In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Jake Karolczak of St. Dominic High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Karolczak is the first Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Dominic High School. Jake Karolczak Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior midfielder recorded 21 goals and 11 assists this past season, leading the Crusaders (23-2) to the Class 4 state championship game. In his only year playing high school soccer—prior to that he had only played club soccer—Karolczak was named the Class 4 Player of the Year and was a United Soccer Coaches High School All-American selection.
Karolczak has volunteered locally with Mary Queen of Angels, a non-profit that assists needy parents by providing baby supplies, and he has donated his time with SPENSA, a special-needs soccer program. “Jake is an individual with a unique soccer personality and compelling desire to win,” said Greg Koeller, head coach of St. Dominic High. “Jake is improvisational and innovative with his creative abilities. He adds the spark of original thinking and a burst of creative energy that means the difference between a good team and a great team.”
Karolczak has maintained a 3.16 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this fall.
Karolczak joins recent Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Players of the Year Christian Kraus (2019-20, Rockwood Summit High School), Nolan DeWeese (2018-19, Christian Brothers College High School), Kyle Ruark (2017-18, Rockhurst High School), and Billy Hency (2016-17, Rockwood Summit High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Karolczak has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Karolczak is also eligible to submit a 30-second 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 $2.7 million across 1,117 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. Visit the Gatorade POY website for more details
Jake Karolczak Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year