The Ed Doherty Award had not been awarded since 2012, but the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club brought it back this season and had a talented field of 46 selections to choose from.
Players from the 1A-6A divisions were represented, and when it was all said and done, Perry quarterback Brock Purdy was named the 2017 award winner.
“Just for, again, my whole school, my coaching staff, my teammates, my brothers that I’ve put in all this work for and my family,” Purdy said. “They’re the rock of my life and without them, none of this is possible. Just for everybody, all the hard work is paying off for everything these past four years, but still have a lot to go for college and all that. But to win this award for the program and everyone that put on the show, I’m thankful for.”
The Perry quarterback led the Pumas to the 6A state championship game and threw for 4,405 yards with 57 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He rushed for 1,017 yards with nine touchdowns at 7.4 yards per carry. In the last two seasons, Perry went 23-4.
Purdy, Chandler running back Drake Anderson, Higley running back Draycen Hall, Cienega quarterback Jamarye Joiner and Centennial running back Zidane Thomas.
Past Winners In Attendance
Former Ed Doherty Award winners Todd Heap (Mesa Mountain View), Kyle Caldwell (Saguaro), Ryan Kealy (St. Mary’s) and Teddy and Tim Ruben (Saguaro) were all in attendance. Caldwell, Kealy and Heap addressed the audience.
Heap was the keynote speaker. It was his first time speaking publicly since his daughter’s death in April. He gave advice to every player in attendance: make football your passion, but not your purpose in life.
“A purpose in life has no expiration date,” Heap said. “My purpose, besides my family and my faith, has been to use football to bring others to find their purpose.”