SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – Lakeland has a very talented trio of senior captains who are all three-year starters. They are each very excited to start the season, which is scheduled to begin with its first practice on Sept. 29.

One of the Hornets’ captains is Austin Bergen. The senior plays a lot as a center midfielder, but also sees action as an outside back or winger.

Bergen is champing at the bit to play.

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“I couldn’t be more excited to start on the 29th,” Bergen said. “We have been waiting to play as a team for so long, and we are ready to get the season rolling.”

With team activities being canceled since March because of COVID-19, there have been many challenges in preparing for this season. Staying in shape is one them.

“Well I’ve been doing a lot of running and lifting weights,” Bergen said. “I’ve also been to the field with a few of the guys to get some shots in.”

Bergen, along with the other captains, Reed Thompson and Jason San Lucas, have been doing their best to keep their teammates involved.

“We have been trying to keep everyone on top of their workouts and staying in shape by texting them or even having Zoom calls with coach (Tim Hourahan),” Bergen said.

Thompson, a center back, also can’t wait to get started.

“Personally, I’m super excited to get back on the field,” Thompson said. “Normally, we would’ve been playing by now, so I know that not only myself, but my whole team, is really itching to start competing again.”

Thompson, like Bergen, has been doing the best he can to stay in top, physical condition.

“Normally, we have a preseason-fitness camp, but obviously we couldn’t do that,” Thompson said. “I’ve been staying in shape though by lifting weights in my garage, running, and biking. Coach Hourahan also put together a great workout program for our team, so I’ve been completing those as well.”

The Hornets are fortunate to have three captains that each bring something to the table.

“I feel like all of us are great leaders in our own way,” Thompson said. “Austin and Jason are our offensive leaders, and I’ll be in the back controlling our defense. What’s been really important for us as captains this year has been keeping our guys motivated during these times, to complete the workouts, and get out to the field, on their own to practice. This way, when the time finally comes for us to play, we’ll all be prepared.”

San Lucas, a center-attacking mid, said the Hornets are very eager to participate in their first day of practice.

“I know the team and I are very excited and blessed to have the opportunity to start practicing on the 29th,” San Lucas said. “Coach usually has a number of practices well before the season so we can all be ready and prepared, but we decided to do workouts at home and register our progress into a log, and the team has been staying in great shape because of this.”

San Lucas, like Bergen and Thompson, stressed the importance of working out at home.

“I feel myself and the other captains help the team in making sure everyone is working out, especially in this tragic time, and we try to have our own small practices to get together and keep our chemistry,” San Lucas said. “We also have a lot of experience and try our best to drive and motivate the team.”