In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Charlie Marino of Wando High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade South Carolina Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Marino is the seventh Gatorade South Carolina Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Wando High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Marino as South Carolina’s best high school boys soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Marino joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel HS, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002- 03, East Brunswick HS, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West HS, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire HS, Mass.), Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista HS, Colo.).
The 5-foot-10, 145-pound senior forward led the Warriors to a 28-0 record and Class AAAAA state championship this past season.Marino scored 36 goals and passed for 18 assists, including a goal and assist as Wando beat Nation Ford High, 2-1, in the title game for the program’s 54th straight win. The 2017 South Carolina High School Coaches Association Class AAAAA Player of the Year, he concluded his prep soccer career with 85 goals.
Marino has volunteered locally at the Windwood Farm Home for Children, and he has donated his time as part of multiple community service initiatives through his church. “Charlie’s biggest contribution to Wando has been consistent high-level attacking and goal-scoring play,” said Neil Veloso, head coach of Fort Dorchester High. “He knows where to go, where to pass and how to finish in a variety of ways. Rarely have I seen him rattled or trying to do too much.”
Marino has maintained a weighted 4.06 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play soccer on scholarship at the College of Charleston this fall. Marino joins recent Gatorade South Carolina Boys Soccer Players of the Year Wyatt Millard (2016-17, Cardinal Newman High School), Marcelo Malpartida (2015-16, River Bluff High School), Michele Bottari (2014-15, J.L. Mann Academy), Tyler Rider (2013-14, J.L. Mann Academy), Koty Millard (2012-13, Cardinal Newman School), Nestor Jaramillo (2011-12, Cardinal Newman High School), Robert Beebe (2010–11, Pinewood Preparatory School), Emmett Lunceford (2009-10, Irmo High School), and Enzo Martinez (2008–09, 2007-08 & 2006-07, Northwestern High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Marino will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.