Nine Owls named to National Football Foundation Honor Society

Nine members of the Owls senior class were honored by the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society. (WESTFIELD STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Nine Westfield State University football senior student-athletes were honored with selection to the 2020 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society. The society recognizes players across the country who have maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers.
Westfield’s Chris Belsito, Jack Buckley, Jake Cassidy, Cody Cleveland, Connor Gregoire, Kevin Joyce, Jake Mullins and Corey Pooler, and Andrew Peltier all earned the honor.
“We’re always excited this time of year when the NFF releases the Hampshire Honor Society,” said Westfield State head coach Pete Kowalski. “We’ve led the MASCAC the last several years in the number of honorees from our team, and we want to continue that. These are nine great young men, who have demonstrated that they excel in the classroom, strive for excellence on the field, and are pillars of our Westfield State family.”
Owls’ running back Chris Belsito (Webster, MA/West Boylston) appeared in seven games with 21 rushes and 71 yards in the 2019 season.
Cornerback Jack Buckley (Tyngsboro, MA) provided the Owls last season with 37 tackles on defense, with two interceptions.
Jake Cassidy (Lynn, MA/Lawrence Academy) started the season as the Owls quarterback, totaling 676 passing yards and four touchdowns before moving to defensive back late in the year. He finished with 25 tackles, five pass breakups and forced a fumble.
Punter Cody Cleveland (Northampton, MA) appeared in ten games for the Owls last season with 59 punts, and 2,308 kicking yards, for a 39.1- yard average. He was also named second-team All-MASCAC.
Offensive linemen Kevin Joyce and Connor Gregoire (Waterford, CT) helped anchor a veteran Owls offensive line. Gregoire also played on the defensive line in some short yardage situations with three tackles and one assist over nine games played in 2019. Joyce also is a thrower on the Owls track and field team.
Kicker Corey Pooler (Middleboro, MA) led the special teams unit last season with a perfect field-goal percentage, connecting on all three tries. Pooler recorded an 83% PAT with 24 extra points made of 27 attempts.
Jake Mullins (Vernon, CT) gave an impressive performance on the defensive line with 17 tackles and 39 assists over 10 games played in 2019. Mullins also recorded 1.5 sacks last season.
Quarterback Andrew Peltier (Holyoke, MA) helped lead the Owls offense in tandem with Cassidy, appearing in six games with 688 yards and six touchdowns to his credit.
The Owls wrapped up the 2019 season by winning two of their final three games. Westfield State is scheduled to open the 2020 season on Friday night, September 4 against #12-ranked Union College (NY).
The full list of honorees can be found at Top NFL prospects Joe Burrow of LSU, Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma, and Justin Herbert of Oregon were among the players named to the society.
Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year’s Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating his or her achievement.
“We have honored more than 12,000 student-athletes in the last 14 years thanks to Jon Hanson’s generosity,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow’s leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.” – Courtesy of Westfield State University Sports

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