By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11
In just a few weeks, Noontime Sports will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary, which is hard for me to fathom.
When I started my site as a junior in college, my intentions were simple: get a job in sports media and shut down your little entity that was predominantly focused on analyzing Boston sports – well, more attempting to opine on various hot stove issues surrounding the Boston Bruins, Celtics, and Red Sox, as well as the New England Patriots, too.
But over time, the site became more than just a hobby that produced daily or weekly podcasts on independent baseball or whatever I was watching on ESPN. Instead, it became a labor of love. And that labor of love blossomed into an outlet that covered games at Harvard Stadium, TD Garden, and WPI. And the list goes on and on.
The journey seemed unimaginable for a soon-to-be 21-year-old who was ready to imagine life after Wheaton College (Mass.). But looking back on the past ten years, I am so proud of what I built (and established) within the small college space, along with the occasional major and minor league sports coverage, and yes, some high schools, too.
My site has connected me with some amazing people, including current and past editors, writers, and stringers throughout the New England region, to new friends like Anthony Karpouzis of Zelos Athletics, Brett Sillari of Sillari Properties, and Mike Loveday of LaxRecords.com.
Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my two favorite D3 football guys – that would be James Baker and Frank Rossi – as well as Rusty Eggen and Mark Therien, who helped establish a partnership with the Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA). All four have inspired me to produce content that highlights the true meaning of the student-athlete – I owe a lot to all four of these guys and am forever thankful for their help and support of coverage.
Of course, there are others that have made this journey so special like Tom Kelley, who became the first Division III football coach I ever spoke with when I elected to begin covering the small college sports beat in 2012 to Larry Anderson and Sonia Raman at MIT. And how could I forget Melissa Hodgdon, who has always believed me in since I was a student at Wheaton when I broadcasted her various basketball games, including an epic New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship win over Springfield College in 2008.
‘This is Noontime’ is a testament to the amazing people I have met throughout this journey – it is a tribute to their buy-in and appreciation for what I set out to do, which again provided hyperlocal sports coverage to the Division III world (and yes, even Division I and II in New England) years ago. (Did you know I tried to get UMass football on my radar?)
My hope is this series, which you will see both here on NoontimeSports.com, as well as across social media, will inspire you to chase your dreams and follow what you love. I can’t say this has been an easy journey – nope, there have been a slew of challenges I have faced and overcome – but again, I am proud of what I attempted to do and thankful to so many people for allowing me to step into their office, swap texts or emails, or speak with me for a 20 minute call, so I could tell their story through various mediums like features and podcasts.
I am excited to begin this new series and hope you will enjoy as much as I do, so stay tuned for the first video episode, as well as some written insight, as well.