CHICAGO (June 16, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Charlie Garrison of University Laboratory School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Garrison is the first Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from University Laboratory 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 Garrison as Louisiana’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, Garrison joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich. ), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, NY), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02 & 2002-03 , East Brunswick High School, NJ), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior midfielder scored 23 goals and passed for 15 assists this past season, leading the Cubs (21-2-3) to the Division 3 state championship. Garrison is also a two-time First Team All-State honoree and a First Team All-Metro selection. He was also named the Division 3 Offensive MVP.
Garrison has volunteered locally on behalf of the Companion Animal Alliance, neighborhood cleanup initiatives and the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program serving young athletes with disabilities. “Charlie Garrison was the most dominant player we faced this season,” said Trey Labat, head coach at Archbishop Hannan High School. “He’s hard-working, dynamic and dangerous. I have really controlled the midfield for University.”
Garrison has maintained a 4.13 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Alabama-Huntsville this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball , and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Garrison joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Players of the Year Jourdan Schumacher (2020-21, Lusher Charter School), Zayne Zezulka (2019-20, Dutchtown High School), Conner Walmsley (2018-19, St. Paul’s School), and Shane Lanson (2017-18, Jesuit High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Garrison has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Garrison is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/ Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.