FALCONS SUPPORT HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY
May 7, 2012 - The 46th Annual Amo “Betts” Bessone Awards Banquet was hosted this past Sunday, May 6. The prestigious event, which honors several players and supporters of high school hockey throughout Western Massachusetts, took place at The Dante Club on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield, MA.
The afternoons’ feature award is the Amo “Betts” Bessone Award, given to the most valuable high school hockey player in WMass. This years’ award winner was chosen by votes obtained from the coaches, on-ice officials and the Bessone Committee. This year's winner was Frank Crinella of Cathedral High School, who led his team in scoring with 19 goals and 15 assists. Crinella is also strong in the classroom as well posting a 4.0 GPA as he plans on attending Merrimack College this fall.
Finalists for this year’s award were Crinella (Senior) of Cathedral High School, Charlie Kelleher (Freshman) of Longmeadow High School, Brendan Martin (Senior) of West Springfield High School, Thane Schinabeck (Senior) of Ludlow High School, and Nick Sibilia (Senior) of Westfield High School.
The Falcons continue to support local high school hockey as they sponsor both the Rob Murray Award, given to a local high school hockey player who best displays leadership and dedication, as well as sponsoring the Eddie Shore Award, given to the outstanding defenseman in Western MA. As part of the Rob Murray Award, the Falcons award a scholarship to the winner, while the Falcons Booster Club awards a scholarship as part of the Bruce Landon Award, given to the area's top goaltender.
Other awards handed out at the Bessone Banquet on Sunday: Charlie Kelleher, Joe Mercadante and Matthew Cieboter win rookie of the year.
Bessone Awards recap: Eddie Shore Award (Outstanding Defenseman) Cam Beaulieu from Ludlow High School
Bessone Awards recap: Bruce Landon Award (Outstanding Goaltender) Nick Brosseau from West Springfield High School
Bessone Awards recap: Joseph Buccholz Award (Outstanding Coach) Kevin Brennan from Turners Falls High School
Bessone Awards recap: Rob Murray Award (Outstanding leadership and dedication) Nick Sibilia from Westfield High School
Bessone Awards recap: Billy Ryan Award (Outstanding Sportsmanship) Shelby Cutting from Amherst High School
Bessone Awards recap: Matthew J. Ryan Award (Outstanding contributions to High School hockey) Greg Pytka
Bessone Awards recap: Gene Grazia Award (Outstanding Forward) Charlie Kelleher from Longmeadow High School
Bessone Awards recap: Division III-A MVP Award Chris Menard from South Hadley High School
The Bessone Award and banquet are named after Amo “Betts” Bessone, a native of West Springfield and member of the US Hockey Hall of Fame. Bessone played professional hockey and coached college hockey for many years. He was named college hockey Coach of the Year in 1966, when his Michigan State University team won the NCAA Division I National Championship. Bessone recruited many WMass hockey players to Michigan State and always encouraged his players to strive for academic as well as athletic excellence. Bessone passed away in January, 2010 at the age of 94 at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.