Wegmann looks to be leader for young team

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

Eastern Junior, Davis Wegmann, brings a lot of experience to a young Eastern team with his nine starts in the past two years and 30 games played.

He made his first career start against Lipscomb his freshmen year in 2013 and ended up logging 578 minutes of playing time in his that year.

Wegmann was first introduced to soccer by his dad who lives over seas.

“My dad, he’s from Germany, he got me introduced to the sport and I was always influenced by him so I just got really into it from there,” he said.

Wegmann said he really likes the new coaching staff; such as head coach Kiki Lara.

“This year’s team is a bunch of new guys,” he said. “(They are) a great group of guys and especially the coaching staff, we got a new coaching staff and you know him coming from a big school like Dayton, he really knows the game and you can just tell with it being different from last year. We have two wins already this season and Eastern hasn’t done that early on in a season since 2007 and we are really dedicated this year.”

Last year, Davis started in four matches out of the 16 matches he played in. He scored two goals and had one assist last season. Davis’s first career goal game against Lipscomb and his second career goal was a game winner against Culver-Stockton.

Along with his dad, Lara has been a big influence on Wegmann in terms of soccer because of his lack of experienced coaches.

“Coach Kiki because I never really had, since I’m from Decatur, a good coach,” he said. “He has really influenced me a lot, but mostly my dad because he’s German. I have been over there and played.”

Western Illinois is the team he likes to play most in the Summit League, mainly fueled by the instate rivalry between the schools.

“Western because they are our crosstown rivals and it has always been a close matchup and it is always a great game,” he said. “We played them last year in the back field and we had a lot of fans there so it’s got to be Western.”

Wegmann hopes to make it to the conference tournament as one of the top four teams in conference before he graduates from Eastern.

“I would like to make it to the conference tournament in Denver and hopefully into the NCAA tournament,” he said. “That would be a good goal because Eastern has not done that in a long time.”

Coach Lara described Wegmann as a really hard working player with a high level of work ethic.

“He is someone that you know what you are going to get,” Lara said. “He puts in exactly what the team needs shift wise. You know he’s going to give a good strong effort every practice and every single game.”

Wegmann has played in all four games this year and has recorded one shot. Lara chose Wegmann as a focus because of the consistency of his mentality and the maturity he brings to the team.

“He’s come in this season and he’s really had a mature mentality when it comes to training sessions and learning,” he said. “He’s not exactly like a lot of these guys, they’ve not gotten everything figured out 100 percent, but you know he’s someone who is picking it up like a sponge.”

Eastern is currently 2-2 right now with two more games until its first conference game. They already have two road victories after going a full two seasons without winning away from home. The first home game of the season is this Saturday against Wright State.


Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]