Noontime’s High School Football Stars of The Week (August 31, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com 

Following a busy few days of high school football, it is time to not just recap a slew of action, but also unveil our first-ever Noontime Sports Stars of the Week for Monday, August 31, 2020.

Our ‘Stars of the Week’ post will highlight a slew of national high school football players that made an impact this past week for their respective teams.

No matter the outcome, our goal for this post (and future high school football content) remains the same: promote the student-athletes we cover in a positive way.

Again, we are super excited to begin the first of many Monday posts that will highlight the action taking place around the country this summer and fall.


Noontime Sports’ High School Football Stars of the Week (Monday, August 31, 2020)

Let’s begin in Utah where Jaxson Dart led Corner Canyon to its third-straight win of the season as the Chargers topped the Bingham Miners, 42-20.

Dart concluded the game by tossing six touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 132 yards on 11 carries. The senior signal-caller connected with four different receivers for touchdowns, including classmates Talmage Handley and Noah Kjar, who concluded with two scoring receptions, respectively.

On defense, Ryan Cahoon led Corner Canyon with 14 total tackles, including 10 solo stops.

Dart and the Chargers, who are averging 49 points per game, will visit the Jordan Beetdiggerson Friday, September 4. The Beetdiggers are seeking their first win of the 2020 season.

In Texas, Armando Lee Juarez II rushed for four touchdowns while completing four of five passes for 117 yards and one touchdown as Madisonville rolled past Diboll, 49-20.

The win – the Mustangs’ first of the 2020 season – also included a touchdown reception by Patrick Brazzell, along with two Madisonville players – Jeramiah Burns and Jace Snook – finishing the contest with 10 total tackles.

Juarez commended his entire offensive unit after the contest concluded, telling Campbell Atkins of The Madisonville Meteor that a majority of the team’s touchdowns occured from the “QB blast plays.”

In Ohio, Mentor High School won its season-opener against Medina, despite the game being delayed for 45 minutes due to lightnining.

The Cardinals, who scored an impressive 37-19 win, were led by seniors Ian Kipp and Riley Coughlin, who combined for 246 yards of total offense. Kipp, who is the Mentor quarterback, toss two touchdowns while Coughlin rushed two more scores.

Here are some additional ‘Stars of the Week’:  

Nathan McCahill (Cathedral | Indiana | Quarterback): McCahill led the Fighting Irish to an impressive 44-28 win over Carmel by completing 20 of 29 passes for 374 yards and and three touchdowns.

As noted by High School Football America, McCahill has tossed eight touchdowns this season as the Fighting Irish scored an opening day win one week earlier over Westfield.

Andrew Body (Roy Miller High School | Texas | Quarterback): The senior signal-caller guided Miller to a 62-20 win over Tuloso-Midway by completing 14 of 22 passes for 265 yards and four touchdowns. Body also rushed twice for 37 yards.

Reise Meechan (New Philadelphia | Ohio | Running Back): The junior tailback rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns as the Quakers rolled past Canton Central Catholic by a score of 40-7.

Rylan Galvan (Sinton | Texas | Running Back): The junior halfback rushed for 302 yards on 20 carries and four touchdowns against Orange Grove.

J.B. Mitchell III (Thompson | Alabama | Wide Receiver): The senior wideout, who was tabbed the Warrior Nation Network Offensive Player of the Week, concluded last Saturday’s win over Sparkman with eight receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown.

Peter Woods (Thompson | Alabama | Defensive Lineman): Woods, who is a sophomore, highlighted his team’s second win of the season against Sparkman by registering 2.5 tackles for a loss, including 1.5 sacks. 

Our Noontime Sports ‘Stars of the Week’ post aims to highlight numerous high school football student-athletes from across the country through research gathered from various websites and outlets to social media and roundups.

Nominees for our weekly ‘Stars of the Week’ can be sent every Sunday to NoontimeSports@gmail.com. 

Noontime Sports Unveils Content Plans For Fall Sports Coverage

NoontimeSportsLogo2020By Matt Noonan

Happy Monday, everyone!

We hope this post finds all our fans and friends continuing to do well while staying safe and healthy.

As we inch closer to the fall, we are in the process of generating some new content ideas for both the site and podcast, as well as our social media channels.

And as expected, a majority of our content will center around football this fall.

Yes, our coverage may not be exactly the same as many recall from previous years, but we are excited to produce some new content on the various teams and programs we have been fortunate to cover these past ten years here in New England, as well as highlight some new squads from around the region and country that will be competing later this summer and fall on the gridiron.

Starting today – Monday, August 31, to be exact – we will be producing our first-ever ‘Stars of the Week’ post, which will highlight various high school student-athletes that competed the previous Friday and Saturday. Additionally, we hope to welcome a coach, student-athlete, or reporter/media member from different areas of the country onto our podcast each week to share stories from games and practices.

Of course, I anticipate other content will be created as we inch closer to the end of the year, but for now, hopefully, this post (and insight) provides everyone with some additional excitement for what you can expect to see over the next few weeks and months.

As you know, I have been running (and yes, overseeing) Noontime Sports since I launched the site in May 2009, and it has been an amazing journey that has allowed me to connect with so many great people under the athletic umbrella. I am so thankful for everyone’s ongoing support for coverage and look forward to getting back to blogging and podcasting this afternoon!

Football Friday: Revisiting Framingham State’s 2012 Campaign

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Framingham State’s Melikke Van Alstyne chases Endicott College’s PJ Bandini after an interception in the second half. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Happy Friday, everyone!

And welcome to our second installment of ‘Football Friday,’ a post where we revisit stories, teams, coaches, and student-athletes that we have covered over the past decade.

Today, we’re jumping back to 2012 to highlight a Framingham State University football team that not only won the New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship against Salve Regina University but also advanced to its first-ever NCAA D-III Tournament.

The Rams’ run toward a national championship, unfortunately, concluded in the opening round against SUNY Cortland – the Red Dragons edged Framingham State, 20-19, despite a fourth-quarter rally by the Black and Gold.

Yet, despite a one-point setback in the national tournament, the 2012 season was quite a memorable one for the Rams, which captured the program’s first and only NEFC title, while four members of the squad, including coach Tom Kelley, garnered major postseason awards from the conference. Additionally, Framingham State won 10 games for the first time in program history and only lost once in the regular season to Endicott College, which defeated the 2011 NEFC Bogan Division and Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) champions on the opening day of the 2012 season.

Endicott’s defense shined in its week one victory against the Rams as the unit finished the contest with five interceptions, five tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery, and a trio of pass break-ups.

“We stuffed them on first down (and) forced them (into) long second downs (and) that really got them out of their groove,” Endicott’s Andrew Holfinger said following his team’s initial win of its 2012 campaign.

Luckily, the loss to the Gulls was quickly forgotten six days later when Framingham State scored its first win of the 2012 season against Nichols College.

The Rams, who defeated the Bison by a score of 34-6, leaned on its ground game as both Matthew Mangano and Melikke Van Alstyne combined for four touchdowns and 393 rushing yards.

The victory over the Bison seemed to provide the Rams with a ton of momentum as they would go onto capture its next nine contests, including a 16-0 win over rival Bridgewater State University followed by an exciting overtime victory against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Not only did the Framingham State offense shine throughout the 2012 season, but so did  the defense, which limited its numerous foes to 12.8 points per game, along with 63.0 rushing yards per contest.

After registering just seven points in the opening week, the Rams concluded seven contests with 30 points or more. But during the team’s final regular-season contest against Worcester State University, all three units – offense, defense, and special teams – collaborated to produce a season-high 65 points.

The 65-21 win over the Lancers allowed the Rams to clinch its second-straight NEFC Bogan Division crown, as well as secure a spot in the conference’s championship round one week later against Salve Regina.

“We’re certainly going to be tested,” Kelley said when previewing his team’s contest against the Seahawks at the New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston luncheon, which was held at Harvard University.

Salve Regina entered the contest with an identical 9-1 record. The Seahawks averaged nearly 400 yards of offense while the defense limited opponents to roughly two touchdowns per game.

But despite scoring the first points of the 2012 NEFC title game, Salve Regina struggled to contain both Melikke Van Alstyne and Matthew Silva, who combined for three rushing touchdowns. 

James Muirhead led the Rams defense with eight total tackles, including three stops for a loss of 17 yards and one forced fumble.

Salve Regina, which trailed Framingham State by four points (14-10) at the break, attempted to mount a late comeback during the final minutes of the fourth quarter but saw its rally dashed when the Rams recovered its onside kick.

Moments after the final kickoff of the game was recorded, the Rams celebrated a hard-fought championship, which Muirhead considered “so surreal.”

“All the hard work paid off,” said Muirhead, who was named the Bull Mottola Championship Game Most Valuable Player Award following the final whistle.

“I don’t really have any words to explain it,” he would add.

The 28-16 win over the Seahawks was a culmination of the Rams’ commitment of hard work and determination that was fueled by an overtime setback one year earlier in the same contest to Western New England. And while the victory over the Seahawks did not spark a deep postseason run, it was certainly the beginning of many more conference titles and postseason appearances for a squad that has maintained its success over the past few years.

Watching – and yes, covering – this team truly made me fall in love more with small college football. The 2012 season truly marked the beginning of my tenure of producing content on various New England D-III athletic teams and programs, and I am thankful for the time both Tom Kelley and the players provided me throughout this exciting and historic campaign.

MIAA BOD Provides A Glimmer Of Hope For High School Student-Athletes

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High school soccer will occur this fall, but it will look different. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Credit is due to not just the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Board of Directors and Covid-19 Task Force, but everyone that has been working tirelessly these past few months to provide our state’s high school student-athletes with some sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times.

Wednesday’s unanimous decision by the MIAA Board of Directors to accept plans for a four-season model by the Covid-19 Task Force, including the opportunity to play football next February, should be seen as a positive. But as we know, there is still a lot of work to be done as we inch closer to the official start of a new fall season, which will look quite different than years past.

As of today, the 2020 fall sports season will begin Monday, September 18 for the following sports: soccer, gymnastics, cross-country, field hockey, girl’s volleyball, swimming and diving, and golf. And just to be clear, the start date listed above means practices, not games.

Each contest, match, and meet will look quite different. And that is because we’re living in pandemic so don’t be surprised if the soccer committee completely rewrites the rules we’re accustomed to like header, throw-ins, and slide tackles, so every participant, including coaches and officials, can feel safe on the pitch.

Modifications for each sport, which are due next Tuesday, August 25, must aline with the state’s current guidelines for Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities established by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

According to Jim Clark of the Boston Globe, the Covid-19 Task Force will review the modifications and tweaks submitted by each sport’s committee next week “for final consideration by (Jeff) Granatino and MIAA executive director Bill Gaine by Sept. 1.”

As we anxiously await for future announcements – and yes, news and notes on Twitter – I feel it is best to stop and appreciate the hard work by these men and women, who have provided our state’s student-athletes with the hope of better days to come with a return to play format.

Yes, there is still a slew of questions that need to be answered with a new fall sports season on the horizon. There will also be new wrinkles to the current plan in place, too, but as we learned last week from our friend in Connecticut, the current situation is fluid and things could change because of the coronavirus.

But for now, our state has plans in place for a brand new high school sports season, which should put a smile on everyone’s face. And while the upcoming school year and yes, athletic year, too, will be rather unique, it will be a story many of us will be eager to tell our children and grandchildren when questions about the coronavirus pandemic are brought up in the future. And as someone that loves to tell stories, I will be excited – is excited the right word? – to share my experience.

Massachusetts High School Football Will Compete Next February

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Some fall sports will be allowed to play this fall, while high school football will not be allowed until next February. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

There will be no high school football games in Massachusetts this fall due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But there is hope for the state’s local gridiron stars to play some games next February as the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Board of Directors unanimously approved recommendations from the organization’s COVID-19 Task Force to allow four seasons to occur this upcoming school year.

Football, which is deemed a higher-risk activity by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), will compete during the “floating season,” which is scheduled to kick off Monday, February 22, and conclude Sunday, April 25. Cheerleading, unified basketball, and any other fall sport that cannot compete during the initial fall season, which is scheduled to commence Friday, September 18, will also be allowed to play games during the Fall II season, according to one of 11 recommendations approved by the Board of Directors.

With yesterday’s decision to delay the start of the 2020 high school football season, Massachusetts joins a growing list of other states that won’t play games this fall, including Colorado, Nevada, and North Carolina – all three states are scheduled to kick off their respective seasons in February, too.

Locally, the debate of if and when a high school football will occur continues to be a hot topic, especially in New Hampshire where some districts plan to play games this fall while others will not. According to WMUR, Bedford will not allow its student-athletes to play football or soccer, as well as compete for its crew team, but will permit bass fishing, cross country, field hockey, golf, and outdoor volleyball with some restrictions.

It is possible football and soccer may not occur in Maine this fall due to recent state guidelines presented by the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) on Wednesday.

Here in Massachusetts, high school sports fans will be treated to some of the usual fall activities, including soccer, gymnastics, cross country, field hockey, girl’s volleyball, swimming and diving, and golf. However, the rules for all these sports will most likely be tweaked by each sport’s committee and the MIAA Sports Medicine Committee.

While there won’t be football games played on Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons this fall, teams will be permitted to practice but must adhere to the EEA’s guidelines for activities in Phase III, Step 1.