The 2020 Boston Marathon will not be held in September. Instead, runners will be able to complete the 26.2-mile course virtually, according to the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.).
The news of the marathon being canceled was announced earlier today by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. It was then followed by a press release from the BAA, which announced the 124th running of the Boston Marathon would be held virtually.
“The Boston Athletic Association, with our input and support, has determined that the traditional one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons,” Walsh said during today’s press briefing.
Walsh noted the city is not ready to host an event like the Boston Marathon, which attracts not just runners, but fans that are standing in “close proximity” along the course.
Boston currently has 12,634 cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) but has seen 6,272 recovered.
Tom Grilk, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Athletic Association, expressed the organization’s top priority is protecting the safety of everyone, including the volunteers, spectators, and supporters.
“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Grilk said in today’s release.
Those who were scheduled to run the race will be offered a full refund of their entry fee, according to today’s announcement from the BAA. They will also be invited to participate in the virtual marathon, which will take place from September 7-14.
There’s no doubt that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh would like to welcome back sports – he even said he would be willing to reopen Fenway Park and the TD Garden earlier this month with no fans. But as of this afternoon, Walsh believes its best to keep teams on the sidelines as the state and city slowly begin to reopen.
“As much as I would love to watch our pro teams play right now, we really have to put the health and safety of (the) Boston residents first,” Walsh said during his daily press briefing. “As I have said before, if pro teams (and) sports come back, it will be very different than what we’re used to.
“I don’t think right now we’re where in a place where we’ll have fans watching and cheering from the stands, (but) we also have to think about the health of the players and the players traveling from other places. Teams could look into things like temperature checks and testing to limit the spread amongst players and staff. Any proposals of teams will have to be matched with the proper health and safety protocol to make both staff and players feel comfortable with their plans.”
While Walsh’s announcement shouldn’t impact the Boston Celtics – if basketball were to resume, games would be held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports – it could be an issue for the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox.
The NHL is planning to provide its fans with an update this afternoon about restarting games while the MLB is trying to get a deal done between its players and owners. And if a deal is reached, it’s likely the Red Sox would play home games in Fort Myers, not Boston.
“We’ll keep fans posted as soon as decisions are made,” said Walsh.
The Bruins and Celtics last played in Boston in early March while the Red Sox’s last home game occurred against the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 2019.
“I feel grateful to be honored,” said Johnston, who was nominated for the award by Mike Kelley, who is the director of athletics at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
“It is a great honor and I am grateful for it. And I am glad I can represent Massachusetts Maritime Academy.”
Johnston became the first Buccaneer to receive this award since Jonathan White, who played soccer at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in 2011.
For student-athletes to receive this honor, they must be nominated by their school’s director of athletics, be a senior, and achieve at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average. Recipients are selected by the MASCAC Athletic Directors.
Johnston enjoyed a successful senior season with the Buccaneers, registering career-bests in total tackles (57.0), solo stops (37), sacks (12.5), and tackles for a loss (19.5). Additionally, he recorded a career-high three forced fumbles along with two break-ups. The 12.5 sacks were the most recorded by a defender in the conference – it was also the fifth-highest total in Division III.
Noontime Sports recently spoke with Johnston about his career with the Buccaneers, as well as where he is headed after graduation next month.
When you look back to your playing days with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program, what will you remember most?
The guys. I made some of my best friends through this program.
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program consists of some great all-around guys and they deserve to get awards like this too because they are just as competitive and just as good as I am to receive this (type) of honor, if not, better.
My position coach for my first three seasons with the Buccaneers – Odell Jones, who currently oversees the defensive line at Assumption College – was probably one of the best coaches I ever had in my career. He pushed me to my limits and I give him full credit with how successful I am in football today. But I will definitely remember the people the most (because) those are the memories that will last the most for me.
You and your teammates enjoyed a successful 2019 campaign. Do you feel the team (and program) took a step forward this past season?
Yeah, absolutely. I think it was a total success. My graduating class may have featured the most seniors this program has had in a while, but we stuck together through the ups and downs, and I give all credit to the players, including the grades below us.
I am hopeful the team can continue to build on what they did last year and continue to get better.
Your team competes in a few rivalry games each season. Which one is your favorite and why?
The (rivalry) we have with both Maine Maritime Academy and Maritime (N.Y.) are important to us and they go through the same stuff we go through (during game weeks). But our rivalry with Framingham State is important – it is always a big game and so is Bridgewater State. Unfortunately, we did not beat Bridgewater State this past year, but I always feel we put forth a good effort against them, as well as Framingham State.
Where will you be headed after graduation next month?
I just accepted a full-time position earlier this month with Travelers in Braintree, Massachusetts. I will be working in the ocean marine underwriters department.
Finally, do you plan to return to campus hopefully later this year or in the future to cheer on the Buccaneers?
Absolutely. I would love to come back and cheer on my teammates.
There’s hope for summer baseball in Massachusetts. But will games be played remains the biggest question?
The Intercity Baseball League (ICL) has yet to cancel its 2020 season but did share an update on Thursday that “safety of players, coaches, umpires, team officials, and fans” remains its biggest concern. It is possible a season could begin in July with a double-elimination tournament that would be followed by the playoffs, according to the board of directors’ recent post on the ICL website.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled a plan for the state’s reopening earlier this week, which did include outdoor activities and recreation, so it is possible the ICL could return in the third phase. But for the ICL to be able to play, they would need to obtain permits from the various cities and towns their teams compete in.
The ICL is an eight-team league and has been playing baseball games since 1950.
The Yawkey Baseball League (YBL) has yet to cancel its 2020 season, according to a recent update that was shared on Twitter. Dave McKay, who is the league’s president, expressed optimism for games to be played this summer but did say the YBL is “awaiting news on when permits will be issued.”
An update on the YBL’s 2020 season will be announced in two weeks.
In a Facebook post from last month, the Boston Park League announced they plan to provide its teams with a 21-game schedule, beginning Monday, July 6. The post also noted their 2020 season is “subject to guidelines from (Gov. Baker) and the City of Boston. No news from the BPL has been shared since last month.
The Cranberry League has not changed its plans to begin its season, as reported earlier this month. The league plans to play its season-opener on Sunday, June 21st, but most likely the start date would be pushed back due to the state’s phase reopening plan, which is in three-week increments.
The NCAA D-I Council voted to end the current moratorium for sports through May 31st. (PHOTO COURTESY: VisualHunt.com)
By Matt Noonan
Today was a good day for NCAA Division I basketball and football players.
The NCAA D-I Council voted to end the current moratorium this afternoon on all athletic activities through May 31 and allow student-athletes to return to their respective campus for summer workouts from June 1 to June 30.
Student-athletes that compete in other sports, such as soccer or field hockey, could learn as soon as next week if they would be allowed to return to campus to start their training for hopefully a fall season.
While it is not expected that every student-athlete will bolt back to campus to begin their respective training, it is likely that schools will welcome back athletes that may be living on campus or nearby. Perhaps more athletes will follow – in fact, Thamel reported that some colleges could see up to 25 or 30 student-athletes on campus next month, but of course, social distancing will be enforced in weight rooms and other facilities
Today’s ruling could be the sign of more good news to come as the 2020 college football season is currently slated to commence at the end of August.
These upcoming workouts won’t be the same as they have been in the past, according to Sports Illusrtrated, which reported in its story that student-athletes would normally spend eight hours a week training, including six hours with their school’s training staff.