MAHOMET — At the end of a grueling stretch of summer workouts, the Mahomet-Seymour football team named their four captains. Seniors Noah Crowley, Costen Campion, Nic Liagridonis and Jack Koller were chosen.
“Very exciting to lead this great team,” Koller said. “There’s a lot of good people that put in for it, so being named captain was really amazing. I was honestly surprised that I got it because so many impressive people put in for it. Like they are amazing people, they’re good at leadership, so I was very happy when I was named captain.”
For some, the task of being named captain could be hard. For Koller, it’ll be easy because he had such a good example last year. Jordan Veldman was the star running back for the Bulldogs last season, and Veldman was a man of high character. Veldman finished with one of the top GPAs in his class, and there wasn’t even a sniff of trouble off the field.
That’s exactly the type of leader that Koller will try to be for this year’s team.
“Jordan Veldman is a great guy,” Koller said. “He’s very godly. He loved God and always talked about him. He’s a good Christian, so I want to be like him. He just stood out. He works very hard. If I want to be that good, I have to work that hard. Huge shoutout to him. He’s a great guy.”
New coach Jon Adkins has come into the M-S program and infused it with energy and excitement. That’s what he’s expecting from his new leaders as well.
“Coach is always talking about change,” Koller said. “It’s my job to change some things from last year. Last year, we did good, but there are some things to change. If I put my viewpoint into it, then we can change some things together. That’s the big word this year. But I just want to be nice to people from freshmen up to the top and being a leader on the field and off the field at school. I don’t just want to be a leader at school, I want to be a leader everywhere.”
Leading a football team is too big of a task for just one guy, and Koller won’t be alone. Campion, Liagridonis and Crowley all are very worthy captains as well.
“Nic is one of the smartest kids I’ve ever met in my life,” Koller said with a laugh. “He makes you feel dumb talking to him. Costen Campion is a great guy. He’s one of my best friends. He’s so kind-hearted, and he’s also a leader on the field. When you see him, you go, ‘I want to be like that.’ He’s a big dude. Noah Crowley, he’s strong-hearted, loves people, he works hard too. Amazing wide receiver and I’m so excited to play with these guys.”
Koller is also going to be a big part of the offense this season. The big-bodied wideout will team up with Crowley, Zach Travis, Clay Hubble and Braden Finch to form an intriguing batch of offensive weapons.
Many defenses will be extremely focused on Hubble’s explosiveness out of the backfield, so Koller, Travis and Crowley could have extra room to make plays in the passing game.
“Me and Zach are pretty tall dudes, so it’s going to be hard to stop us,” Koller said. “Noah is so fast, and we’re coming for people. We expect to win in my opinion.”
The Bulldogs are just three weeks away from the season-opener against Marion, and Koller is ready to get the sour taste of a 3-win season out of his mouth.
“I can’t wait,” Koller said. “Everybody should be showing up. I want a huge student section and a great crowd. I hate losing, and it was a struggle, but I had a great season and so much fun, and it motivated me to get in the gym more this year. I’m a senior, this is my last year, and I’m so excited to get after it.”