuaro 7,106 (1996-99)
5 Brian Chason, Tucson Christian: 6,408 (1982-85)
6 Elijah Joplin, Marana: 6,074 (2020-2023)
7 Tyler D’Amore, Ironwood Ridge: 5,915 (2008-10)
8 Adriell Alvarado, Cienega: 5,910 (2012-15)
9 Adam Rodriguez, Desert View: 5,774 (1985-89)
10 Jovoni Borbon, Buena: 5,666 (2016-19)
11 Justice Summerset, Mountain View: 5,264 (2013-15)
12 Alex Lopez, Walden Grove: 5,062 (2017-19)
13 Cameron Hackworth, Sabino: 4,926 (2020-current)

January 2022: Mountain View wrestler Austin Scott
February 2022: Sunnyside wrestler Sergio Vega
March 2022: Walden Grove baseball player Milo Rushford
April 2022: Cienega volleyball player Derrick Vargas
May 2022: CDO baseball player Austin Madsen
June 2022: CDO and Central Arizona College baseball standout Kiko Romero
July 2022: Nogales infielder Demetrio Crisantes
August 2022: Mountain View LL slugger Jason Veit
September 2022: Pusch Ridge swimmer Alexander Edquid
October 2022: Rio Rico cross country runner Jorge Trujillo
November 2022: Catalina Foothills cross country runner Brandon Martz
December 2022: Marana quarterback/basketball player Elijah Joplin

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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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