CHICAGO (December 6, 2018) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Marcus Crowley of Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville) as its 2018-19 Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year. He is the first Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Trinity Christian Academy.
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 Crowley as Florida’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December, Crowley joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Fla.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park HS, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012-13, 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colo.).
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior running back rushed for 2,325 yards and 28 touchdowns on 222 carries this past season, leading the Conquerors (13-1) to the Class 5A semifinals. Crowley also caught 11 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns. An All-State selection and First Team All-Coast honoree, he was also named to the Florida TimesUnion Super 11.
Crowley has volunteered locally on behalf of youth football programs. “Marcus Crowley is a big, strong, punishing runner with the speed to take it the distance,” said Wayne Belger, head coach at the Bolles School. “He’s also a good receiver out of the backfield and doesn’t mind blocking—just an outstanding football player.”
Crowley has maintained a 3.18 GPA in the classroom. He has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at Ohio State University next 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Crowley joins recent Gatorade Florida Football Players of the Year Lorenzo Lingard (2017-18, University High School), Shaun Wade (2016-17, Trinity Christian Academy), Tyler Huntley (2015-16, Hallandale High School), Jacques Patrick (2014-15, Timber Creek High School), and Sony Michel (2013-14, American Heritage School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Crowley has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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 www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.