The Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For a list of the other Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Marcelo Malpartida
School: River Bluff (Lexington, S.C.)
Weight: 145 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Gators to a 21-1 record and a berth in the quarterfinals of the ongoing Class 4A state tournament. At the time of his selection, Malpartida had passed for 16 assists. The 2016 Region 5-AAAA Most Valuable Player, Malpartida was a 2015 SCSoccer.com Super XXII selection, and he has been invited to train with the Peruvian Under-20 Men’s National Team.
Academic excellence: Malpartida has maintained a 3.68 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally with the Leisure Center in Lexington to help distribute bottled water to victims of the 2015 flood and as a youth soccer coach. He has also travelled to Peru to donate soccer gear collected via his high school and club soccer teams.
“Marcelo plays with a calmness about him,” said Ryan Rood, head coach of North Augusta High. “He is very soccer-minded, knows where to be and where to play at the right time. I would definitely call him a game-changer.”
THE FUTURE: Malpartida has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the College of Charleston beginning in the fall of 2017.