2023 High School Football

Walden Grove’s Smith & Thatcher’s Carter earn Week 9 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallion

Walden Grove QB Gabriel Smith is the school’s top passer in history (Walden Grove photo)

Walden Grove senior quarterback Gabriel Smith and Thatcher senior running back Christian Carter have earned Week 9 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions.

Smith became the Red Wolves’ career leading passer with 5,075 career yards in a 42-7 victory over
Pueblo. He was 12 of 17 for 297 yards with five touchdowns in the first half.

Carter gained 194 yards on 27 carries while scoring all five Eagle touchdowns in a 35-14 win over
rival Safford.

The Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission (ASEC) and its managed entity, the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club (GCSGC), made the announcement Tuesday night.

The nominees will be presented a medallion at their respective school this week and are now in the running for the 2023 Ed Doherty Award, annually recognizing Arizona’s most outstanding high school football player.

This year’s winner will be announced at a special luncheon on Dec. 9. For more information on the award or to purchase tickets to the ceremony, please visit www.azsportsent.com or call 480-517-9700.

Thatcher senior running back Christian Carter (D’Andre Davis/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Other outstanding performances from Week 9 medallion recipients include:

OT Kaden Haeckel, Sr., Liberty
Haeckel kept the Salpointe defensive line in check with no sacks as the Lions recorded a 49-0 shutout of previously undefeated Lancers.

QB Luke Haugo, Jr., Higley
Haugo was 23 of 35 in passing for 269 yards and six touchdowns in a 60-42 victory over Notre Dame Prep.

WR/LB Josh Orozco, Jr., Desert Heights Prep
In a 67-34 win over Maryvale Prep, Orozco had 12 catches for 295 yards and four touchdowns, along with 11 solo tackles (17 total) and two interception returns for touchdowns.

LB Rocky Stallworth, Jr., Yuma Catholic
Stallworth had 14 tackles and caused a fumble in the Shamrocks’ 45-17 win over Buckeye Union.

QB Conner White, Jr., American Leadership Academy (Gilbert North)
White was 16 of 25 in passing for 277 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-21 victory over Cactus Shadows

Previous Southern Arizona Ed Doherty Award Nominees


QB Dominic Norris, Sr., Ironwood Ridge
Norris set the single-game passing record for a Southern Arizona high school quarterback with 502 yards, completing 23 of 41 passes with four touchdowns in a 37-22 win over Tucson.

Ironwood Ridge QB Dominic Norris (Chris Hook/MaxPreps photo)


LB/RB Carlos Montoya Jr., Jr., Walden Grove
In a 35-21 win over Mountain View, Montoya had nine solo tackles (21 total with three tackles for loss) and a blocked extra-point attempt. He also rushed for 27 yards on three carries.

Carlos Montoya Jr. of Walden Grove


RB Kason Colbert, Sr., Mica Mountain

Colbert rushed 12 times for 246 yards and three touchdowns in Mica Mountain’s 42-27 win over Casa Grande to remain undefeated (5-0).

Kason Colbert of Mica Mountain (D’Andre Davis/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)


WR Shamar Berryhill, Jr., Sabino

Berryhill had 11 catches for 241 yards and four touchdowns in the win over Safford.

QB Cameron Hackworth, Sr., Sabino

Hackworth completed 29 of 38 passes for 453 yards and six touchdowns.

Sabino QB Cameron Hackworth and WR Shamar Berryhill have connected for 628 yards and 10 touchdowns through the first five regular-season games (Sabino photo)


RB Kayden Luke, Sr. CDO
Luke rushed for 241 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries in a 50-20 win over Desert View.

CDO running back Kayden Luke (Lexie Fegan/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

About the Ed Doherty Award
Since its inception in 1987, the Ed Doherty Award has served as the State of Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor, annually recognizing the most outstanding player on and off the field. Recipients are selected for demonstrating athletic excellence and unwavering integrity, along with a commitment to academics, community, and school pride.
About the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club
The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is the most meaningful advocate of high school football in the State of Arizona. Its mission is to represent Arizona amateur athletics by bringing national attention to the extraordinary qualities of young people in their pursuit of athletic achievement, academic advancement, and greater social affinity.
About the Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission
The Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission (ASEC) is a non-profit organization created in 1988. The Commission collaborates with hundreds of partners to help fulfill the mission of bringing national and international sporting events to the state; assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams; providing volunteer recruitment and organization for large-scale sporting events; and developing youth sports programs. In 2009, it assumed oversight of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2012, the Grand Canyon State Games and the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games. The ASEC was the founding organization and owner of the 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. For more information on the Commission, call 480-517-9700 or visit www.azsportsent.com.

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