Noontime Commentary: Early Thoughts On Fall Sports In New England

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Some college athletic folks seem more pessimistic than optimistic about having football games on campus this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

It may be late June, but the thought of college sports taking place this fall, specifically in New England seems hard to fathom due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Sure, the numbers and data seem to be trending in the right direction in all six New England states, but before a slew of major announcements occurs next month, two schools have already announced plans to forgo the upcoming fall sports season.

Bowdoin College announced earlier today they would not be competing until next January, which means the school’s second-year football coach B.J. Hammer won’t be able to lead the Polar Bears onto the field in September. But it is possible we could see Hammer and the Polar Bears, along with their school’s other fall sports programs could compete during the spring semester, according to WGME-TV’s Dave Eid.

This past weekend the Boston Globe reported that UMass Boston wouldn’t be competing for Little East Conference (LEC) crowns this fall while Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman announced

today that the school plans to continue to operate remotely for the upcoming semester

Does this mean the Beacons of UMass Boston won’t be playing until this winter or next spring? Possibly, but as Newman said in today’s update about the fall semester, “If there were a way to make a different decision in a manner that we feel is responsible, we surely would. Sadly, the virus is spreading amongst athletes in states that have opened up. We don’t want that to happen to our Beacons. “

Indeed, the virus has impacted a slew of NCAA D-I schools and programs, including Clemson University and Louisiana State University (LSU). Additionally, it was reported lasted week that Kansas State had to press pause on its voluntary workouts for 14 days due to some student-athletes testing positive.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus is here to stay – most likely, we won’t resume a sense of normalcy until a vaccine is developed, but it is expected that more news of positive tests and schools forgoing fall sports to keep their students – and yes, their student-athletes safe – will be announced in the coming days and weeks.

Rooting for schools to be open so students can return to campus is something we should all want, especially during such unprecedented times.

But unfortunately, this virus does not take vacations and will certainly continue to be with us when school bells begin to ring in late August and early September, which means it won’t be easy for football, soccer, field hockey, and volleyball games to be played this fall. 

Bowdoin College Women’s Basketball Secures Top Spot In D3Hoops Top 25 Poll

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Bowdoin College Polar Bears.

By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11 

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Bowdoin College women’s basketball team checked-in first overall in the latest D3Hoops.com Top 25 Poll (Week One), which was posted late Monday evening.

The Polar Bears, who checked-in second overall in the preseason poll earlier this month, slid into the top spot in this week’s poll, thanks its current four-game winning streak, which includes wins over MIT and University of New England.

Bowdoin collected 17 first-place votes, while Hope and St. Thomas garnered a trio of first-place nods. Chicago, which checked-in fifth overall, secured two first-place votes.

The Polar Bears are one of four New England teams on this week’s poll as Tufts University and Amherst College secured the sixth and seventh positions, respectively, while St. Joseph’s (Maine) checked-in 12th overall.

Bowdoin visits Colby College on Saturday, December 1st with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m.


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_Hoops

Under The Helmet with Nate Richam (Bowdoin College)

Bowdoin College Athletics, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, Brian Beard - CIP

Bowdoin College tailback Nate Richam broke a 42-year old single-game rushing record with 288 yards and two touchdowns last week against Middlebury College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brian Beard/CIPhotography.com)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Bowdoin College junior halfback Nate Richam appeared unstoppable last week on the ground, rushing for a game-high 288 yards and two touchdowns in the Polars Bears’ second contest of the season against Middlebury College.

Richam’s 288 rushing yards shattered a 42-year old single-game record, which was previously held by Jim Soule, who tallied 270 yards on the ground during a Bowdoin football game in 1976.

The third year back’s impressive performance against the Panthers earned him recognition by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) as this week’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week (Richam shared the honored with Trinity College quarterback Jordan Vazzano).

Through two games this season, Richam has rushed for 366 yards on 48 carries and two touchdowns. He is averaging 183.0 yards per game and has rushed for an additional 20 more yards than he finished with last season when he tallied 346 yards in six games.

Earlier this week, Noontime Sports caught-up with Richam to discuss his impressive performance from a week ago, as well as his outlook on his team’s offense heading into their next few contests, including Amherst College on Saturday.


Following the conclusion of last Saturday’s game, did you know you had broken a Bowdoin single-game rushing record? 

I wasn’t aware that I had broken a Bowdoin’s single-game rushing record once last week’s game concluded. It wasn’t even a thought that crossed my mind during the course of the game, but after the handshakes and our final huddle, a couple of my coaches approached me with the news. My reaction was lackluster, I was not trying to downplay the achievement, but at the time I really wished we had won the game. Looking back on the accomplishment, it’s definitely something that I will cherish, but at the end of the day I am just happy for all of my teammates that were on the field with me that helped me make it happen.

It sounds cliche, but what worked for you and the o-line this past week against Middlebury? 

I think it was our shift to more downhill running plays. A major part of our offensive momentum was within the attitude of our plays. It was very clear what we were going to run the ball. It didn’t matter if the defense knew what was happening because we were going be more physical, and we also knew our plays were going to work.

How can you and the offense continue this ground success this week against Amherst, as well as the rest of the season?

We have to remain level headed going forward, but also remain confident about the progress we made last week. We had a very poor start to the season, but our ability to bounce back was impressive last week. Additionally, we can’t be complacent with our offensive success because there are far too many things that we will be improving on as the season progresses.

Have you ever rushed for 288 yards in a single-game before or possibly more? If so, when and where did it happen?

During my final home game of my senior year I rushed for 503 yards against my high school’s rival, which we had not beaten in four years. My offensive line beat up their front seven and from there I was off to the races.

Do you have a favorite current or past running back that you look up/have shaped your game after? If so, who is it and what makes them a great running back? 

I am a huge fan of LaDainian Tomlinson and Le’Veon Bell. Tomlinson had an iconic stiff arm that would knock helmets off of unsuspecting defenders, while Bell has ridiculous patience in the hole and trusts his blockers. Bell also has a certain explosiveness to his game when he breaks free. My running style is a mix of those two players.

Bowdoin College Athletics, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, Brian Beard - CIP

Nate Richam was tabbed Co-NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week earlier this week after breaking a 42-year old Bowdoin College football record. (PHOTO CREDIT:

Have you always been a running back or have you played other positions in the past? What made you interested in being a running back? 

I’ve played running back since youth league. Honestly, I just wanted the ball. I also knew  no six year-olds were going to pass it, so I made sure I was in the position to carry the ball as much as possible.

What are you currently studying at Bowdoin and do you know what you like to do with that major after graduation? 

I’m an economics major and would like do something in finance in the future. At this moment I’m looking into asset management.

Finally, what is a game day atmosphere like at Bowdoin? What do you enjoy most about playing in front of your hometown fans and friends? 

The atmosphere on a game day here at Bowdoin is very unique. It starts with the walk bordering our campus through the pines and between towering iron gates. There is nothing like it. My favorite moments of playing here are at the end of the season when it’s very cold, but our fans are in full-form regardless of the weather. But playing at home in front of our fans is just a bonus. I love it.


Stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

D3 Lacrosse: Final Noontime Top 10 Women’s Lax Poll (Wednesday, May 30th)

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By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Mother Nature extended the NCAA Division 3 Women’s Lacrosse season an extra day and fans were treated to an exciting final contest between Gettysburg College and Middlebury College on Monday morning at Kerr Stadium in Salem, Virginia.

Middlebury stormed back to close the gap from a five-goal deficit to two, but Gettysburg managed to halt the rally with its defense to secure its second-straight national crown. Prior to facing Gettysburg in the national championship, Middlebury defeated TCNJ in the semifinals last Saturday.

The Panthers enjoyed an exciting postseason run, which began with a late-second half surge to beat Bowdoin College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) finals before knocking-off Babson CollegeIllinois Wesleyan and York College (Pa.). Middlebury will graduate some key players from this year’s squad, but will certainly be back in the mix next season.

Amherst College provided some serious challenges to this year’s national champion – in fact, it almost appeared as if the Mammoths were going to beat Gettysburg and advance to the national semifinals. Unfortunately, that did not happen, but this young squad will certainly be a team to keep an eye on next spring.

Rounding out the top five positions is Trinity College, Bowdoin and Wesleyan University – all three teams appeared in this year’s national tournament. Bowdoin and Wesleyan were not easy outs in the playoffs, so expect both teams to be back in the mix next year for both a NESCAC and national crown.

As always, stay connected with @Noontime_Lax on Twitter for lacrosse news, notes, scores and more!

Women’s D3 New England Top 10 Poll | Weds. May 30th, 2018 

1. Middlebury College

20-3, 9-1 NESCAC

2. Amherst College 

17-3, 9-1 NESCAC

3. Trinity College 

13-7, 6-4 NESCAC

4. Bowdoin College 

14-6, 6-4 NESCAC

5. Wesleyan University

12-7, 6-4 NESCAC

6. Tufts University 

13-5, 8-2 NESCAC

7. Babson College  

13-8, 7-1 NEWMAC

8.  Springfield College 

15-7, 7-1 NEWMAC

9.  Endicott College 

14-4, 8-0 CCC

10. Westfield State 

18-3, 7-0 MASCAC

ON THE RISE: Castleton (11-7, 7-0 NAC), Johnson & Wales (17-3, 10-0 GNAC), Plymouth State (14-0, 6-0 LEC)

D3 Lacrosse: Final Noontime Top 10 Men’s Lax Poll (Wednesday, May 30th)

NS LAX TOP 10 POLL

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

The 2018 NCAA Division 3 Men’s Lacrosse season officially concluded this past weekend with Wesleyan University winning its first-ever national title with an 8-6 win over Salisbury University at Gillette Stadium.

With the two-goal win, the Cardinals secured the top spot in our final Noontime Sports New England D3 Men’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll. Wesleyan began the season as a top team in our poll, but was forced to share the top position with New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foes Amherst College and Tufts University. The Jumbos secured the second position in our final poll, while the Mammoths slid into the third spot.

Springfield College, which captured this year’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown, checked-in fourth overall, while Williams College rounded out the top five, checking-in fifth overall.

Conn. College and Coast Guard Academy – two teams we watched more closely this season – secured the sixth and sevenths positions, respectively. We expect both teams to be back in the mix next spring, despite some key graduation departures.

As always, you can stay connected with @Noontime_Lax on Twitter for lacrosse news, notes, scores and more!

Men’s D3 New England Top 10 Poll | Weds. May 30th, 2018 

1. Wesleyan University 

19-3, 10-1 NESCAC

2. Tufts University 

18-2, 9-1 NESCAC

3. Amherst College 

15-4, 9-1 NESCAC

4. Springfield College 

13-6, 6-1 NEWMAC 
5. Williams College 

9-8, 6-4 NESCAC

6. Conn. College 

10-6, 5-5 NESCAC

7. Coast Guard Academy 

14-4, 6-1 NEWMAC

8. Middlebury College 

9-7, 5-5 NESCAC

9. Bowdoin College 

8-7, 4-6 NESCAC

10.   Western New England 

13-7, 8-0 CCC

ON THE RISE: Babson College (9-7, 6-1 NEWMAC), Bates College (8-8, 4-6 NESCAC), Johnson & Wales (9-12, 5-4 GNAC), Keene State (12-5, 7-0 LEC) and New England College (16-5, 7-0 NAC)