MAHOMET — After being the driving force behind some big projects at the school district for the 2018-19 school year, the Mahomet-Seymour Athletic Boosters Club is prepping for another year of supporting the Bulldogs as the new school term nears its start.
“We have a lot going on,” said Loui Liagridonis, a father of three Mahomet-Seymour students and the new boosters president.
“I’m excited about the school year. We have a lot of things on the agenda that we’re going to be talking about, a lot of exciting new things.”
One of the big upcoming efforts for the club is an event partnering with the district on an evening dedicated to health and wellness.
“This, I’m really excited about,” he added.
From 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 7, the high school and the boosters will present a trio of sessions that focus on using sports and activities to build character and accountability, the proper nutrition and hydration for student/athletes, and tools for helping students cope with stress and pressure, according to a flyer from the boosters and the Mahomet-Seymour school district.
Liagridonis said that M-S parents are invited, and high school students who aren’t in athletics also are welcome to attend.
“I think this is going to be something awesome,” he said. “It’s free to everyone.”
Speaker Emily Dankers is a registered sports dietitian at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She currently works with men’s and women’s basketball, softball, women’s soccer and women’s golf.
Before joining the Illini, Dankers worked with the Chicago Cubs organization from 2017-18 as the dietitian for the short season team in Eugene, Ore., and the AAA team in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dankers studied nutrition at Syracuse University and then attended Ohio State University, obtaining her master’s in sports nutrition.
Speaker Trent Meacham is a 2004 graduate of Champaign Centennial High School. He played intercollegiate basketball at the University of Illinois, earning the Big Ten Medal of Honor for demonstrating excellence on and off the court, the school and boosters’ club note on the flyer for the upcoming event.
Following a nine-year career in professional basketball, Meacham and his family returned to the Champaign-Urbana area, where he shares his time and talents helping young people use sport as a tool to impact other people’s lives and to build character.
The third speaker, Jim Mauer, serves as the case manager for mental health and sports performance for the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
A licensed clinical social worker, Mauer is a graduate of the UI with a master’s degree in social work. He has 35 years of counseling experience and has worked with high school and college student-athletes in the areas of stress, anxiety and performance, focus, peak performance, stress management, life balance, mental and emotional management of injuries, and on-field concentration, visualization and self-confidence.
Last year, the M-S boosters’ club spent the most it ever has assisting Mahomet-Seymour schools, according to Liagridonis.
It contributed $30,000 for a new baseball scoreboard, $20,000 to upgrade concessions stands, more than $15,000 to improve the newly named Jim Risley Weight Room at the high school and offered $1,000 in scholarships.