The 2021 football season will be the final high school season for Elijah Warner.
And so it marks the end of a legacy – at least at the prep level – that was started by his famous quarterback father, Kurt Warner, who led the Arizona Cardinals to a Super Bowl appearance in 2009, the first in the history of the NFL franchise, and became a local hero.
The 49-year-old Warner cemented his status as a “favorite son” here in this state and is one of the most recognizable former athletes following his retirement from the game in January of 2010. He and his wife, Brenda, are involved in various community organizations and charities around the Valley.
At the same time, he’s very involved with helping his sons follow their football dreams.
Elijah, a quarterback at Brophy Prep, is the latest son to follow in his father’s footsteps in football. His older brother, Kade, was a record-setting wide receiver at Desert Mountain High School who went on to play three years at Nebraska before transferring in April to Kansas State.
Kade set the Arizona record for most career catches in 11-man football with 241 receptions.
Now little brother Elijah is preparing for the season that will define his prep career. But that could be a daunting challenge for the youngster. The Broncos failed to win a single game during the 2020 campaign. Warner had to watch from the sidelines after suffering a broken tibula in the first game of the season.
The Broncos dealt with a seven-game schedule that challenged the psyche. They averaged just a shade over nine points a game and were outscored 243-66. That’s a huge psychological hump to get over as they prepare for a new season.
Kurt jumped in to help out at Desert Mountain while Kade was attending the Scottsdale school, stepping in as the team’s offensive coordinator. Now he’s lending a hand with the Brophy program, serving as quarterbacks coach. That means Elijah has a hall-of-fame quarterback showing him how to get the most out of his final year of high school ball.
It’s been a bumpy ride for Elijah, who played his freshman year at Desert Mountain, but transferred to Brophy as a sophomore, where he shared the QB duties. His junior year was supposed to be his break-out season, but the injury laid waste to the entire season.
Now he faces one last opportunity to try to lead his high school team to the playoffs, and perhaps beyond.
And one last opportunity to give college scouts a good look at Kurt Warner’s final family project.