Royals Athlete of the Week: Dave Drafton

Eastern Mennonite University’s men’s soccer season is off to a good start. Last week, the men’s team won each of their two games, and junior Dave Drafton (Alexandria, Va./Howard Gardner) had a hand (or, shall we say, foot) in each of the game-winning goals.

In Wednesday’s game against Wesley, Dave scored the overtime goal that decided the game. Then on Saturday, when EMU hosted William Peace, he had a pass to David Shafer (Maitland, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic) which set him up to score the final goal.

Dave commented on his goal against Wesley, “It felt extremely special, just because it was an overtime goal. It was a pretty close game with even teams. I thought we were the better side, so getting that goal definitely proved we were better.”

Dave has high hopes for the team this year. In recent years, EMU’s men get knocked out in the first round of the ODAC Tournament, and he would like to see them get past the second round. That goal may be possible given this year’s roster, which Dave is excited about. He spoke highly of his freshmen teammates, adding needed depth.

“The whole freshman class is definitely a big part of the team,” he concluded.

Dave’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by his coach, Roger Mast, who said, “He is an explosive athlete who plays in an attacking role for us. Dave has shown great progress in his career thus far, in part because of the confidence that he is gaining in being able to utilize his speed to break down defenses. I am happy to see him beginning to reach his potential as a dynamic player who has the ability to be a game changer for our team.”

When he’s not on the soccer field, Dave is still heavily involved in the sporting world. He has a recreation leadership and sports studies major and also studies business. Over the summer he coached a team of younger athletes as a chance to take a step back from the game and gain a new perspective. After graduation he hopes to continue to work somewhere in the sports industry, either as a coach or in sports marketing.

In his free time, Dave enjoys hanging out with his roommates and watching soccer or football. He also nurtures a healthy appreciation for food.

“Food is key,” he said. “I’m not a morning guy, but I love breakfast food, so I’ll eat it whenever.”

The EMU men are currently 4-1, having won four straight games since a season-opening loss at regionally-ranked Maryville.

“Come out and support the team,” Dave encouraged. “I think we have a really great team. Our attack is very dangerous, we have a solid defense. I think this can be an exciting season, and we need the fan support for that.”