This past weekend, seven new members were inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, as the Class of 2021 was inducted.
The class included Keri Bland, Nicco Campriani, Noel Devine, Dale Farley, Mike Fox, Lajuanda Moody and Olayinka Sanni.
Keri Bland was a cross country and track athlete at West Virginia. Bland finished her career as one of the most accomplished athletes in WVU cross country history. From 2006-2011, Bland attended West Virginia and immediately put them on the map. Bland helped the Mountaineers win their first ever Big East title in 2007 in cross country and their highest team finish in the NCAA Tournament (ninth). She also earned first team All-American that year. Bland became the first female in WVU history to earn All-America accolades in three sports in the same year.
Nicco Campriani was a star rifle athlete for West Virginia. He won a national championship at West Virginia as well as being a four time All-American. Campriani then won three gold medals, as he competed for Italy. He won a gold medal in 2012, and two gold medals in 2016, becoming the first West Virginia athlete to win two gold medals in a singular Olympics. Campriani is thought to be one of the most successful rifle shooter in Olympic history.
Noel Devine was at West Virginia between 2007-2010, as he played running back for the football team and ranks as West Virginia’s third best rusher in program history. Devine is WVU’s all-time running back receptions leader with 98 while also being third in yards with 710. Devine signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, before his professional career ended in 2019, while playing for the West Virginia Roughriders. Devine won two bowl games in his career, while appearing in four.
Dale Farley is the second former Mountaineer football player to be inducted. Farley graduated in 1971 and played linebacker from 1968-1970. Farley was a first team All-American in 1970, before being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 1971 NFL Draft. Farley passed away on June 13, 2019, in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Mike Fox also played football for West Virginia from 1986-1989. Fox played defensive tackle, before graduating in 1990. Fox won the 1989 Gator Bowl Most Valuable Player. In his last season with the Mountaineers, Fox led the team in sacks with 10, while also having 78 tackles. He was selected in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, and won a Super Bowl with them. He then played in the NFL through 1996.
Lajuanda Moody was a gymnast in her time at West Virginia, from 1991-1994. Moody became West Virginia’s second gymnastics All-American during her collegiate career. She also was the first Mountaineer to qualify for the NCAA Championships three different times. She helped propel the Mountaineers to three Atlantic 10 Championships in the early 1990’s. Moody also holds the school record for most points in a season, with 570.05 in 1992.
Olayinka Sanni played women’s basketball for West Virginia. She played for four years from 2005-2008, and started in 111 games in her career. She ranks top-ten in Mountaineer history in field-goal percentage, offensive rebounds, field goals made, games started and games played. She helped West Virginia defeat nine AP Top-25 opponents during her career and got drafted to the WNBA in the second round, by the Detroit Shock in 2008.
The total number of athletes in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame is now 215, with this being the 31st annual induction ceremony.
Photo by Ethan Bock, Blue Gold Sports