WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State senior linebacker Zach Howard (Spencer, Mass.), senior outfielder Anthony Crowley (Bellingham, Mass.), and senior women's basketball guard Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) were named the 2018-19 Athlete of the Year Award winners at the Owls Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's Senior and Awards banquet on April 30.
The senior Male Athlete of the Year award is normally awarded to one student-athlete, but due to the outstanding performances of the two award-winning athletes, the vote was split and given to both Crowley and Howard.
Howard was a five-year member of the football program, who battled multiple knee injuries throughout his career to stay on the field and ultimately come back for a graduate year. He is a three-time all-conference honoree, who capped his career by being named as the 2018 MASCAC Defensive Player of the Year. Howard was also named to the D3Football.com All-East Region team and was a New England Football Writers Division 2 and 3 All-Star selection.
As a part of his great season, he led the Owls with 78 tackles, totaled three-and a-half sacks and returned one of two interceptions for a touchdown. Over his career, Howard started in 30 games for the Owls, averaging 8.2 tackles a game and adding on three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles.
Crowley has been a four year standout for the baseball team. He's helped the team to three MASCAC regular season titles, two tournament titles, and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Crowley is a three-time all-conference selection, two-time MASCAC Player of the Year, an All-Region pick, and was a preseason All-American before the start of this past season.
Crowley sits atop the Owl record books in home runs, finishing with 30 after he broke a 35-year old record that was set by a player who was a fourth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also leads in slugging percentage (.679), total bases (321), and rbi (151). Crowley ranks within the top three all-time in triples (12), doubles (36), hits (176), and walks (92).
McCarthy was named the senior Female Athlete of the Year after finishing an excellent career with the women's basketball team this past winter. She helped lead the Owls to four-straight MASCAC Conference titles, and four-straight NCAA tournaments.
McCarthy was one of the most efficient scorers in Westfield State Basketball history, shooting 42 percent from the floor and totaling over 1,200 career points, 527 rebounds, and 244 steals. She was a two-time all-conference selection, a New England Women's Basketball Association senior all-star game selection for the 2018-19 season, and was voted the National Player of the Week during the 2018-19 campaign.