Daily Noontime: Let The Countdown To Week Zero Begin

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By Matt Noonan 

Welcome to the midweek point of yet another week.

The weekend – yes, the two days saved for relaxing – are insight. And so is supposedly some college football games, which are scheduled to begin Saturday, August 29.

As we learned yesterday from Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports, the NCAA issued a “blanket waiver” on Monday, July 27, which would allow various D-I programs to start their respective seasons earlier than usual. This decision would certainly allow teams some flexibility to play (hopefully) a full season, pending how things shake out with the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

From a quick glance at the FBS schedule on ESPN.com, there are a few games scheduled for Saturday, August 29, including Missouri State visiting Oklahoma and Southern Illinois taking on Kansas. No times have been announced for these or any of the games listed, so stay tuned, college football friends.

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson answered highlights some important questions for those wondering if and how a college football season is possible during a pandemic – she even gave insight into what a Miami Marlins Covid-19 outbreak would mean for the sport, too.

Here is what else is going on in the sports world these days:

  • Joe Kelly of the Los Angeles Dodgers sparked” a fight last night between both his team and the Houston Astros.
  • Locally, the Little East Conference (LEC) canceled its upcoming fall sports season, joining a slew of NCAA D-III leagues that made the same decision over the past few days and weeks.
  • Following the LEC’s decision to cancel fall sports, UMass Dartmouth announced they will not be playing any sports until 2021.
  • Believe it or not, NFL training camps have started – yes, preparations for the 2020 football season are underway, despite an ongoing pandemic. But while teams begin to prepare for the strangest season in years, someone has to highlight various New England Patriots camp battles, right?

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It is going to be another WARM day here in Boston, as well as outside the city, so get that morning walk or run in soon. Otherwise, you will have to wait until this evening when it will be a bit cooler (or less humid!).

As you know, the ‘Daily Noontime’ has officially returned, which means its time to dish out some headlines for the day.


Noontime’s Headlines for Tuesday, June 23, 2020

  • On Monday, Bowdoin College announced they would not be playing fall sports nor would its winter teams be competing until next year.We wrote about this announcement yesterday – along with some other fall sports plans, too – but we did hear from a source in Maine that it is possible the school’s fall sports teams could compete during the spring semester.
  • Also on Monday, we learned that UMass Boston will continue to offer remote learning this fall, which means the Beacons’ fall sports teams will not be competing for Little East Conference (LEC) titles. It is possible students – and maybe student-athletes – could return to campus at some point this fall, but a lot will depend on the impact the virus is making, both in and outside the city.Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman shared an update about plans for the fall semester on the school’s website yesterday – she did mention e-sports could be a way to keep students engaged and connected while studying remotely. Could we see a Beacons e-sports team this fall?
  • The Patriot League unveiled its plans for the upcoming fall sports season last night, which will certainly impact the seven schools that play football. According to Sports Illustrated‘s Pate Forde, non-conference games seem unlikely.Holy Cross, which competes in Patriot League, is currently scheduled to compete against five non-conference teams this fall, including Boston College and Harvard University. Maybe those games could happen since they would take place in-state. Additionally, the Crusaders are scheduled to commence their 2020 campaign in North Andover against Merrimack College.
  • Steve Politi of NJ.com has a great story about the upcoming Rutgers University football season – he asks the question why do we need to bring back student-athletes in the midst of an ongoing pandemic? Is it really worth the risk?
  • Middlebury College plans to welcome its students back for the fall semester, which will not include an October break. Students would depart campus around Thanksgiving and finish the semester remotely, as well as take their finals from their homes, as well.What does that mean for the upcoming Middlebury fall sports season? As of now, games remain scheduled, but the school said in last night’s announcement about the fall semester to “more details” will be unveiled in the coming weeks, so stay tuned Panthers fans!


Thanks for stopping by and starting your day with the Daily Noontime! Make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube – have a great day, everyone! 

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. 

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Joey Rogers (UMass Boston)

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Joey Rogers started 23 games for the UMass Boston baseball team from 2017 to 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Boston Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Joey Rogers cherished every moment with the UMass Boston baseball team.

From his initial season with the Beacons in 2017 to just a handful of games earlier this year, the Dighton, Massachusetts native says he will look back fondly on his time with the Blue and White, which averaged 37 wins from 2017 to 2019.

“I will cherish all of the time and hard work we put in as a team during the offseason,” said Rogers, who appeared in 31 games with the Beacons.

“We pushed each other every single day in the weight room and on the field to get better, and ultimately achieve another championship.”

Rogers and the Beacons won quite a few championships these past few years. In fact, they won a trio of Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament titles while making a pair of appearances in the D-III College World Series (2017 and 2019).

The left-handed pitcher won ten games for the Beacons while recording 111 strikeouts. He concluded his career with a 3.90 earned run average and made 55 plate appearances where he recorded eight runs nine hits, one home run, and six RBI.

We recently spoke with Rogers to discuss his career and time spent with the UMass Boston baseball team, as well as where he is headed after graduation later this spring.


Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years?  If so, which games are they?

Winning the NCAA D-III Super Regional Championship during my junior year. The atmosphere during the three-game series was unreal. We had so much support from friends and family, and it was very special to win a championship in front of them while sharing a very cool moment with my teammates.

Also, I will always remember winning the New England D-III Regional Championship my first season with the Beacons. Again, it was another memorable moment for my teammates and me. We competed for the title on Cape Cod against some of the best teams in New England. 

Both wins sent us to the College World Series, which were played at different locations. But being able to compete on the national stage was unbelievable.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the UMass Boston baseball program these past four years?  What will you miss most after graduation?

I am grateful for the opportunity that Coach (Brendan) Eygabroat has given me. I’ll cherish the time spent with this program for the rest of my life. I’ll also look back fondly on time spent with teammates, both on and off the field.

The relationships that I built, along with the team chemistry we established was a big part of our success. I will miss running out on that field after graduation, but I am so happy I got to play a game I absolutely love for the past four years.

Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach?

I am planning to pursue a career in the United States Army as an officer after graduation, but I could see myself coaching this game I love in the future.

Tell me about your major.  How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation?

I majored in exercise and health science because I have always been interested in athletics and sports from a young age. I also like helping others achieve their fitness goals, which is something that interested me in studying this particular topic.

I have been fortunate to gain a slew of real-life experience these past four years through internships with Geoff Ebbs, who is our athletic department’s strength and conditioning coach. The internship taught me so much in regard to exercise science to programming as well as coaching and teaching athletes proper techniques.

Following graduation, I will be joining the United States Army – I was accepted into the Officer Candidate School.

D3 Basketball: Sunday’s Conference Tournament Roundup

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It took two overtime sessions, but in the end, the Tufts University men’s basketball team was able to outlast Colby College, 102-94, to secure their first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament Championship.

With the win, the Jumbos secured the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA D-III Tournament – the Powder Blue and White will find out their first-round opponent tomorrow when the pairings are released.

Eric Savage, who sent the game to overtime with a late three-pointer at the end of regulation, led all players with 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists. Luke Rogers also recorded a double-double of 25 points and 19 caroms while Brennan Morris finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

Tufts, which entered the 2020 NESCAC Tournament as the top seed, beat Colby last month, halting an 18-game winning streak that began with a 103-97 win over Ramapo in November. The Mules rebounded after their initial loss of the 2019-20 season by winning four of their final five regular-season contests before beating Bates College in triple-overtime in the NESCAC quarterfinals and Amherst College last night in the semifinals.

Dean Weiner paced the Mules with 23 points off the bench while Noah Tyson registered a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds to go with two steals and one assist. Matt Hanna concluded the game with 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting.

Despite the setback, the Mules should receive an at-large bid to the national tournament after winning 24 of 27 contests and securing the second seed in the NESCAC Tournament.

The Bowdoin College women’s basketball team captured their first NESCAC crown since 2009 earlier this afternoon by defeating Tufts, 70-60. With the win, the Polar Bears secure the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The setback to the Polar Bears was the first for the Jumbos, who entered the 2020 NESCAC Tournament Championship on a 26-game winning streak. Tufts will receive an at-large bid to the postseason and will learn their first-round opponent tomorrow afternoon.

Maddie Hasson helped Bowdoin win their 25th contest of the season by recording a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. Sela Kay finished the game with 18 points and seven rebounds. 

Erica DeCandido led the Jumbos with 27 points and 10 rebounds while also tallying three assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Men’s Basketball

Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship: St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 88, Albertus Magnus 84: Coach Jim Calhoun is headed to the NCAA D-III Tournament, thanks to Delshawn Jackson Jr., who led the Blue Jays (and all players) with 46 points. Jackson, who recorded his 1,000th career point earlier in the title game, finished 16 of 23 from the field, including six of nine from beyond the arc.

St. Joseph’s led the Falcons, 44-25, at the break, but Albertus Magnus stormed back and closed the gap to four-points by outscoring the hosts, 59-44. Tyreek Perkins and Terry Dawkins combined for 47 points in the setback while Jahmerikah Green-Younger finished the game with 10 points.

New England Women’s and Men’s Basketball (NEWMAC) Championship: Coast Guard Academy 89, WPI 86 (OT): The Bears overcame a 25-point deficit at the break to not only force overtime but win their third NEWMAC Championship in program history. Coast Guard capped an impressive three-game, five-day tournament run that saw the Blue and Orange defeat Emerson College in the quarterfinals and Springfield College in the semifinals. Tyler Perez and Noah Baldez combined for 43 points while Packy Witkowski chipped in 19 points on 6 of 12 shooting. Garrett Stephenson paced WPI with a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds. 

Women’s Basketball

Little East Conference (LEC) Championship: Eastern Connecticut 49, Rhode Island College 44: Three members of the Warriors netted 12 points or more, including Danielle O’Brien, who finished with 15 points on five of nine shooting as Eastern Connecticut outlasted Rhode Island College and captured their seventh LEC title in program history. Maci Dorantes led Rhode Island College with 11 points off the bench.

NEWMAC (NEWMAC) Championship: Smith College 70, MIT 56: Elle Jo Whalen netted 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, including 12 defensive caroms while Jessie Ruffner added 15 points on 5 of 13 shooting as the Pioneers defeated the Engineers and claimed their first-ever NEWMAC Championship. Smith jumped out to a 21-4 lead and never looked back. Kylie Gallagher led MIT with 17 points while Jocelyn Luizzi added 16 points and 15 rebounds.