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.
CAREER PASSING LEADERS IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA
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)
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Javier Morales, Publisher, Writer and Editor of ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com, 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 CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, 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.