Saguaro, Notre Dame Prep athletes earn Doherty Medallions

Brock Locnikar after recovering a fumble against Horizon. (Photo Courtesy of Mike Harvey/Peak Image Pro)

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club has announced the recipients of the Ed Doherty Award Week 10 Performance Medallions, which features athletes from Saguaro High School and Notre Dame Preparatory.

Of 14 players recognized for outstanding play during their respective games on Friday, Oct. 26, Israel Benjamin and Hayden Hatten of Saguaro as well as Brock Locnikar of Notre Dame Prep made the list.

Benjamin is the Sabercats’ rushing attack with 1,260 yards and 18 touchdowns. He recorded 12 carries for 195 yards and four touchdowns during Saguaro’s 49-0 win over Gilbert Mesquite High School.

Hatten has reeled in 20 catches for 387 yards and five touchdowns as Saguaro’s tight end, Against Gilbert Mesquite, he led Saguaro receivers with five catches for 148 yards and a touchdown.

Locnikar leads a young core of NDP defensive players with 119 tackles, 88 of which were solo tackles and 17 of which were for a loss. During the Saints’ 47-35 win over Phoenix Paradise Valley, he recorded 14 tackles, 11 of which were solo.

The others included Anthodrius Ashley of Laveen Betty Fairfax High School; Ben Finley of Phoenix Paradise Valley High School; Noa Pola-Gates of Gilbert Williams Field High School; Brayden Liebrock of Chandler High School; Trev Messing of Phoenix Thunderbird High School; Zach Nelson of Queen Creek Casteel High School; Coleman Owen of Gilbert Higley High School; Brayden Rohme of Gilbert Perry High School; Zack Sheppard of Gilbert Williams Field; Malik Taylor of Phoenix Christian Preparatory; and Jaydin Young of Peoria Centennial High School.

“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,” Selection Committee Co-Chairman Ward Hickey said in a prepared statement.

“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 Sept. 5 Watch List. All 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 Saturday, Dec. 8, 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.

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