Over the past 15 years there have been three local players who became legends as Pop Warner standouts.
Ka’Deem Carey was the first, as he left school as arguably the most decorated player in UA history and is now in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.
Up next was Cam Denson. By the time Denson left Salpointe he was regarded by many as the best player in the state. While he started at cornerback last year for Arizona, he is now back at his natural position of receiver and, if the early returns are any indication, Denson is going to enjoy a big season.
Jamarye Joiner received more early hype than Carey and Denson. The nephew of the 1995 Tucson city player of the year and eventual Oregon Duck star Tamoni Joiner, Jamarye enrolled at Salpointe for his freshman season and immediately served notice that the legend was real and not just hype.
Whether at quarterback, receiver or running back or anywhere on the field, Joiner stood out as a freshman and garnered the Arizona Republic's honor as the top 2018 football player in the state.
Things spiraled downward from there. Booted from Salpointe after multiple off the field infractions, Joiner is now at Cienega and ready to roll.
“I’ve grown a lot in the last year," Joiner said. "I’m further along emotionally and physically and I’m ready to show people I’m back.”
Indeed, the 6-3 signal caller bears little physical resemblance to the skinny freshman of a few season ago. While coming up, most observers viewed him as an athlete, but Joiner is determined to play quarterback.
“I’m a football player that can play a bunch of positions, but quarterback is my favorite because the ball is always in my hands," he said.
Despite sitting out the year, Joiner is still receiving interest from many of the top schools in the country.
“Florida State, Nebraska, Oregon, Arizona, California and UNC send me stuff, but I think it’s all wait and see approach to see how I look coming back this season," Joiner said.
“I’ve got big goals. I want to be the top quarterback in the state, get back my title as the best player in the class and lead Cienega to state."