Bessone Awards: Amherst’s Felix Goeckel, Belchertown’s Derek Chandonnet among winners

  • Belchertown celebrates a goal by James Delaney with the assist by Charlie Fijal, front, earlier this season against Easthampton. Head coach Derek Chandonnet was a co-winner of the Joe Buccholz “Coach of the Year” Award presented by the Amo Bessone Committee this week. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer 
Published: 3/23/2023 1:34:18 PM

The Amo Bessone Awards Committee announced the winners of 11 awards this week. The Bessone awards honor some of the top hockey players in Western Massachusetts; award winners also receive a $500 scholarship.  

Two local individuals highlighted the 2022-23 class of award winners. Amherst freshman goaltender Felix Goeckel (Pope Francis) was one of the Aldo Altobelli Rookie of the Year winners, along with Dom Fiorentino (Minnechaug), Sean Kefalas (Ludlow) and Jack Laurie (Greenfield).

Goeckel is an Amherst resident who plays for the Pope Francis girls’ hockey team. 

Along with Goeckel, Belchertown boys hockey head coach Derek Chandonnet was one of the co-winners of the Joe Buccholz “Coach of the Year” Award along with Ludlow head coach Paul Rivest. 

Award recipients will be honored at a reception on April 13 at 6 p.m. at the Dante Club in West Springfield. 

Other winners included Josh Iby (Pope Francis) and David Noel (Minnechaug), who earned the Amo Bessone Award for the most valuable players, Sam Cocchi (Ludlow) who won the Kevin J. Major Award as the most valuable player in the Fay/Wright Divisions, Jane O’Connor (Longmeadow), who won the Kacey Bellamy Award for the most valuable girls’ hockey player and Joshua Bordeaux (Greenfield), who earned the Bruce Landon Award for goaltending excellence.

Ben Corbin (Ludlow) earned the Gene Grazia Award for the most outstanding offensive player, Luke Castor (West Springfield) and Jake Jarrell (Pope Francis) will share the Eddie Shore Award for the top defensive players, Ryan Maloney (Agawam) earned the Rob Murray Award for leadership and dedication, Joe Mikaelian (Longmeadow) is the winner of the Harold Passerini Award for outstanding athletic, academic and community achievements and Braedin Dobek (East Longmeadow) won the Bill Ryan Sportsmanship Award.

Stephen Moore (Pope Francis assistant coach) also earned the Matthew J. Ryan Award for outstanding contributions to high school hockey. Moore has long been associated with Holy Name youth hockey and also serves as the head coach for the Western Mass. Stars women’s team. 

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