Daily Noontime (Tuesday, October 13, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to a very rainy Tuesday, everyone! 

It’s going to be a VERY rainy day here in Massachusetts so it is probably best for everyone to stay inside and watch Netflix, right? 

Let’s kick-start your day with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime,’ beginning with some news about Cam Newton and our hometown New England Patriots

As of now, it seems possible that Patriots fans could see Cam Newton on the field next Sunday when the Patriots host the Denver Broncos, but as the team’s head coach Bill Belichick noted during his weekly radio appearance with WEEI‘s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria, the veteran signal-caller “would have to go through medical clearance” before being allowed to rejoin his teammates on the practice field.   

Newton is one of four Patriots to have tested positive for the coronavirus, but according to a few reports this morning, including PatriotsWire, it seems likely that the 2015 National Football League (NFL) quarterback will be back in the huddle at some point this week, which should be considered good news for the Patriots. Additionally, fans should expect Stephon Gilmore back on the field, too – we certainly need his help on defense! 

Sticking with the football theme, the NFL will be testing players and coaches on game days, along with “some other employees of each team,” as noted in Kevin Seifert‘s piece on ESPN.com, which was posted late last night. Seifert also noted a few more tweaks to the league’s update Covid-19 protocols, which include everyone wearing masks during walk-through practices to coaches having to wear either masks or double-layered gaiters during games. 

Let’s switch gears to the Boston Red Sox, who will have the fourth pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft. The last time the Red Sox picked fourth in a draft was in 1967. 

Boston concluded its 60-game season with a 24-36 mark, which was good for a fifth-place finish in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles, who have previously occupied the last spot in the division in previous seasons, finished fourth this year with an overall record of 25-35. 

Did you know that two of six teams in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) were independently owned? And did you know one of those two independently owned teams happens to play in hour home state? 

Yep, the Boston Pride, which recorded the best record last year and also secured a spot in the Isobel Cup, is one of the two teams that independently owned – it appears their setup will be the model for the league’s six teams going forward, according to a recent report (and yes, story, too!) from the New York Times

And finally, make sure to read the latest Boston Cannons legend spotlight on Sean Morris, who played locally at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) before becoming a star of the local Major League Lacrosse (MLL) franchise. It’s a great read! 

UMass Football Will Play Football This Fall

UMass Football

The UMass football team will play games this fall despite canceling its season in August. (PHOTO COURTESY: Eva Trainer/Daily Collegian)

By Matt Noonan 

One month after announcing its 2020 season had been canceled, the University of Massachusetts has decided to reverse course and allow its football team an opportunity to play some games this fall, beginning as soon as next month. 

The decision to return to the gridiron was announced earlier today and was based on the program’s “stringent COVID-19 safety protocols and rigorous testing regimen,” which has been in place since the student-athletes returned to the Amherst campus in June. Additionally, the school – and yes, the program, too – watched other schools and conferences announce they would be returning to the field over the past few weeks after initially deciding to cancel their respective season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

UMass has administered more than 1,800 coronavirus tests over the past 13 weeks with just two tests coming back positive. The school plans to continue testing its student-athletes, coaches, and staff members multiple times per week, and has the capacity to ramp up testing if needed to “meet additional opponent requirements in order to play games, if necessary.” 

“Today is a great day for Massachusetts Football,” coach Walt Bell said, via today’s release about the Minutemen returning to the gridiron this fall. “Everyone associated with our program is excited to play football this fall.” 

Bell would continue by adding that he and the program “are grateful to our campus leadership for supporting academic and competitive opportunities for our student-athletes and staff to do what they love in a safe manner.” 

UMass was scheduled to compete against 12 teams this fall, but the expectation is their new schedule will consist of fewer teams. Dates and opponents will be announced at a later date and time, and the school will not permit fans at McGuirk Alumni Stadium this fall. 

UMass’s Walt Bell Seems Optimistic For A College Football Season

BBXh4bW

Walt Bell, who is entering his second season with the UMass football team, appears optimistic for a college football season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan 

As we continue to inch closer to July and August, the thought of college football seems to be on the minds of many these days, including the University of Massachusetts‘ Walt Bell.

Bell, who is entering his second season as the head coach of the Minutemen, seems optimistic for a season to occur this fall, despite so many questions swirling around the health and safety of both coaches and student-athletes.

“Every single day, you can start to see that snowball of positivity start to roll,” Bell said when speaking with Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle. “I know there will be football. I know in the majority of the country, there’s going to be football.”

Indeed, there will be football games played somewhere this fall, but will they occur in states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which have been impacted by the coronavirus (Covid-19), remains an unknown? 

Bell did say that games will be played in Florida and Georgia, which certainly seems likely, especially after hearing Governor Ron DeSantis tell reporters last month that high school football fans “should absolutely assume” a season will happen later this year.

As of now, Bell and the Minutemen will keep their focus on staying connected through Zoom and FaceTime while thinking optimistically about the team’s season-opener against the University of Connecticut.

Football Friday Notebook: Coast Guard Set To Open Its 2018 Season Next Thursday Against Univ. of New England

NS Football Notebook Logo

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Welcome to Friday, Noontime Sports Fans and Friends!

One week from today, we will have some ‘Friday Night Lights‘ to cover – we will also have a few week one games in the book, including Coast Guard Academy-University of New England.

So, let’s kick-off the second to last weekend of August with a brand new edition of the ‘Football Friday Notebook,’ which we all know you love!


New England Football Links & Stories


Want more Noontime Football coverage? Then make sure to stay connected with us on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB right now! 

D3 Football: Malik Hall Tabbed Bates College Football Coach

180619_Coach_Hall_1159

Malik Hall was named the new head football coach at Bates College on Monday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Monday was an exciting day for Malik Hall, who was tabbed the 20th head coach of the Bates College football program.

Hall arrives in Lewiston, Maine after spending the past three seasons with the Penn Quakers football team, serving as the defensive line coach. He helped Penn secure back-to-back Ivy League championships in 2015 and 2016. Penn finished its 2017 campaign 6-4 by winning its final four contests, including a pair of wins over Harvard and Princeton.

In addition to his time with the Quakers, Hall has also served as an assistant at Central Connecticut StateFordhamHofstra, UMass Amherst and Wagner.

Hall graduated from UMass in 2003 and was a two-year letterman and starter for the Minutemen, helping them capture the Atlantic 10 Championship his senior season. He would return to Amherst eight years later to assist former head coach Kevin Morris as the team’s defensive line coach.

“We are delighted to welcome Malik Hall to the Bobcat family,” Bates Athletic Director Jason Fein said in a statement. “Once we interviewed him, it was crystal clear that Coach Hall has both the experience and vision to take Bates football to the next level. We’re excited to see what happens on the field.”

“It’s my great honor to accept the head coaching position at Bates,” said Hall via yesterday’s press release. “I am very much looking forward to building upon Bates’ traditions of academic excellence and relentlessness on the field. The Hall family can’t wait to join the Bates family.”

Hall takes over a program that was guided by Mark Harriman for the past 20 seasons. Harriman, who recently stepped down in April, guided the Bobcats to seven Colby-Bates-Bowdoin titles, including his final one last fall when Bates topped the Polar Bears, 24-17.

Bates opens its season on September 15th when they host Amherst College at 1 p.m.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB Today!