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

Marana’s Elijah Joplin defied an early medical evaluation for his fractured 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 has played his senior season with the Tigers, including the opportunity to compete in basketball, is something of a miracle after an accident last summer when he was playing 7-a-side football at a Northside park Lost sight in his right eye.

Joplin fractured an orbital bone and was initially told he might not be able to play sports again.

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

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

His successes in football, with an Ed Doherty Award nomination in December, and his contribution to the Marana basketball team earn him the Jet Sports Training Male Athlete of the Month title.

He was only the sixth player in Southern Arizona history to rush for 6,000 yards in his career.

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 Adrian 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 (since 2020)

January 2022: Mountain View wrestlers Austin Scott
February 2022: Sunnyside wrestlers 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 Outstanding Game Kiko Romero
July 2022: Nogales infielder Demetrio Crisantes
August 2022: Mountain View LL Club Jason Veit
September 2022: Pusch Ridge swimmers Alexander Equid
October 2022: Rio Rico Cross Country Runner Jorg Trujillo
November 2022: Catalina Foothills cross country runner Brandon Martin
December 2022: Marana quarterback/basketball player Elijah Joplin


Javier Morales, Publisher, Writer and Editor of, is a past Arizona Press Club honoree. 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 written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News, and Baseball America, among many other publications. He is also the author of the book The Highest Form of Living, available on Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is currently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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