By Phil Caskey for MSNsportsNET.com
May 5, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Women’s track and field captain Keri Bland and men’s basketball captain Da’Sean Butler have been selected as this year’s recipients of the 2010 Fred Schaus Captain’s Award, presented annually to West Virginia University’s most outstanding varsity team captains.
The winners must display outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, representing WVU well in all aspects. Winners are selected by the WVU Athletic Council to annually award the top male and female captains.
A Fairview, W.Va., native, Bland wins the Schaus Award for the second straight year. Bland, the owner of three All-America accolades so far this season, is the only female athlete in WVU annals to earn three All-America honors in three different sports in one season (cross country and indoor and outdoor track in 2008). Bland is also one of just two three-time cross country All-Americans in school history.
This past cross country season, Bland, a three-year captain, helped the cross country team to a sixth-place national finish at the 2009 NCAA championships, as she earned her third career cross country All-America honor with a 34th-place finish (20:45). She also garnered all-region honors for the fourth time in her career (just the third Mountaineer to do so) with an 18th-place at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals.
In indoor track, Bland garnered two All-America honors and helped WVU to the highest finish in school history with a 10th-place finish at nationals. She qualified for the national mile finals, becoming the first Mountaineer in more than a decade to do so, and finished with a time of 4:42.79, good for eighth place. She also earned All-America honors as a member of the distance medley relay team that finished eighth nationally in a time of 11:16.39.
A member of the WVU Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll and a BIG EAST Academic All-Star, Bland is involved in several community service initiatives such as volunteer coaching with the West Virginia Flyers Indoor Track Club, volunteering with the Jerry Lewis Telethon to benefit muscular dystrophy and being a volunteer reader at Brookhaven Elementary school.
She will graduate this month with a degree in exercise physiology.
Butler, a Newark, N.J., native, and two-time team captain, earns the award after guiding the men’s basketball team to arguably its finest season in school history. The recipient of the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS award, given to the most outstanding senior in Division I men’s basketball in terms of community service, excellence in the classroom, outstanding character and competition on the court, Butler finished his career as the winningest player in men’s basketball history, showing 107 victories to just 39 losses while he donned the Old Gold and Blue.
He was named to the John Wooden All-America team and was a Basketball Times first team All-American. A finalist for the John Wooden and Naismith awards,
Butler was a first team all-BIG EAST performer, was named to the NCAA East Region all-tournament team and earned BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player accolades. Butler hit six game-winning shots for the Mountaineers as a senior this past season and scored 2,095 career points, third-most in school history.
Butler helped WVU to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the 2008 NCAA Sweet 16 and the 2010 NCAA Final Four. He also help WVU win its first BIG EAST Championship this past season.
Off the floor, Butler will graduate this month with a degree in multidisciplinary studies and was a member of the WVU Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll. He represented the Mountaineers as a tobacco-free Mountaineer for the statewide Razewv.com campaign and served on the NCAA steering committee during WVU’s recent recertification process. He was the men’s basketball Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative and made many visits to patients at the WVU hospitals. Always willing to give an autograph or make an appearance for worthwhile causes, Butler has attended Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, spoke at the WVU Scholarship dinner in Charleston, called University supporters at the annual WVU Foundation Thank-A-Thon and has been a guest speaker for Camp Choosy, West Virginia’s Motor Development Center.
The award was started to honor the retirement of Fred Schaus, who had outstanding success as a Mountaineer basketball player, coach and athletic director.
Past winners of the Fred Schaus Captain’s Award: Herbie Brooks, basketball (1989); Tammie DeAngelis, rifle (1990); Aileen Convery, swimming (1991); Ann-Marie Pfiffner, rifle (1992); Garett Smith, rifle (1993); Dean Morrison, wrestling (1994); Jean Foster, rifle (1995); Seldon Jefferson, basketball (1996); Sandy Shumate, volleyball (1996); Charles Emanuel, football (1997); Marcos Scrivner, rifle (1998); Shawn Foreman, football (1999); Jessica Nonnemacher, gymnastics (2000); Katie Barnes, soccer (2001); Kyle Kayden, football (2002); Avon Cobourne, football (2003); Merissa Sexsmith, cross country/track (2003); Grant Wiley, football (2004); Kate Bulger, basketball (2004); Rasheed Marshall, football (2005); Laura Kane, soccer (2005); J.D. Collins, basketball (2006); Susan Davis, cross country/track (2006); Jessica Czaikowski, track (2007); Dan Mozes, football (2007); Ashley Banks, women’s soccer (2008); Darris Nichols, basketball (2008); Keri Bland, cross country, track (2009); Pat White, football (2009); Keri Bland, cross country, track (2010); Da’Sean Buter, men’s basketball (2010).