Eastern’s men’s soccer team is undergoing a large period of
transition as they prepare for their 2017-2018 season. The team has said goodbye to their previous head coach, Mark Wagner, and is saying hello to new head coach and former interim coach, Jeremy Payne. Coach Payne will be supported by assistant coaches Benji Kennel and Travis Regner. The men’s team is going from the former, more-seasoned coaching staff which offered a lot of experience and multiple MAC Championships, to a young and enthusiastic but experienced coaching staff. The team is confident that Coach Payne is going to bring many new and exciting things to the pitch this fall season. The team is returning nine starters to this championship-caliber team, and also adding some promising freshmen to the mix. The in-team leadership this season is a mix of players from varied backgrounds, featuring: Jadon Ramsing, Brian Plucinsky, Quentin Kiebler, Sean Dougherty, Jacob Myer, Cade Harmon, and Jake Sankey. These returning players have competed in not one, but two MAC Championships, and are eager to train for their third conference. EU is certainly excited to see what this year holds for the men’s soccer team and their new coach.
At the end of last semester, the Eastern Eagles women’s soccer team welcomed young head coach Brandon West. Coach West is a graduate from Eastern’s rival school, Messiah College, where he was a very well-accomplished goal-keeper and then assistant soccer coach. West was a part of two National Championships, and ended his playing career with a .39 goals against average. West’s wife, Alicia West, will be joining him as an assistant coach. Mrs. West also has a very promising soccer history, having been a two-time All-American player, and then an assistant soccer coach at Messiah as well. The EU women’s soccer team had nothing but good things to say when asked what they thought of the two new coaches. West says that his plan is to focus on becoming the best coach that he can be, and helping the women’s team play their best: “we may take a few bumps in the road, but…[the challenge is] still being committed to our process of excellence.” West is clearly ready to bring enthusiasm and skill to his new and exciting position, and this upcoming season will truly be a great one. Coach West’s strategy is all about having confidence in how he coaches, and confidence in his players. As West said, “you never know what’s going to happen, [but when striving for excellence] it’s not about how we do in the beginning, but how we finish in the end.”