Student-Athletes Honored at Annual Banquet

Posted: May 10, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Senior basketball guard Lamar Butler won the male athlete award and track and field’s Sheena Davidson won the female athlete of the year award at Monday’s annual student-athlete awards ceremony at the Patriot Center.

The student-athletes gathered to commemorate accomplishments, both on the field and in the classroom.

Melissa Venturi
Melissa Venturi won the Aimee Willard Award this year.
Mason Athletics photo

All the senior athletes were honored with the George Mason Award, which was commissioned in January of 1997 in an effort to recognize the culmination of a student-athlete’s participation in intercollegiate athletics. The hand-sculpted artwork of George Mason was designed as a permanent remembrance of both the institution and the student-athlete’s legacy. A total of 73 seniors from 17 sports and the cheerleading and dance teams accepted the award.

The Aimee Willard commemorative award was won by junior lacrosse player Melissa Venturi. The award was established in 1997 and is presented to the Mason student-athlete who best exemplifies the standards of quality set by Willard: intensity, consistency of purpose, achievement and teamwork. Nominees are selected by head coaches and the recipient is selected by Gail Willard, Aimee’s mother, and the Willard family.

Venturi is a junior attacker from Sewell, N.J. She started all 16 games this year for the women’s lacrosse team and was second on the squad in goals and points while leading the team in assists. She had 39 goals, 11 assists and 50 points.

The final awards of the night were presented to the winners of the Dr. Frank Pettrone Student-Athlete of the Year Award. The winners of this award are selected by the student-athletes based on the following standards: being a team player on and off the field, demonstrating motivational qualities and good sportsmanship and maintaining a good academic standing.

Track and Field’s Sheena Davidson won the female athlete of the year award. The fifth-year student-athlete from Rochester, N.Y. has qualified for the NCAA regional six times and the NCAA Championships once. She is a six-time CAA champion and a one-time ECAC champion. She is in the top six all-time in school history in the 400-meters, 800-meters and 400-meter hurdles. This season, she has qualified for the ECAC in the 400-meters.

Senior basketball guard Lamar Butler won the male athlete award. Butler, who hails from Fort Washington, Md., and is a graduate of Oxon Hill High School, helped lead the men’s basketball team into the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the Washington, D.C., Regional after Mason downed Michigan State University, defending champion University of North Carolina, Wichita State University and no. 1 seed University of Connecticut.

Butler finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in three-pointers (295) and wins (85). He was second-team All-CAA as a junior and he was featured on the cover of the March 27th issue of Sports Illustrated. He is 10th all-time in school history in scoring and fifth all-time in the CAA in three-pointers. He is one of just three players in school history with 1,400 points scored, 250 assists and 100 steals.

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