High school boys soccer: 2013 Deseret News MVPs made sacrifices for their teams

Published: Monday, June 10 2013 4:25 p.m. MDT

5A: AARON CAPRIO, Lehi Next » 1 of 4 « Prev
Prior to the start of the season, Lehi coach Jerry Preisendorf presented Caprio, his senior captain, a simple question.

“First, I asked, ‘Do you want to win state?’”

The defender, of course, said yes, and then his coach offered a suggestion.

“I told him I thought our best option to get him the most touches, our best option to win, was if he played on the back line,” Preisendorf said. “He said 'OK,' and that was the end of it.”

Caprio, a player who does the most damage with the ball in his possession, had previously played defense for Lehi off and on, and the setup was a successful one for the Pioneers.

Making the move permanent, while limiting Caprio’s scoring chances, provided a wealth of opportunities for the senior to direct traffic — and the Pioneers ultimately reaped a multitude of rewards.

Lehi won its first Region 4 title with a record of 7-3-0 in league play and finished 14-5-1 overall. Each of the five losses, while a handful more than the team goal of a perfect record, provided a learning opportunity that inched the group ever closer to the state championship — the school's second in four years and the first in 5A.

“He is a hard worker; he’s a leader; he’s vocal,” Presiendorf said of Caprio’s leadership style. “He was a captain for a reason, and he filled the role very well.”

The coach went on to say Caprio’s greatest improvement during his four seasons was in learning to keep a level head. A player who was given a number of red cards as a freshman improved to just four yellow cards during his entire senior year.

“He knew that as a defender, he must keep himself in the game,” Presiendorf said.

Caprio will now move on to play college soccer for the University of Portland alongside Brighton forward Matt Coffey, this year's Mr. Soccer.
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