The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club (GCSGC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Ed Doherty Award Week 10 Performance Medallions. Fourteen players are recognized for outstanding play during their respective games on Friday, October 26, 2018: Anthodrius Ashley (Sr. RB, Laveen Betty Fairfax); Isaiah Benjamin (Jr. RB, Saguaro); Ben Finley (Jr. QB, Phoenix Paradise Valley); Noa Pola-Gates (Sr. DB/WR/ATH, Gilbert Williams Field); Hayden Hatten (Sr. TE, Scottsdale Saguaro); Brayden Liebrock (Sr. TE, Chandler); Brock Locnikar (Jr. LB, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep); Trev Messing (Sr. QB, Phoenix Thunderbird); Zach Nelson (Sr. WR, Castell); Zach Nelson (Sr. WR, Higley); Brayden Rohme (Sr. OL, Gilbert Perry); Zack Sheppard (Sr. QB, Gilbert Williams Field); Malik Taylor (Sr. RB, Phoenix Christian); and Jaydin Young (Jr. S/RB, Peoria Centennial).
“The final week of the regular season did not disappoint and each of these nominees delivered outstanding performances in games where their team’s playoff position was at stake,” stated Selection Committee Co-Chairman, Ward Hickey. “Our committee was all over the state attending games and they raved about the efforts on the gridiron. These fourteen young men represent the best of a talented group in this final week and deserve their official nominations for the Ed Doherty Award.”
Liebrock, Nelson, Owen, Pola-Gates and Young were named on the 47-player Watch List released on September 5, 2018. All six players will receive their medallions at an upcoming school event this week. By earning these medallions, they will attend the end of season Ed Doherty Award luncheon on December 8, 2018 where one athlete will become the recipient of the Ed Doherty Award.
Each week, the GCSGC evaluates Arizona high school football players at every level by having selection committee members attend planned game-day visits. Details regarding how they earned the medallions are as follows:
Anthodrius Ashley - RB, Sr - Laveen Betty Fairfax
Ashley had 19 carries, 287yds, 6TDs in 62-0 region clinching win over Sierra Linda, but don't make playoffs under the new 4A system where region winners don't receive auto bids - season totals 2,098yds/34TDs
Isaiah Benjamin - RB, Jr - Saguaro
Leading rusher for 5-time defending champ Saguaro, 9th is 4A
Ben Finley - QB, Jr - Phoenix Paradise Valley
3rd in passing yards for 5A, 24/27 PATs, 7/9 FGs
Noa Pola-Gates - DB/WR/ATH, Sr - Gilbert Williams Field
2-way player, top defender for #2 team in 5A
Hayden Hatten - TE, Sr - Scottsdale Saguaro
In 5 games 20 rec, 387yds, 5TD (3rd in 4A for TE, #1 in YPG)
Brayden Liebrock - TE, Sr – Chandler
#1 TE on 6A for #1 team in 6A (Texas commit) - 41rec, 500yds, 6 TDs
Brock Locnikar - LB, Jr - Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep
Leads 5A in tackles for #3 team w/ 119
Trev Messing - QB, Sr - Phoenix Thunderbird
Saving his best for his final game, Messing completed 26 of 36 passes for 575yds, 9TDs in 62-52 win over St. Mary's; leads 4A in passing yds w/ 3,244yds.
Zach Nelson - WR, Sr – Castell
Leads 5A in receiving yds
Coleman Owen - WR, Sr – Higley
2nd in 5A in receiving yds
Brayden Rohme - OL, Sr- Gilbert Perry Considered by many to be the state’s top offensive lineman, Rohme has been the leading force up front for the Pumas’ balanced attack this season. He opens the holes for RB Jalen Young and protects QB Chubba Purdy, and will continue those efforts in the PAC-12 as a Cal Bear commit.
Zack Sheppard - QB, Sr - Gilbert Williams Field
9/18, 340yds, 3TDs in 51-14 romp over Higley; the Black Hawks haven't lost a region game during the 3yrs Sheppard has been under center.
Malik Taylor - RB, Sr - Phoenix Christian
Taylor had 19 carries, 444yds, 6TDs in 63-21 win over Scottsdale Christian, who the Cougars will see again as their first round opponent in the 2A playoffs.
Jaydin Young - S/RB, Jr - Peoria Centennial
Top defensive player for #1 team in 5A (57 tackles, 2 Int); 800+ total yds offense, 13 TDs
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 32 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.