Celebrating 10 Years of Noontime Sports

NS 10 Years

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

10 years ago I started a blog in my college dorm room.

It wasn’t the site you see today that offers a variety of content from podcasts to videos to polls on New England Division III basketball, football, and lacrosse teams, and much more, but instead just one person’s opinion on sports, both locally and nationally.

My goal was to ditch my little site after I graduated college in May 2010, but unfortunately, that plan never happened.

Instead, I continued blogging on local and national sports. I started a podcast and interviewed anyone that was willing to give me 15, 20 or 30 minutes to discuss a few hot stove topics over the phone – I am still amazed at the people that responded to a no-name blogger that was eager to interview them, but I am extremely thankful to folks like Bill Hancock (Executive Director of the Bowl Championship Series), Damon Amendolara (CBS Sports) and various SB Nation bloggers that made the beginning of this journey so much fun.

When I wasn’t podcasting or blogging, I was creating videos on a slew of topics from ‘March Madness’ to National Football League (NFL) news to asking strangers in Norwood, Massachusetts their thoughts on the 2011 Boston Celtics.

Of course, there were other videos, too, including me running around in my parents’ backyard with a soccer ball – what was I thinking?

As time went on, I decided to expand my content coverage map to hyper-local sports in New England, including stories on Massachusetts high school football games at Gillette Stadium to the Hockey East championships at the TD Garden. Additionally, I got to cover other events at Gillette and the Garden over the past few years, as well, while also finagling my way into Fenway Park to blog about ‘Frozen Fenway’ and the Harvard-Yale Football introduction for their 135th playing of ‘The Game’ last November.

Of course, there are other memories from the past 10 years that make me simile, including a post-game standup with one of my good friends from college, Dan Libon, following an important Massachusetts high school basketball tournament game in Brockton, Massachusetts. There was also the time I covered the ‘world’s most expensive hot dog‘ prior to a Brockton Rox contest, too – I didn’t eat it in case you were wondering, but it did look yummy.

Starting Noontime Sports was truly the best thing for my career – I mean it. The sports journalism and media worlds are not the easiest to crack so having my own site with the freedom (and flexibility) to produce content on daily, weekly or monthly on whatever I want is certainly a luxury, but something I don’t take advantage of. This site has allowed me to experiment and try new things, which has helped me pitch ideas that worked here to editors or colleagues for other outlets.

Additionally, Noontime Sports has allowed me to pursue my love of producing content for social media to building a brand and identifying an audience – that is essential for any blogger, podcaster and producer. Once you know what your fans and friends crave, then produce it so they will keep coming back eager for more content.

I can promise you, the fans and readers of Noontime Sports, that I will continue to do my absolute best to provide you with content going forward on small colleges and high schools to the occasional Boston sports piece to interesting conversations on my podcast.

I can’t believe it has been 10 years, but today, I am thanking my 20-year-old self for starting this site and paving this journey, which has allowed me to pursue my love of sports media.

Here is to another 10 years – maybe more – of fun and engaging content on hyperlocal sports to anything else that makes this job so much fun!

FCBL Unveils 2013 Schedule (LINKS)

By NoontimeSports.com 

On Thursday, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) released its 2013 schedule for their upcoming season.

“We’re looking forward to the 2013 season,” Commissioner Chris Hall said in the league’s press release. “We continue to work toward improving the level of talent and competition in the league. We also strive toward strengthening our ties within the community, and offering the most exciting, fan friendly baseball experience in New England.”

According to the release, each team in the league will play 54 games (27 home, 27 road), and the season will officially commence on June 5. The regular season will conclude on August 8, which will be followed by a three-round playoff system. The top two teams will earn byes, while the third, fourth, fifth and sixth will play a three-game series to determine which team will advance.

Also, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will host the second annual FCBL All-Star Game, which will be hosted by the Pittsfield Suns. The date of the game is July 25, and according to the league’s website, more information on that particular contest will be released in a few weeks.

Five Massachusetts teams compete in this leagues and their schedules for the 2013 season have been linked below:

* Brockton Rox 

* Martha’s Vineyard Sharks 

* North Shore Navigators 

* Pittsfield Suns 

* Wachusett Dirt Dogs

FCBL Championship Begins Tuesday, August 14

(Photo Credit: free-extras.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

On Tuesday, August 14, the Nashua Silver Knights will attempt to defend their Futures Collegiate Baseball League crown when they begin their championship series against the North Shore Navigators at Fraser Field at 7:00PM.

The Silver Knights clinched a spot in the title match for the second year in a row by defeating the Brockton Rox on Monday, 3-2, while the Navigators defeated the Torrington Titans on Sunday and Monday.

The series is a best-of-three games, and will technically conclude on Thursday, August 14.

For more information on the league or the championship — CLICK HERE.

Catching Up With Sean Ryan (Wheaton College Baseball)

Wheaton College’s Sean Ryan is experiencing a successful summer on the diamond with the Brockton Rox! (Photo Credit: Brockton Rox)

By Matt Noonan 

For the past few weeks, Wheaton College’s Sean Ryan has exhibited true offensive firepower with the Brockton Rox in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

This summer, the rising senior has recorded 52 hits, 22 RBIs, 21 runs, 16 stolen bases and 10 doubles. He’s also registered four triples, the most in the league thus far, and ranks second in batting average, too.

Yet, as much as Ryan would like to attribute his success on the field to practices and workouts, he insisted that a majority of his growth is owed to Wheaton’s head coach Eric Podbelski.

“I think Podbelski is really focused on the mental part of the game because you can’t allow yourself to get out, get upset and then bring that to your next at bat because then you’re most likely going to get out again, and get more upset,” said Ryan. “He’s really helped me with the mental game by staying calm, staying focused, and just focusing on the game and not statistics.”

This past season with the Lyons, Ryan led the unit with 86 hits and 30 stolen bases. He also tallied 49 runs, 37 RBIs and three home runs in a span of 52 games.

Wheaton managed to secure a spot in their second Div. III College Baseball World Series title match this past May, but once again fell short to Marietta College for the second time in six seasons.

Noontime Sports recently caught up with the Lyons slugger to discuss his success at Wheaton, along with his outlook on his upcoming senior year.

Growing up in Norton, did you ever consider playing baseball at Wheaton?

“When I was growing up, I honestly didn’t realize that Wheaton [was in my hometown]. I drove by it every day, and it didn’t even notice it. As I [learned] more about the program going into my senior year [at Norton High School] I realized that’s where I wanted to be.”

What was your first impression of Wheaton College?

“My first impression was Coach Podbelski, and how professional he was about everything. Every practice was just scheduled out [to perfection], there wasn’t any kind of confusion or anything, and everything was just a job. It was so organized.”

I know it’s been a few months since the World Series, but have you officially digested the defeat?

“It stings, it’s always going to sting. I have a feeling that we have a good chance to make it back to [the World Series next year] and that’s what we have to push for [next season].”

Prior to the first game against Marietta, did Coach Podbelski or any senior provide some words of wisdom about the series?

“As a team, our main idea is to treat every game like it’s a game. We can’t build up any game, [especially the World Series] because that’s when you start to make mistakes. And when it comes down to it, it’s the same game, still three outs, nothing changes.”

What do you think the postseason run will do for the program going forward?

“It’s good to put our program on the map. You get more recruits, you get even better, and Podbelski is the best coach, best recruiter that I’ve ever seen, so I feel like he’s going to make us better and better each year.”

In your honest opinion, what made Wheaton so successful this past year?

“We were a strong unit. We were all pushing for one goal, and when you get 30 guys pushing for one goal it makes it easier then when you have 10 guys pushing for one goal. Also, we [experienced] so much [this past] season, and we even had a point where we were losing close games and things weren’t going right, and as a team when that happens and then you’re able to pick yourself up after as a team, it’s really a maturing process. I felt when we entered the College Baseball World Series, we were a mature team and we were focused and ready.”

What are your overall thoughts on NEWMAC baseball?

“All the teams are well coached, and I feel like any [team] can win every year. My junior year, [this past spring], MIT came out of nowhere and they were a solid team, so I feel like every team is [constantly] getting better and better.”

Finally, do you think you’ll be able to cap off your senior season with a NCAA championship?

“First, you’ve got to win the NEWMAC, you’ve got to win that first, got to get there.”

FCBL Announces 2012 All-Star Rosters

By Matt Noonan 

On Thursday, July 19, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League announced the rosters for the league’s inaugural All-Star Game, which will be played on Thursday, July 26 at Historic Holman Stadium in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The first All-Star team features the league’s original four teams, (Martha’s Vineyard, Nashua, Seacoast, and Torrington) while the second squad is comprised of the five new teams, (Brockton, North Shore, Old Orchard Beach, Pittsfield and Wachusett).

Also, prior to the contest, the league will hold an MLB Scout Day, which will commence roughly four hours prior to the first pitch. The All-Stars and selected players will be able to display their skills during that portion of the afternoon in front of various Major League scouts.

For more information on the All-Star game (CLICK HERE) and to access the press release from Thursday (HOP HERE).