Thompson Ed Doherty

Ty Thompson, who led Mesquite to two consecutive 4A state championships, capped off his high school football career by winning the 2020 Ed Doherty Award.

Ty Thompson, who led Mesquite to two consecutive 4A state championships, capped off his high school football career by winning the 2020 Ed Doherty Award.

The award, often referred to as Arizona’s version of the Heisman, is awarded annually to a player who excels on the gridiron. Thompson joins the likes of two-time winners Bijan Robinson and Teddy Ruben, as well as former Perry quarterback Brock Purdy, who won the award in 2017.

“It means the world to me, it’s a huge blessing, a huge honor,” Thompson said. “It’s a testament to everything my coaches and teammates have put in and the hard work they’ve done supporting me. I’m just really thankful.”

Thompson thanked his family and others who supported during his acceptance speech, where he was joined on stage by Robinson, Purdy, the other finalists and Don Kile, the president of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club – which presents the Ed Doherty Award.

“My family is definitely the number one people in my life right now,” Thompson said. “They supported me my whole life and have done nothing but make sacrifices to make sure I am as successful as I possibly can be. I’m very thankful for them.”

Thompson, a five-star recruit who signed to play for Oregon next season, capped off a 2020 season filled with adversity by throwing for 3,431 yards and 34 touchdowns. His pro-style ability helped lead the Wildcats to a 10-1 season that was capped off by a 39-38 victory over Cactus in the title game.

Eric Lira, a senior wide receiver at Mesquite who caught the state championship-winning two-point conversion pass from Thompson, was also one of 53 nominees for the award. The two were joined by head coach Scott Hare at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch Saturday for the award ceremony.

"He's put so much work in. I know there's so many guys with a lot of talent and Ty is a guy with a lot of talent, but really, he's cultivated that talent," Hare said. "Very few are going to understand the amount of time, the amount of hours he's spent wanting to be great. Not just as a thrower but as for whatever the school needs.

"There's so many other aspects to Ty than just being able to sling the football around the field. He's really worked himself into this position and that's what I respect more than anything else."

Thompson was one of five finalists for the award, chosen by a selection committee made up of members of the media from around the state. Chandler senior running back Eli Sanders, Boulder Creek senior running back Jacob Cisneros and Santa Cruz senior running back Hunter Ogle were three other finalists in attendance for the ceremony.

Chandler quarterback Mikey Keene, the fifth finalist, was unable to attend after enrolling early at the University of Central Florida.

Winning the Ed Doherty Award was yet another accomplishment for Thompson in his illustrious high school football career. Along with his two state titles and five-star rating, he was named to the All-American Bowl and named Offensive Player of the Year. He also received other All-American honors from Sports Illustrated and other outlets.

He now plans to head to Oregon, where he will enroll early and begin offseason workouts with the Ducks.

“I’m looking forward to the experience, the acclimation,” Thompson said. “It will be a big change with big responsibilities. It will be a whole lot of fun playing football with some good teammates.

“Hopefully I can bring home the real Heisman for Arizona one day in the near future.”

2020 Ed Doherty Award nominees

Zach Bennett, senior running back, Coconino

Treyson Bourguet, junior quarterback, Salpointe Catholic

Zion Burns, senior running back, Poston Butte

Caden Calloway, senior running back, Campo Verde

Dane Christensen, senior quarterback, Casteel

Jacob Cisneros, senior running back, Boulder Creek

DJ Gleash, senior defensive end, Centennial

Josh Grant, senior quarterback, Bradshaw Mountain

Zach Hammett, junior running back, River Valley

Carter Hancock, sophomore wide receiver, Higley

Logan Hubler, junior quarterback, ALA-Queen Creek

Luis Jaramillo, senior running back, Flagstaff

Kavaughn Clark, sophomore running back, Centennial

Brandon Craddock, junior linebacker, Sandra Day O’Connor

Max Davis, senior running back, Highland

Brock Dieu, senior offensive lineman, Casteel

Jace Feely, senior linebacker/kicker, Gilbert Christian

Logan Gingg, senior running back, Verrado

Joey Jensen, senior running back, Combs

Christian Johnson, senior running back, Greenway

Caleb Jones, senior running back, Basha

Mikey Keene, senior quarterback, Chandler

Adryan Lara, junior quarterback, Desert Edge

Gabe Levy, senior running back, Cienega

Eric Lira, senior wide receiver, Mesquite

PJ London, senior quarterback, Blue Ridge

Evan Lovett, senior athlete, Pusch Ridge

Nicco Marchiol, junior quarterback, Hamilton

Cole Martin, sophomore defensive back, Hamilton

Brock Mast, senior quarterback, Liberty

Matt McClelland, junior quarterback, Arete Prep

Kai Millner, senior quarterback, Higley

Hunter Ogle, senior running back, Santa Cruz

Steven Ortiz, senior defensive back, Desert Edge

Trey Reynolds, senior linebacker, Queen Creek

Jordan Richardson, senior defensive back/wide receiver, Moon Valley

Isaiah Roebuck, senior defensive back, Marana

Howard Russell, senior athlete, Phoenix Christian

Eli Sanders, senior running back, Chandler

Jake Schmitt, senior linebacker, Corona del Sol

Brayton Silbor, junior quarterback, Chaparral

Gavin Smith, junior wide receiver, Notre Dame

Quintin Somerville, senior defensive end, Saguaro

Richard Stallworth, sophomore quarterback, Yuma Catholic

Zach Sutton, senior wide receiver, Shadow Ridge

Ty Thompson, senior quarterback, Mesquite

Jacob Thurman, senior running back, Shadow Ridge

Bram Walden, senior offensive lineman, Saguaro

Seth Wiltbank, junior running back, Round Valley

Demond Williams, freshman quarterback, Basha

Jared Williams, senior running back, Chaparral

Mark Wren, senior running back, Thatcher

Nate Wright, senior running back, Prescott

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at (480)898-5630 or Follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira


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