SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State University men's lacrosse team is proud to announce its captains for the 2017 season. Voted on by their peers, the trio features two defenders and a midfielder. Senior midfielder Austin Todd, junior defender Nick Eckart and junior defender Gunner Serota will look to lead the team for the 2017 season.
Todd, a product of Lee's Summit West (Mo.) High School, returns as the Bears' top scoring midfielder. In 2016, Todd led the team in extra-man goals and will look to continue that trend in the even-strength game in '17.
"Austin is a great young man, and he's turned in to a really well rounded midfielder, who can score off the dodge or on the crease, and he's got the hardest outside shot on the team," said Missouri State coach Dustin Rich. "We'll look for him to play a big role on our offense this year."
Eckart is also a product of Lee's Summit West, as well. A former teammate of Todd's, Nick will be one of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball in '17.
"Nick has really turned in to a great leader of the years," Rich said. "He works his tail off outside of practice, and this summer really hit the weights. He put on 25 pounds this summer, and has turned in to one of our best long poles. He'll really be an asset for us this year when we play some very tough out-of-conference teams."
Serota rounds out the group. Serota, a product of the prestigious Carthage (N.Y.) High School, has started every game while at Missouri State. Typically facing the opponent's best attackman, Serota will look to anchor a strong defensive unit.
"Gunner has been a leader since he got here as a freshman," Rich said, "He's got a very high lacrosse IQ, and makes our defense work. He's great for some of the younger guys cause he gets it. He's always out there making his teammates better."
All three are first-year captains. The group will look to lead Missouri State through a tough out-of-conference schedule as well as a six game conference slate. Missouri State was picked to finish second in the GRLC preseason coaches poll - the highest preseason ranking the team has received in more than five years.