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GCSGC Initiates Program for State-Wide Equipment Fitting Training and Certification

Updated: May 13, 2019

As it continues to pursue the mission of making Arizona high school football great, the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club (GCSGC) recently organized an endeavor that joined the nation’s leading authority in equipment fitting with ten of Arizona’s top high school football equipment managers.

A study group was created consisting of ten hand-selected equipment managers representing Arizona high schools across all demographics. Under the supervision of GCSGC, equipment managers from Arcadia, Casteel, Horizon, Marcos de Niza, Mountain Pointe, North Canyon, Paradise Valley, Pinnacle, Shadow Mountain and Tolleson became equipment fitting certified through, which was founded by Dana Marquez, Auburn University’s long-standing equipment manager.

“Equipment manufacturers use top technology to enhance safety in athletics, but this technology is meaningless if it is not implemented correctly by the end users,” said Ward Hickey, president of GCSGC. “GCSGC wishes for parents, coaches, trainers and equipment managers to understand the benefits of properly fitting equipment in the manner that manufacturers intended. A proper fit gives the athlete the confidence to perform at their highest potential and reduces the risk of injury.”

Following the online certification process, GCSGC and the XOXO Stabler Foundation, an advocate for safer games with a focus on concussion trauma-related injuries, hosted a focus group with all equipment managers. Findings from the study group will be compiled by GSGC and presented to the Arizona Interscholastic Association recommending a state-wide certification requirement for all high school football programs. Funding for the proposed certification will be supplemented by GCSGC in an effort to elevate the game.

“We are grateful for the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club and their continued contributions that elevate all aspects of the game,” said David Hines, AIA’s Executive Director. “We are working with this group on many projects related to academics, athletics and sportsmanship that will have long-standing impacts on member schools and the communities we serve.”

To learn more about the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club visit

About 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.

About the Ed Doherty Award

For 33 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.

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