Doubling their passion

Noland twins love their sports and broadcasting and really are one of a kind

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

“It’s hard enough for people to tell us apart.”

So spoke Vann Noland on twin Owen and if the two of them try to make fools of people or at least have a little fun with them in terms of trying to correctly recognize the identical brothers.

Er, maybe it was Owen stating it ... would we ever really know?

Seriously, these guys are thisclose in looks, voice and demeanor.

Surely, most everyone on the Mullen campus knows something of the Nolands. Now Mustangs seniors, each stands 6-foot-1 and weighs, according to one of them, ”140-ish.” For the record, Owen was born first and Vann said hello a minute later. Natives of Littleton, the mirror images are sons of a financial planner and a sales person in software, and share more than brown hair and strong academics, and contain equal doses of techie and shy 18-year-old.

And if considers calling them nerds, they’re certainly cool about it.

But what really runs inside the Nolands in addition to twin blood type is a passion for sports as well as talking about them. They play what games they can and report, record and comment on others with equal enthusiasm.

“I really love sports,” Owen said. “It gives me a way to stay involved and has always been a passion of mine, something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Said Vann: “I’ve always thought it was a great career to go into.”

They were freshmen competitors involved in baseball and basketball before being approached about filming the football team. The baseball program wanted their film skills, too, and why not? No doubt these guys are as well-rounded in sports knowledge as any of today’s teenagers and probably could go back decades and stand tall with others before they and future generations were distracted from knowing Mickey Mantle’s batting average and power statistics by the emergence of video games, cable television, cell phones and computers. 

For instance, both Nolands hate the designated hitter. According to Vann, “I think the (NHL) playoffs are the best in professional sports.” He also would rather watch college basketball than the NBA. “The competitive difference between the best team and the worst team is terrible. Even the worst MLB teams will get 60 wins. The (Philadelphia) 76ers won only 10 (in 2015-16).”  

Both love college football, of course. Their father will watch more golf than the both of them, but Vann insists “Sunday at The Masters, there’s nothing like it.” Owen added that they’ll watch the Kentucky Derby and the Olympics will command a fair amount of their time, but not much of NASCAR.

Best of all, Owen said, is “we love baseball and love to talk about it.”

So much so that they attended broadcasting camps at UCLA and Florida, leading to a weekly, two-brother podcast on Tuesdays, 9 p.m., now in its fourth year.

“It was fun, good exposure for sure, “Owen said of the end-of-summer camps. “You learned about it, broke it up into an elective. You found something that interested you, it changed every day … we did sports reporting.”

Vann called their podcast “fun and good practice for us.”

They also two-man team the broadcasts of Mullen boys and girls basketball on the NFHS Network, an Internet showing designed to give students opportunities to work in the field and fans chances to see events that they couldn’t attend.

The fact that the twins are so in tune to sports and presenting them isn’t surprising to some on campus and the Nolands are regarded as knowing their stuff as well as their place.

“Those two make me smile every time I see them,” athletic director Vince Massey said. “They are two of the quietest individuals I’ve ever met, but two of the funniest and most-creative.  They have a real passion for broadcasting and videos, and that type of thing. It’s really cool to see them involved in our sports programs, like for our football, and doing what they love.”

Plus, he said, “they are interesting. They are some of the quietest kids, but the funny thing is you engage them in conversation and they can talk your ear off, and it’s a really cool conversation.”

Mullen football head coach Vincent White got to experience the Nolands in his first year and can’t imagine his next one without them.

“First of all, they’re great young men, great kids and they’re here every day,” White said. “They’re diligent, they film for us, they do all of the Hudl account, practice and games … they will be sorely missed. They are outstanding.”

White said he enjoys the fact that the twins are comfortable with who they are as “they’re techie and they love it … we’ve really got to find some more kids like them.”

It will be difficult. The Nolands also are in the process of nailing their next steps – they’ve applied to Colorado, Colorado State, Northwestern, Missouri, Arizona State, Texas Christian, Florida and Benedictine. They’ve been accepted by Benedictine, CSU and Missouri, and are waiting to hear from the others.

They do so much together, yet aren’t afraid to cross over and be individuals.

Still, one can speak for the other and when it comes to commenting on their futures, Vann spoke up first and if you know the Nolands, it came in loud and clear, and in the stereo voice provided only by identical twins.

“I would love to do play-by-play for baseball, any major-league team,” Vann said. “It would be my dream job.”

And, of course, the same goes for his brother.

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Athletics Office

Athletic Director
Mr. Vince Massey
303.761.1764 Ext. 3314

Vince Massey joined the Mullen Community in the Fall of 1995. He has served as a classroom teacher, dean of students, and currently serves as Athletic Director and Director of Safety and Security. When not at Mullen, Vince enjoys spending time with his wife Jessica and his three kids, Danielle, Jacob and Joey.

 

Associate Athletic Director
Mr. Hank Hooper
303.761.1764 Ext. 3316

Hank is in his 18th year at Mullen High School. Prior to arriving at Mullen, Hank taught and coached at Little Rock Catholic High School in Arkansas for 6 years and then Dallas Jesuit in Texas for 71/2 years. At Mullen Hank taught English and coached football for 14 years before transitioning into an administrative role. Hank has worked in the Athletic Department as Dean of Athletic Renewal, Assitant Athletic Director, Interim Athletic Director, and currently as Associate Athletic Director. Hank and his wife Pam have two children both of whom are Mullen grads, Lindsay ('07) and Patrick ('04). Lindsay is the Registrar at Mullen High School and is also the Mullen POMs dance team's head coach. Patrick and his wife Heather both work for the NHL's San Jose Sharks where Patrick is the Digital Media Manager and Heather is the Shark's Foundation Director. They, also, became proud parents in March of this year to Graysen Rhea Hooper.

Karen Lane

Associate Athletic Director
303.761.1764 Ext. 3319

 

 

 

Director of Sports Medicine
Mr. Joey Mahmood
303.761.1764 Ext. 3343

Joey Mahmood joined the Mullen community as a teacher and the head athletic trainer in the fall of 2011. Joey currently is the Director of Sports Medicine, the Department Chair of Physical Education and teaches physical education and science classes. Joey considers himself lucky to be able to help student athletes stay healthy during competition and then teach students in the classroom how to take care of themselfs and others. When Joey isn't at Mullen he is spending time with his wife Michele, two sons Dino and Enzo and his two dogs, Duke and Trigger.

Sports Information Specialist
Mr. Neil H. Devlin
devlin@mullenhigh.com

A native of Phoenixville, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, Devlin has covered high-school sports in Colorado for 39 years through newspapers, television, magazines and the Internet. A former participant in four prep sports at St. Pius X High School in Pottstown, Pa., began his role as Sports Information Specialist at Mullen in 2017 and has been inducted into various scholastic halls of fame and won numerous writing awards. Devlin occupies the only full-time sports-information position at a high school in the state. Also a contributor to other media outlets in the Denver area as well as other spots in Colorado that helps promote Mullen athletics, his goal is to turn the Mullen Broadcasting Network (MBN) into a class within the curriculum, to expand the network and website, and ensure it’s a student-run operation.

 

 

 

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