Daily Noontime: Monday, January 25, 2021

By NoontimeSports.com

The Daily Noontime is officially back – yay!

Yes, we’re back – we missed you, but we’re excited to kickstart your mornings (and sometimes early afternoons, too) with some news and links from the sports and tech world.

As usual, we hope this post finds everyone doing well, staying safe, and holding the line – we’re almost there, we promise!

Alright, let’s get after it with today’s Daily Noontime – have a great day, everyone!


Enjoy a brand new Noontime Sports Podcast featuring Seth Cantor and Kevin Tuve. Seth and Kevin, who work for the New York Boulders baseball team in the Frontier League, share some early thoughts on how both the team (and players, coaches, and front office staff) are preparing for a return to play later this spring and summer.

Listen to our Monday show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify – you can also find other outlets that carry our show on Anchor.


Monday’s Headlines (Jan. 25 2021)

In case you missed it (ICYMI): Did you miss our Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts column from Sunday, January 24? If so, hop here – you will want to read Matt Noonan‘s thoughts from the weekend!

Where Things Stand With High School Sports

According to a recent NFHS study, some states are playing basketball while others are expected to start their respective seasons this month. (PHOTO COURTESY: VisualHunt.com)

By Matt Noonan

In normal times, the high school winter sports season, both here in New England and around the country, would be well underway. But these are not normal times.

Due to the coronavirus, some states, including Massachusetts, are playing some sports this winter – of course, they don’t look like they usually do with mask-wearing to social distancing – while others like Alaska, Connecticut, and Virginia have yet to play a single regular season basketball contest as of this morning. Those states are set to begin competition later this month, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which recently unveiled its ‘Winter Sports Season Guide‘ on Friday, January 15.

The NFHS guide provides high school sports fans with a closer look – well, more a breakdown, to be exact – of who is playing and who is not to what states, including California, Hawaii, and Nevada that have yet to play a single sport this school year (2020-21).

When it comes to wearing masks during competition, 11 states, including Arizona, Kansas, and Kentucky, have mandated that everyone wears them except when competing while 19 states, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, require all participants to cover their face, both on the bench and on the ice or hardwood.

While basketball was certainly the focus of this particular update, there were some interesting notes worth sharing (below) on the state of high school hockey:

  • Nine states are currently playing hockey – in fact, Ohio and Wisconsin started their respective seasons last November.
  • Six states have not dropped the puck this winter, including Connecticut, Michigan, and New York. Here in New England, Rhode Island has yet to announce when its schools will be able to play games, but practices are permitted. Vermont is currently not allowing its various programs to compete or practice.
  • Five states will conclude their respective seasons without a state championship while five others have yet to announce plans for postseason competition. Five states, including Alaska, Michigan, and North Dakota, have announced dates for their respective state finals.

While it is nice to see some states (and areas of the country) playing basketball and hockey, we certainly know these games should look a bit different – shall we say normal? – hopefully next fall and winter. But for now, make sure to wear your mask, social distance, and wash those hands.

Ivy League Cancels Winter Sports

The Ivy League has canceled its 2020-21 winter sports season. (PHOTO COURTESY: IvyLeague.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

There will be no Ivy League athletic events taking place this winter.

The Ancient Eight called off winter sports this evening due to an uptick in cases of COVID-19, both locally and around the country, while announcing fall sports, including football, would not occur during the spring semester. As for spring sports, they have been paused until “at least the end of February 2021,” per this evening’s release, which can be found on the Ivy League’s website.

Similar to the Ivy League’s announcement about fall sports in July, health and safety for both the student-athletes and coaches, along with each campus and community was a major reason why the Council of Presidents unanimously decided to cancel winter sports. However, the league did confirm that student-athletes that will not be competing this winter, as well as those that did not play games this fall, will not lose a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility, whether they are currently or not enrolled.

Despite competition for the winter season being canceled, the Ivy League will permit each institution to offer training opportunities and practices for its student-athletes that are enrolled on campus, but each program must adhere to the guidance issued by their respective institution as well as state and local regulations.

Noontime’s High School Football Play Of The Week (Sept. 14, 2020)

Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (AL) earned our first-ever high school football play of the week honor. (PHOTO COURTESY: Michael Casagrande / Twitter)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Yes, high school football is being played in the United States of America despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we can’t highlight some exciting plays from the gridiron, right? 

This week, we’re starting a new weekly high school football post, which will be published every Monday that will showcase our favorite play from the past weekend. And this week’s choice was too easy. 

In case you don’t know by now, Tuscaloosa Hillcrest somehow miraculously won its Friday evening contest last week Wetumpka, thanks to nine laterals on the game’s final play

As noted in the Los Angeles Times piece, AL.com called the play “Bronco,” which is certainly an interesting name, right? 

Either way, the play somehow worked and even got the attention of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who tweeted the following: “This is why we love football.” 

Indeed, we love football and this might be the craziest play we have ever seen. And hopefully, we see more plays like this as the season progresses. 

High School Football Returns Tonight In Utah

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The Herriman High School Mustangs will kickoff their 2020 football season on Thursday, August 13. (PHOTO COURTESY: Herriman High’s Facebook Page)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Believe it or not, the 2020 high school football season will kick off this evening in Utah with Herriman High School hosting Davis High School at 7 p.m. And for those itching to listen to the game, you will be able to hear it on KJZZ.

In normal times, this game may be a blip on the radar with sports fans consuming either a Major League Baseball (MLB) game or a preseason National Football League (NFL) contest. But as we know, 2020 has and continues to be a strange year due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which means any sense of normalcy like a high school football game in Utah seems to be exactly what we need.

And in case you are not able to stream or watch tonight’s contest, more games will be played tomorrow night followed by a slew of contests next week, not just in Utah, but other parts of the country, including Alaska, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Here in New England, it appears high school football fans in four states – Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont – will be treated to some games at some point this fall, but of course, everything is fluid.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island high school football fans, as well as coaches and players, also hope to provide its fans with a season this fall, too, but nothing official has been announced from either state’s organization other than tentative plans. But according to a recent update from Dan Roche of WBZ, it seems unlikely that Massachusetts will play high school football this fall due to new guidelines “implemented from the state.”

Stay tuned, we will keep you posted if a high school football season, along with other sports, will occur this fall here in Massachusetts.