The Southwest Wake Athletic Conference boys lacrosse race has been thrilling to watch over the last two seasons.
Two years in a row, Apex and Middle Creek tied for the SWAC title and Apex has reached the 4A championship game against Charlotte Catholic.
Apex is this year’s defending champ, avenging a 2014 loss to Charlotte Catholic.
Apex (20-2, 15-1): Coach John Hayden’s son Jack (51 goals, 44 assists) has a wealth of experience (Apex seniors are 14-1 in the postseason) and engineers the offense. The defense, already among the best in the state, returns everybody including defender Sean Seaver and Tommy DeLuca.
Middle Creek (18-2, 15-1): New coach Nick Holota is a familiar name to the lacrosse community. He will have scoring threats Jared Medwar (62 goals, 31 assists), a junior, and sophomore Owen Caputo (62 goals, 41 assists).
Athens Drive (13-6, 11-5): It all starts with senior faceoff specialist Peyton Smith, one of the best in the state over the last two years.
Green Hope (10-7, 10-6): Jack McAulay, Tucker Burkinshaw, Nolan Paussa, Harrison Wynne, Jack Larkin and Aidan Callahan are ready to put up a lot of goals. Junior goalie Conor Ryan is a three-year starter.
Holly Springs (10-8, 9-7): Holly Springs also had a young team last year. The Golden Hawks return senior Davis Ferguson (38 goals, 13 assists), Caleb Ferguson, Tanner Yates and Justin Boone.
Panther Creek (8-11, 6-10): Conner Crespi and Caleb Cross return to last year’s playoff team.
Cary (4-13, 4-12): Cary breaks in new goalie David Buntin and returns Gregory Wycoff, Chris Leder, junior Jake Snyder and seniors Timmy Bullard and Hunter Mahlitz.
Pinecrest (2-14, 2-14): Out of Southern Pines, Pinecrest is a SWAC member only in lacrosse. Thomas Dean (10 goals) is the leading returning scorer.
Fuquay-Varina (1-14, 0-14): The Bengals got their first win in two years of varsity play by knocking off Garner 4-3 last year. Sophomore Treven King had 12 goals to lead the team.
Apex Friendship: The Patriots’ first team is coached by Scott Olive.
Last seven conference champs
2015 - Apex and Middle Creek
2014 - Apex and Middle Creek
2013 - Cardinal Gibbons
2012 - Cardinal Gibbons
2011 - Apex
2010 - Apex; 2009: Holly Springs*
Apex: (2005*, 2013, 2015)
*before sport was sanctioned by NCHSAA