The Stanwood High School product retires because of a lingering knee injury.

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Washington senior left guard Dexter Charles has retired from football, the school announced Monday morning, citing a lingering knee injury.

The loss of Charles is an enormous blow to an already inexperienced offensive line. Charles, a fifth-year senior from Camano Island, started 30 games for UW the past three seasons and was the only full-time returning starter on the line entering this season.

“We’re all very disappointed that Dexter’s injury won’t allow him to continue to play,” UW coach Chris Petersen said in a statement. “I’m grateful for his dedication and hard work and very pleased that he earned his degree. He’s interested in the coaching profession, and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Charles, who earned his undergraduate degree in anthropology last spring, sat out all of spring ball with an undisclosed injury. He also has had three known surgeries on his shoulder during his UW career.

Junior Jake Eldrenkamp is a top candidate to replace Charles at left guard, with sophomore Coleman Shelton an option at left tackle.