Tag Archives: James Baker

Introducing ‘This Is Noontime’

THIS IS NS MATT

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 BruinsCeltics, 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 StadiumTD 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 AthleticsBrett 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.

D3 Football: NCAA Tournament (First Round) & New England Bowl Picks

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Springfield College looks to keep on rolling this weekend when they host Husson University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (PHOTO CREDIT: Roy Chambers)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s PLAYOFF time, which means it is time to dish out some picks for this weekend’s NCAA Division III first-round tournament – all east region games, by the way! – and both New England Bowls.

Best of luck to all teams competing and make sure to circle back throughout the weekend for updates on all six games!


Western New England (8-2) at Delaware Valley (10-0) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m. 

James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Tough draw for the Golden Bears against the top seed of the east region. DelVal is one of the top four seeds in the entire tournament, too. DelVal can score on offense and defense, so the Bears will have to be patient and not beat themselves with turnovers. WNE always surprises us, but the Aggies are just too tough to beat. PREDICTION: DelVal 48, WNE 21

Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): The win over St. Lawrence weeks ago saved WNE’s season, but against DelVal, the Golden Bears must be patient and protect the ball on offense. PREDICTION: DelVal 45, WNE 25 


Husson (9-1) at Springfield (10-0) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m. 

James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Featuring two of the best running backs in the nation, this game will go by fast – bring your track shoes, football fans! Often overlooked, the Pride’s defense has done a great job this season, allowing less than 88 rushing yards per game and 10.9 points per game, too. Husson halfback John Smith will get his carries, but it’ll be Springfield that wins and moves onto the next round. PREDICTION: Springfield 24, Husson 14

Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): As James and I have discussed numerous times this season, the Pride’s defense is legit, and yes, this unit has been overlooked by some in the D3 Football world. They’ll have their way against a talented Husson offense led by halfback John Smith, while the Springfield offense will rush by the Eagles’ defense for a few scores. Big game for Jordan WilcoxPREDICTION: Springfield 35, Hudson 16


Plymouth State (9-1) at Brockport (10-0) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m. 

James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): The ‘Mountain Men’ have a long trip to Western New York to face off against a Golden Eagles team that dominated the Empire 8 most of this season. This game should be relatively low scoring to start, and will depend on how well the Panthers o-line handles Brockport’s 3-3 stack, one of the tougher defenses to block. The first half should be competitive, but the athletes on the Golden Eagles will pull away in the second half. PREDICTION: Brockport 35, Plymouth State 13

Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): The ‘Mountain Men’ have been a great story, both this year and last year, but their storybook campaign will sadly concludes in Western New York on Saturday. The Golden Eagles are just too good and will certainly be a team to watch in this particular region going forward. Maybe they have what it takes to make the ‘Final Four?’ PREDICTION: Brockport 31, Plymouth State 17


RPI (8-2) at Wesley (9-1) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m.

James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): The Wolverines have been slow starters and RPI likes to grind, leaning on their defense to force the opposition into making mistakes. Wesley’s EJ Lee could be the difference in this one. PREDICTION: Wesley 35, RPI 24

Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): Sure, I would love to say RPI’s season will continue beyond this weekend, but not against a talented and tough Wolverines squad, which won’t be an easy out in this particular region of the bracket. PREDICTION: Wesley 41, RPI 22


Curry College (8-2) at Framingham State (9-1) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 12 p.m.

James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Curry’s Alex Corvese was recently named the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) Offensive Player of the Year, and his team will need both his arm and legs to get past a tough (and talented) Rams defense. Framingham has a strong quarterback in Adam Wojenski, so expect a lot of offense in this particular contest. The Rams will benefit from home field advantage, and perhaps kicker Ryan Clifford may be the student-athlete that decides this particular outcome. PREDICTION: Framingham State 38, Curry 35

Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): Framingham State running back Quron Wright is going to be the difference in this one. Wright’s o-line should have their way with Curry’s front four (and may front seven) en route to a second-straight New England Bowl victory. PREDICTION: Framingham State 35, Curry 28


SUNY Maritime (9-1) at WPI (8-2) | Saturday, Nov. 18th at 6 p.m. 

James Baker (In The D3FB Huddle): Thomas Wright and the Privateers have enjoyed a 9-1 run this season, but they haven’t faced a team as strong as the Engineers this fall.  Dereck Pacheco and the WPI defense will give Wright some trouble, while the Engineers’ two-headed running attack of Sean McAllen and Connor Field will be tough for SUNY-Maritime to slow down. PREDICTION: WPI 42, SUNY Maritime 21

Matt Noonan (Noontime Sports): SUNY Maritime has been another great story this fall, but this will be perhaps their biggest challenge of the season. WPI’s defense has rebounded since their setback to Springfield and will provide Thomas Wright and the Privateers’ offense with a lot of challenges. Expect another big game from WPI halfback Sean McAllen, who will score at least two touchdowns in this one. PREDICTION: WPI 45, SUNY Maritime 21

Matt Falkenbury (Play-By-Play Voice of SUNY Maritime): The Privateers are a vastly different team on the road this season than they were at home. Playing this game on the road – considering they either had to come-from-behind to win or lost in all five of those games – is a bit concerning. Quarterback Thomas Wright struggled on the road the last three games and it’s something to watch for in this one. The defense will have to come up big for them to pull this out. My heart says Maritime wins, but my head says WPI wins it on a late field goal. PREDICTION: WPI 31, SUNY Maritime 28.  

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Casey McGarvey (CGA) & James Baker (InThe HuddLLE)

Noontime Podcast

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Casey McGarvey (United States Coast Guard Academy Athletics) and James Baker (In The HuddLLe) highlighted today’s Noontime Sports the Podcast, which was hosted by Matt Noonan.

McGarvey, who is a sports information assistant/new media mogul at UGA, discussed the impact of social media on campus and how his office has explored new ways to tell stories about student-athletes and coaches, including blog posts, which can be seen on the academy’s athletic website. He also highlighted the football team’s final regular game against Merchant Marine Academy, which will be broadcasted by ESPN.

Baker, who was a frequent guest on the podcast last football season, shared his pre-season thoughts (and ideas) on the various New England teams to watch this fall, including Western New England, which secured a spot on this week’s D3Football.com Preseason Poll. The Golden Bears checked-in 24th out of 25 teams, while earning 100 points.

Entering this upcoming football season, Baker, along with co-host Frank Rossi, will be celebrating 10 years of D3 Football coverage. Their podcast has featured numerous student-athletes and coaches from the Liberty League, along with broadcasters and media members, too. They have also covered the NCAA Division III Football Tournament’s selection show, while interviewing the committee chair about postseason play.

Make sure to check-out past episodes of the In The HuddLLE by HOPPING HERE!

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode 14 (James Baker | In The HuddLLe)

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By NoontimeSports (@NoontimeSports

In honor of the NCAA Division III Football Tournament, which kicks-off this weekend, Noontime Sports the Podcast welcomed back James Baker, who is one of the co-hosts of In The HuddLLe – yes, two ‘L’s’ – to discuss the first round of the playoffs.

Baker and host Matt Noonan discussed the ‘Alfred’ section of the tournament tree, primarily the Saxons’ game against Bridgewater State, Western New England hosting Husson and Hobart drawing perennial powerhouse Mount Union.

In addition to some NCAA Tournament talk, Noonan and Baker also discussed the inaugural New England Football Bowl, which takes place this Saturday (Salve Regina versus Framingham State), and the final week of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) football season, too.

Make sure to follow Baker and co-host Frank Rossi on Twitter!

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode Seven (James Bakers | @ITHuddLLe)

Noontime Sports Podcast

By NoontimeSports.com 

Noontime Sports the Podcast returned this week as James Baker from @ITHuddLLE joined Matt Noonan to chat about the opening month of NCAA Division III Football, specifically the New England region.

Baker gave his ‘two-cents’ on Western New England, Husson and multiple New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools, while he and Noonan also shared their excitement for Plymouth State, which is off to its best start since 2007.

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