Vikings Honored for Scholastic Achievement, Character

Known for competitiveness on the playing field, a flurry of recent announcements recognized several Viking athletes and coaches for other wide-ranging accomplishments and honors. Viking football captain Trent Kosel, head coach of the women’s basketball team Jill DeVries, DAC faculty representative Dave Bass, and the entire Viking program all received recognition.

Trent Kosel was nominated by the DAC to be the 2011 recipient of The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award. One of the most prestigious awards in the NAIA, the award recognizes outstanding athletic and academic achievement, campus and community leadership, future ambition, and embrace of the five core character values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.

Trent graduated from VCSU this spring with an outstanding record both on and off the field. As a Viking, Trent played quarterback, was a team captain his senior season, was named the DAC Offensive Player of the Week twice, and was nominated for the prestigious A.O. Duer Award in 2009. In the classroom, Trent was named to the President’s Roll of Honor every semester of his VCSU career and graduated Summa Cum Laude with majors in Chemistry Education and Math Education. He was a three-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and a four-time DAC Scholar Athlete, and was named the VCSU Outstanding Chemistry Student. His many activities on campus included serving as a Viking Ambassador (including serving as president), a Math and Chemistry tutor, and as a member of the Student North Dakota Education Association.

Jill DeVries, head coach of the Viking women’s basketball team, was nominated for the NAIA Coach of Character Award. The Coach of Character Award is given annually to a coach who demonstrates methods of teaching character through sport and instills a tradition of athletic and community excellence. In the 2010-11 season, DeVries led the Vikings to a series of tremendous accomplishments including a record 23 wins, second place in the regular season, and first place in the DAC tournament. She was also recognized as the DAC Coach of the Year.

In addition, Dave Bass, assistant professor in the School of Education and Graduate Studies, was named faculty athletic representative of the year by the Dakota Athletic Conference. Bass, who has been a long-time member of the Viking coaching staff in several capacities, also serves the DAC as the Conference Eligibility Chairman.

Beyond these individual honors and accomplishments, the DAC honored VCSU with the 2010-11 Dakota Athletic Conference Scholars Award. The award is presented annually to the school with the highest percentage of athletes honored as DAC Scholar-Athletes. Forty-three percent of Viking athletes were honored for their academic achievements. In order to be recognized as a DAC Scholar-Athlete, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better and have earned twelve or more credit hours for a semester in which he/she participates in a conference sponsored sport.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.


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