Greenfield hockey’s Jake Jurek, Shawn Baumann take home Bessone Awards

Greenfield’s Shawn Baumann (8) knocks Amherst’s Brach Applegate (4) into the boards earlier this season at Orr Rink in Amherst.

Greenfield’s Shawn Baumann (8) knocks Amherst’s Brach Applegate (4) into the boards earlier this season at Orr Rink in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Greenfield’s Jake Jurek (2) maneuvers the puck past Belchertown’s Oliver Young at the UMass Mullins Center Community Rink in Amherst this past season.

Greenfield’s Jake Jurek (2) maneuvers the puck past Belchertown’s Oliver Young at the UMass Mullins Center Community Rink in Amherst this past season. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 03-27-2024 4:29 PM

Modified: 03-27-2024 4:46 PM


The 2024 Amo Bessone Western Mass. High School Hockey Awards were announced earlier this week, and a pair of Greenfield players were honored for their outstanding seasons on the ice.

Green Wave junior forward Jake Jurek was one of two players to receive the Gene Grazia Award, which recognizes outstanding offensive play. Fellow Greenfield player Shawn Baumann was one of four players to be selected for the Aldo Altobelli Rookie of the Year Award. 

Jurek was selected along with Pope Francis’ Jake Petrin — a Greenfield native — for the Grazia Award. East Longmeadow’s Brayden Bousquet, Ludlow’s Evan Dias and Longmeadow’s Milana Shuman were also selected for the Aldo Altobelli Rookie of the Year Award. 

“Within the Green Wave program, we’re extremely proud of all these accomplishments,” Greenfield coach Adam Bouchard said. “These student athletes work extremely hard. Anyone on the team will tell you about ‘No Puck Monday.’ These are individual awards but it shows how hard all these student athletes work. They’d never be able to get these awards without their teammates pushing them in practice. It’s a great honor for us here and we’re extremely proud of Jake and Shawn.” 

Jurek is a player who has grown each year with the Green Wave. As a freshman he totaled 13 points and as a sophomore improved that number to 29 points. 

After putting in the work in the offseason, Jurek made another jump forward as a junior. He finished this past season with 39 points, potting 23 goals and dishing 16 assists. 

Jurek produced a point in each of Greenfield’s first 11 games to open the season. 

“I wasn’t really expecting to win this,” Jurek said. “It’s crazy, honestly. I didn’t know much about it before but it’s pretty cool. I was way more comfortable out there this year and I definitely shot the puck more.” 

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Jurek’s FCHA youth coach, Tim Petrin, told Bouchard he would enjoy coaching Jurek once he got to the high school level. Jurek has lived up to that expectation, with Bouchard saying he is more than deserving of winning the Gene Grazia Award.

“I’ve seen him grow from his freshman to sophomore year where his production went up,” Bouchard said. “Then this year, he got even better and became a dynamic player. He has great vision, he has some sneaky speed where the defender thinks he’s skating with him but the next second Jake has half a step on him. With his skill, that’s all he needs.

“Winning the award as a junior is such an honor for him,” Bouchard added. “I’m glad I have one more year coaching Jake. The sky is the limit for him offensively.” 

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Baumann won a Bessone award.

After all, his older brother Bryan won the Kevin J. Major award during his time playing for Greenfield, and his brother Kevin also took home the Aldo Altobelli Rookie of the Year award while playing for the Green Wave. 

“Each one of the Baumann brothers has carved out a legacy in our program,” Bouchard said. “Shawn’s is just beginning. He proved he can play and that teams will have to look out for him these next two years. What we love about him is he’s the epitome of a two-way hockey player. He cares about defense more than offense. I’m extremely proud he’s recognized by the hockey community for his efforts.” 

Baumann, a sophomore, started the year fighting for minutes but by the end of the season, was an integral cog on a Greenfield team that took home a Wright Division title. 

Baumann winning the Rookie of the Year award means a Green Wave player has won it seven of the last nine years.

“Shawn is another great example of what it takes to be a Green Wave student athlete,” Bouchard said. “He came into the year with third line expectations, fighting for a spot and playing minutes. As the season progressed, he grew, grew, grew and played strong, hard hockey. By the end of the year he centered one of our top lines, was getting power play minutes and playing a lot for a sophomore.” 

Each of the 12 major Bessone awards includes a $500 scholarship, which will be presented during an April 11 reception at the Dante Club in West Springfield. Senior forwards Jake Jarrell of Pope Francis and Owen Hall of West Springfield will receive Amo Bessone Awards, presented to this season’s overall most valuable players.