Scottsdale high school football players make Ed Doherty Award watchlist

Paxton Earl (Special to the Independent/Ralph Freso)

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club has released its 2018 Ed Doherty Award week 3 watch list for the Arizona high school football season and several Scottsdale athletes made the cut.

Forty-seven players from 33 high schools across the state were awarded nominee medallions based on their performances during the first three weeks of the 2018 season, according to a press release.

Of those 47, seven hail from Scottsdale-area schools. Those include Tommy Christakos and Jack Miller from Chaparral High School, Paxton Earl from Arcadia High School, Kelee Ringo and Connor Soelle from Saguaro High School, Kedon Slovis from Desert Mountain High School and Jake Smith from Notre Dame Preparatory.

Jack Miller (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

To be eligible to appear on the watch list, a player must have participated during games, recorded an exceptional performance and be in good academic standing, a release states.

Through three games, Chaparral quarterback Miller has completed 51 of his 93 attempts for 936 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. One of his favorite targets has been Christakos, who has reeled in 472 yards on 20 catches for four touchdowns.

After a winless season in 2017, Arcadia has burst on to the landscape with a 3-0 start and an offense that has scored 127 combined points compared to its 29 total from a year ago. Earl has been a big part of that success with 410 rushing yards on 41 carries for five touchdowns; 11 catches for 130 yards for a touchdown; and one pass for a 50-yard touchdown.

Kedon Slovis (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Ringo has roamed the secondary for Saguaro and has made 11 tackles and one interception. Soelle has also been a staple for the Sabercat defense with 33 tackles, two and a half of which were for a loss and an interception. He also played some offense with 78 receiving yards on three catches for a touchdown and four carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.

Slovis has had a heavy workload for Desert Mountain as he’s thrown 85 completions on 135 attempts for 1,054 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.

Smith has made himself a dual offensive threat for Notre Dame Prep as he has 358 yards on 32 carries and four touchdowns to go along with his 16 receptions for 291 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s also combined for 126 yards on three combined kick and punt returns.

Jake Smith (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Each week, a selection committee made up of members of Arizona high school sports media, coaches and stakeholders awards nomination medallions to players across the state, thus earning them a spot on the final list from which the 2018 Ed Doherty Award winner will be selected Saturday, Dec. 8.

“The Ed Doherty Award represents all that is great about high school football in Arizona,” Selection Committee Co-Chair Rob Yowell said in a prepared statement. “The increased profile of football talent in our state warrants highlighting the accomplishments of athletes vying for this award throughout the season.”

Fellow Selection Committee Co-Chair Ward Hickey said the goal of the watch list is to focus on how players perform in the first few weeks of the season, and to not compete with preseason lists.

“The committee fully expects players who are not currently on the list to rise up during the season to earn a spot on the final list,” he said in a prepared statement.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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