Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club announces program changes 2020 Ed Doherty Award Luncheon

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club (GCSGC) announced today that there will be structural changes to the 2020 Ed Doherty Award Luncheon so that it may remain scheduled for January 9, 2021 at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. The Ed Doherty Award is Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor, awarded annually to the state’s most outstanding high school football player. 

Deliberation and guidance from public health officials, psychologists and sociologists, hospital and public education administrators, and advocates of public-school athletics and activities have all played a part in the consensus that the event will proceed with a dedicated safety plan. 

The 2020 Ed Doherty Award Luncheon will activate mandatory masks, temperature checks for all guests, restricted ticket availability to ensure a reduced gathering size, and outdoor stadium seating to create and maintain social and physical distancing. This event would normally be hosted indoors and bring together more than 400 attendees, including award nominees, family, friends, coaches and fans.  

“This event is a big damn deal for the Ed Doherty Award Nominees and all five pillars of amateur football in Arizona: Players, Parents, Coaches, Game Officials and Administrators,’ said Don Kile. “We elect to proceed with the luncheon as part of our full commitment to elevating the game in Arizona. To safely manage activities surrounding the game, we have outlined a reduced event scope that will occur in a highly precautionary and restricted environment that is designed to respect recent CDC updates on mask data and guidance encouraged by Governor Doug Ducey and Dr. Cara Christ.” 

The change in programming structure will result in significantly less fundraising to support the important programs of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. GCSGC Programs include community building programs, ONE TEAM™ Academic Performance Program, heat exertional illness training and emergency protocols, equipment fitting certifications for high school support staff, and many highly specialized programs designed to create and maintain the physical and mental well-being of student athletes. 

“All of the programs supported by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club focus on the direct connection between the health and safety of high school athletes, encouragement of student body participation in on-campus activities, and the vibrancy of all levels of the community that supports them,” said Kile. “When high school students are deeply involved in the on-campus programs available to them, their communities become stronger, healthier and more unified. Throughout this high school football season, GCSGC has seen phenomenal levels of grit, determination and sportsmanship as athletes lead their communities and teams through these challenging times.” 

The GCSGC has launched a grass roots alternate funding campaign seeking community donations to replace much needed funding normally generated through The Ed Doherty Award Luncheon, its primary fundraising event. Donate today at  

“This is the time of year when we typically begin to think about playoff brackets, wins, losses, and championships. And, it’s true that wins and losses are at the root of the game… but that’s not enough to sustain the game or the meaningful development of our young people,” said Kile. “GCSGC strongly believes in the notion of Total Social Impact, the sum of all the ways that school-sponsored athletics and activities can affect our society and the vibrancy of a community. Total Social Impact is the way we measure the success of a program. Total Social Impact needs to stand alongside wins and losses.” 

To learn more about the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club and its alternate fundraising campaign, visit

About the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon 

Each week throughout the Arizona high school football season, the GCSGC has recognized athletes with Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions for outstanding play during their respective games. Earning a Medallion means that they will attend the end-of-season Ed Doherty Award Luncheon, where one athlete will become the recipient of the Ed Doherty Award. Additional awards that are distributed at the luncheon include inductions in the Arizona Football Officials Hall of Fame, Arizona Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the prestigious Contributor to the Game Award. 

About the Ed Doherty Award  

For 34 years, the Ed Doherty Award has been the State of Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor and is awarded annually to the state’s most outstanding high school football player by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. The Ed Doherty Award recognizes the player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winner of the award epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. In addition to on-field performance, the Ed Doherty Award recognizes the well-rounded accomplishments of community involvement, school pride, and academics. 

About the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club  The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is the steward of the Ed Doherty Award and is the most meaningful advocate of high school football in the State of Arizona. The mission of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is to represent Arizona amateur athletics by bringing national attention to the extraordinary qualities of our young people and serve in the pursuit of athletic achievement, academic advancement and greater social affinity.