SARATOGA SPRINGS – Sierra Delaney is in her junior year at Ballston Spa High School and she is the only female varsity football player in the history of the school. Delaney plays on the defensive end and as a wide receiver. She started playing football at four years old when she and her cousin began on pop warner.
Delaney says there is definitely a difference between varsity and pop warner, “the guys get bigger,” she laughed.
Delaney says that the guys on the team are accepting of her but the ones who haven’t seen her before wonder why she’s there at first.
“We’re a giant family, especially as the year goes on we just get closer and closer. Coach always says, ‘brothers and sister,” Delaney explained.
“Most of my friends are pretty accepting, they’re always in line to wear my jersey on game days and are excited to watch me on Friday nights,” Delaney said.
Delaney is 5’11” and while she loves to play football, she plans to play basketball seriously in college and is already being scouted for that sport.
Jessie House, a 17-year-old senior at Saratoga Springs High School, is an offensive player on the field hockey team. House plans to continue playing field hockey at RPI next year. Starting in seventh grade, Coach Hostig was House’s PE coach in elementary school and she encouraged House to pursue field hockey.
“As soon as I could try out for a team I did and I’m glad I continued it,” House said of field hockey.
House will be attending RPI next year for Biomedical Engineering while also participating in D3 field hockey.
“I hope to be successful in both areas,” she said, “Academics are a big part of my life and I know I have to take them more seriously, but as a player, being on that field and playing the game I love takes that stress and thought of academics away and allows me to thrive in the sport.”
House had nothing but praise for her teammates and said that the proudest moment of her life thus far has been this season of varsity field hockey.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played better field hockey than I am right now. There is always room for improvement but I take pride in my accomplishments so far this season. The team this year is one of the best teams I’ve ever been on for field hockey. Everyone is so close and the rookies are a huge asset to the team and everyone is included as much as possible. We work hard as a team on and off the field,” House explained.
House is also a tennis player.
Grace Fornabia is a 17-year-old senior volleyball player from Saratoga Central Catholic High School. Fornabia’s main sport is volleyball, where she plays middle hitter and blocker, but she also successfully runs track and field. She intends to continue playing volleyball in college, either D2 or D3, and is still talking to coaches about which school is best for her.
“The first time I ever played volleyball was going into seventh grade at a Skidmore volleyball camp for beginners. I tried the sport because seventh grade was the year that middle schoolers could begin being a part of a sports team and volleyball was the first fall girls sport at Spa Catholic so I tried it out and fell in love with it and haven’t stopped playing since,” Fornabia explained.
Fornabia also plays volleyball over the summer with a program called IREVA, which stands for Iroquois Empire Volleyball Association, and is coached by college players and coaches.
“The main goal is to make everyone better by the end of the camp than when they first got there,” Fornabia explained.
“A very proud moment of mine was when I was going into freshmen year and I tried out for this camp and found out I made it. I was so excited when my mom showed me the email of me making the camp because I was so young and didn’t really know how to play volleyball correctly. I knew that going to this camp would make me better. All the coaches and players there motivate me by showing how passionate they are for the sport and I have always wanted to play at a high level just like they are at. Even today, the coaches and players motivate me to always work hard and play hard because it does pay off for sure,” she said.
Amy Moreau is a 17-year-old senior varsity midfielder on the Schuylerville soccer team. After playing recreational soccer from pre-school through elementary school, Amy joined the indoor team with Dan Gale in third grade and that is when she became serious about the sport. While she does not plan to pursue soccer after high school, she is committed to play D1 lacrosse at UMass Amherst next fall, where she plans to play lacrosse all four years and study sports medicine.
“Our team is probably the closest we have ever been, on and off the field, in all of the years I have been on a team, which is going to make saying goodbye to this sport that much harder,” Moreau said.
“Amy is a three-year captain and quite possibly the most exciting and hard-working player in all of section two. She’s extremely fast, equally skilled with both feet, and leads with 80 minutes of non-stop hustle. In addition, she’s one heck of a good kid, who’s well liked and respected by all. She’s been a dream player for me,” said coach Michael Kopp.
“My most proud moment so far in sports, has been two years ago losing in the sectional semi-finals one to zero to Schalmont, who ended up having an undefeated season winning states. This has been motivating for our team to work hard to get back to that game, and this year I think we definitely think we have a shot,” Moreau said.