The Caputo brothers, Owen and Jake, have both been cornerstones of the Middle Creek boys lacrosse team’s offense since first lacing up their red and white cleats. Owen, a junior, scored seven goals in his first varsity game and Jake, a sophomore, scored nine goals in his first four games.
Both players have already committed to Duke, where father Ron has been an assistant on three NCAA National Championship teams since 2010. But for now, the Caputos are aiming for N.C. High School Athletic Association hardware.
They know what it’s like to come close.
Last year, Middle Creek fell in overtime to Hoggard in the 4A East semifinals. A year before, Owen was on the team that narrowly lost to Apex in the 4A East final.
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“It really motivates us,” Jake said. “We’re finally getting together as a team.”
Owen added: “We’ve been so close before so we just really want to keep doing better and continue to push hard.”
Middle Creek (12-0, 11-0) has had its way with its competition. The Mustangs’ closest wins are by eight goals – 16-8 over Millbrook and 15-7 over Apex.
A quick-paced offense has been a staple of Nick Holota’s coaching philosophy since his days leading the program at Holly Springs, but it’s never been as quick and as versatile as it is this year.
“We have so many people that can score, we have so many people that can initiate and dodge,” Jake said. “It’s better when we work it around.”
Though the two can crank out the goals – Owen has 41 with 34 assists and Jake has 25 with seven assists – they only care about the wins.
“Me, I didn’t even score a goal today and our team scored 19 against one of the best teams, so that just shows what we can do when we move it really fast,” said Owen after a 19-5 win over second-place Green Hope on March 22.