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LAKE GEORGE – FTFA (First Touch Football Academy) Soccer Saratoga had three teams participate in the Adirondack Futsal Festival held at the Lake George Forum and hosted by Adirondack FC on Sunday, March 20. The teams had an overall record of 10-2-0.
FTFA Neymar U10 were named U10 Champions going 4-0 with wins over Adirondack FC, Plattsburgh FC, Albany SC, and Saratoga-Wilton Soccer Clubs. Players were Xavier Ruscio, Noah Datka, Ethan Heim, Kellen Dean, Max Sefcik, Gregory Kaatz, Ben Van Valkenburg, Devan Carter, and Ryan Farr.
FTFA U8/9 earned second place going 3-1 with wins over Plattsburgh FC, Albany SC, and Saratoga-Wilton Soccer Clubs. Players were Colin MacGregor, Charlie Xue, Charlie Blake, Jake Afsar-Keshmiri, Cahner Brunswick, Caleb Meyer-Chabris, Calvin Manny, and Isaac Pizano.
FTFA Pele team was named U12 Champions with wins over Empire City FC, Saratoga-Wilton Juventus, and Saratoga-Wilton Arsenal. The team's lone blemish was a 4-3 loss to IMX Academy. Players were Liam Armstrong, Yujin Rokutan, Riley Fowler, Archie Fowler, Aidan Clark, Ryan Vohnoutka, Aidan Rosettie, Vincent DeVito, and Lucas Spire.
FTFA Soccer Saratoga is a soccer club under the direction of Saratoga Springs High School Varsity Coach Jeff Geller. Currently, the club has 95 players spread over nine U8/U10/U12 teams. For more info, visit www.ftfasoccer.com.
New SSHS Baseball Coach Optimistic About 2016 Season
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Even with a mild winter, it’s always a pleasure to hear that sound: The sound of the horsehide sphere popping into leather. For many of us, it’s the surest sound of spring – a time of renewal and optimism.
That’s especially true for Saratoga Springs High School Varsity Baseball Coach Andy Cuthbertson. He’s taking the reins of a seasoned squad – one that finished 20 – 6, captured the Section 2 championship in dramatic fashion against Shenendehowa, and a New York State Class AA finalist.
“To begin with, we’ve got half the team (10 players) returning,” Coach Cuthbertson said. “We’re battle-tested.” Some of the notable returning players he named are duel-threat senior Danny Coleman at 3B/P. Coleman had strong numbers at bat (.387 avg. /.507 slugging pct.), while winning 4 games on the mound. Junior Jake Fauler will utilize his speed, anchoring the outfield in center, and on the base paths, where he led the team in several key categories: 27 steals, 36 hits, .462 avg., and a .588 on-base percentage.
“I’m especially proud that many of our seniors have committed to college baseball programs,” Coach Cuthbertson said, sending out several names in succession. “Nick Kondo (2B -.359/.402) is committed to SUNY Albany; Pitchers Danny Hobbs (who led the team going 7-0 in 8 starts with an 0.88 ERA) and Shane Barringer (1.75 ERA) are headed to Siena; our anchor behind the plate, Catcher Brendan Coffey (.295/.321 while catching 168.1 of the team’s 180 innings) will be going to Sacred Heart; while Closer Cory McArthur (4 for 4 in save opportunities, 4-0 with 36 strikeouts and a 1.06 ERA) will be going to Division III Champ Cortland State,” he said.
The team won the Section 2, class AA crown in dramatic fashion last May 29, scoring a lone run in the first inning on Brendon Frank’s RBI single against Shen’s star pitcher Ian Anderson, with Hobbs and McArthur making it stand up, despite Hobbs suffering a line drive to the face in the fourth inning and McArthur pitching the final two innings for the save.
Coach Cuthbertson expects Anderson, now a senior, to be Saratoga’s biggest rival again. “It’s hard to look past him, with a mid-90s fastball,” he said. “He’s projected to be a number seven pick in the major league draft. This is great for our league.”
Last year, Cuthbertson was coached SSHS’s Modified team, and three-quarters of the way through the season was named an Assistant Varsity Coach. Before that, he was the Head Coach at Mohonasen High School from 2010-14, and an Assistant Coach at Springfield College for two seasons.
He also logged a stint as Pitching Coach (2005-9) for the Saratoga Phillies when it was part of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. “Those were good days. Many people don’t realize how rich the talent level was on those teams. We had three players from that team that made the Major Leagues - JD Martinez made the Detroit Tigers; Mike Fiers, a pitcher for the Houston Astros; and Darin Mastroianni on the Minnesota Twins,” he said.
Looking towards 2016 for Blue Streaks baseball: “Of course, we take things one game at a time, but I recognize and welcome the high expectations,” Coach Cuthbertson said. “Last year, our goal was to get to the Section Finals and see what happens. The next rounds (a state quarterfinal win against Cicero-North Syracuse and a semifinal over Orchard Park, before falling to Mamaroneck in the Class AA Final) were really a bonus.
“But we were right there in the State Final. With the seasoning and experience we gained, if we play our best game, there’s every reason to expect that our best will take us far.”
The team will be traveling to Florida for an invitational tournament next week. Saratoga Baseball opens league play on Wednesday, April 6, at 4:15 p.m. at East Side Rec. The team’s website is saratogabaseball.weebly.com
SARATOGA SPRINGS –It will remain until the next Saratoga Springs City Council meeting (on April 5) for a scheduled vote (after a second public hearing) on the Saratoga City Center’s proposed lease of the High Rock parcel. The Council at its Tuesday, March 15 meeting did take action on a matter that recognized, regardless of what gets developed at High Rock - inevitably an invitation will be extended to have more cars on the city’s streets. Therefore, any action that the Council takes to preserve and increase Saratoga Springs’ standing as a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly town is worthy of note.
Through a series of motions and capital budget amendments, the Council funded a project that, when built out, will provide a pedestrian/bicycle trail for about five miles along the northern side of Geyser Road. The trail is forecast to be about eight feet wide from Spa State Park west to Cady Hill Road, and then widening to 10 feet to the Town of Milton. A total of $96,790 was dedicated to the project. It will entail new engineering and will impact 12 property owners, with about $50,000 of these funds pledged for right-of-way acquisition for the trail and buffer along Geyser Road.
While the primary beneficiary of this is the Geyser Road neighborhood, where access has been historically limited to motor vehicles and some bus service, this is a significant event for all city residents. When completed, this will provide another key link in the overall plan to have the city completely connected via a series of pedestrian and bicycle accessible trails, along the greenbelt and through the downtown core.
Attorney Matt Jones offered up an interesting gambit, speaking on behalf of Saratoga Hospital, during a public hearing about amending the new comprehensive plan’s designation of a parcel, upon which the Hospital wished to expand, back to the 2001 zoning as residential. Mayor Joanne Yepsen and Commissioner of Accounts John Franck have recused themselves from all discussions and votes on this matter. With Commissioner of Public Safety Chris Mathieson’s stated opposition, it had appeared to make any plan approval impossible (three votes are required to pass any Council measure according to the City’s charter).
Jones stated that the Hospital’s application will be kept open, and advocated that a mechanism be developed, similar to Courts of Appeals, in which replacements are appointed for those who recuse themselves due to conflicts – in effect, giving all applicants an opportunity to obtain a three-vote majority from a full five-person “council”.
It remains to be seen if this idea develops any traction, as it would involve at least some City Charter amendments. Yet, what appeared to be dead issue is anything but that, at least for now.
Finally, a shout-out to city resident Bonnie Sellers, who always provides some pithy perspectives during public comment time. Bonnie contributed the idea of the day when she suggested the City look into developing a night court as an alternative to building an annex, potentially on the valuable High Rock parcel. Commissioner Mathiesen said it was an excellent idea and the City was already looking into it, and though there may be some (unidentified) logistics difficulties, it was certainly worth pursuing.
BALLSTON SPA --The Ballston Spa Central School District’s Health and Wellness committee is hosting the 4th Annual Health & Wellness Expo on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. AM to 1 p.m. in the Wood Road/Milton Terrace North Elementary Schools at 220 Wood Road. The Expo is free and open to all children, families and individuals residing in the Ballston Spa Central School District.
Over 40 health and wellness professionals from throughout the region will be exhibiting and providing educational information on fitness, healthy eating, and related health and wellness topics. There will be fitness and exercise demonstrations, and each of the district’s six schools will be showcasing service learning projects and educational activities that have taken place throughout the school year.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Springs Figure Skating Club’s (SSFSC) member skaters spent the 2015-16-competition season having fun, showcasing skills and winning medals.
In January, SSFSC’s synchronized skating team, the Saratoga Springs Shining Stars, competed in the 32nd Annual Colonial Classic, placing fifth overall. Later in the month, the team traveled to Richmond, VA, and qualified for the championship round to finish 11th overall. The Shining Stars and The Rising Stars, SSFSC’s exhibition team, will skate at the club’s year-end showcase exhibition this Sunday evening, March 20, from 4 – 7 p.m. at Saratoga Springs’ Weibel Rink.
Figure skaters Meghan Bailey, Kjersti Conway, Chelsea Wertans and Riley Vogel brought home medals from Ice Skating Institute’s annual championship competition held in Lake Placid. Riley went on to compete at the Bay State Games in Massachusetts earning gold in juvenile freestyle program and qualifying for the 2017 State Games of America, a national competition held every two years.
In February, SSFSC member skaters joined hundreds of figure skaters from all over New York State to compete in the 36th Empire State Winter Games at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid. Our local area’s skaters were exceptionally represented by strong participation, excellent standings and remarkable sportsmanship.
As the competitive season winds down, skaters will be celebrating the season and working to refine their skills. This Sunday, SSFSC will host its year-end exhibition at the Saratoga Weibel Rink. Skaters of all skill levels and multiple disciplines, including figure and synchronized skating as well as Learn2Sk8 participants, will showcase their skills and celebrate another great season. Additionally, Saratoga Springs Synchronized Skating will be hosting a Synchro Clinic on May 14 at the Clifton Park Ice Arena. World-champion Hayden Synchronized Skating Teams director and head coach, Saga Krantz, will join Saratoga Springs Synchronized Skating Teams director and head coach, Missy Williams, and others for a day filled with learning and fun.
SSFSC is dually affiliated with United States Figure Skating Association (USFS) and Ice Skating Institute (ISI), and has been promoting the sport of figure skating for almost 50 years. The club offers an array of programs for children and adults including Learn2Sk8, freestyle, dance and synchronized skating.
To learn more about both events, and more information about SSFSC programs, visit ssfsc.wordpress.com.
Registration Also Open for Fun Run, Cheer Squad
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Building upon its success from its inaugural event last April, the second annual ‘Blue Needs You’ 8K will take place on Saturday, March 26, starting at High Rock Park in Downtown Saratoga Springs. Last year’s event was a big success by any measure, with a remarkable 432 runners registered and over $30,000 raised in to support the winter emergency shelter at The Salvation Army on Woodlawn Avenue.
Code Blue Saratoga offers emergency shelter and hot meals to individuals who are homeless or might otherwise remain unsheltered during nights of extreme cold and heavy snow. An average of 36 individuals have received a temporary respite from hazardous winter weather from November until April.
Runners of all ages are encouraged to register for the 8K Run and 400-meter Kids Fun Run by visiting codeblueneedsyou.org.
The 400-meter Kids Fun Run, beginning at 7:55 a.m., is recommended for children up to 10 years old. Pre-registration is appreciated, but not required. All participants will receive a wristband.
The 8K run will start at 8:30 a.m. on High Rock Avenue. This challenging course is front and back loaded with rolling hills as it winds its way through Saratoga's historic East Side. The course makes its way onto the City's beautiful Spring Run Trail and finishes back at High Rock Pavilion. The cost to register is $35 until race day, but please note that online registration closes on March 23, and the race is limited to 500 runners. The entry fee includes a backpack, long sleeve racing shirt, food and drinks.
This year’s event has been enhanced and will be presented by Fingerpaint and Vincent, Patty, Ronald and Michele Riggi. Race Co-Directors Dennis Fillmore and Gary Guilfoyle are especially pleased that this year’s event will include a Cheer Squad, providing non-running supporters the opportunity to participate as well. For a $10 donation, Cheer Squad registrants will receive a long sleeve tee shirt and are encouraged to set up a fundraising page to help maximize funds raised for this critically needed program.
Awards for the adult portion of the event will be presented to the top 3 overall male and female finishers, and the top three finishers in 10-year age brackets for both male and female ranks. Post-race photos will be provided from Best Buy. Businesses and individuals interested in supporting this event can find a variety of partnership opportunities at codeblueneedsyou.org.
IRVING, TX - Burnt Hills High School graduate, Eric Skylar, 19, from the Glenville based Jason Morris Judo Center (JMJC) captured a Gold medal at the Scholastic National Judo Championships at the Irving Convention Center on March 5 and 6, posting a 4-0 record in the 90kg under 21 category. This event also served as the trials for the Jr. Pan Am Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 1-4, for the gold medalists in each weight class.
This was Skylar's first trip to the podium and he qualified for the Jr. Pan Am’s for the first time as well. Skylar's gold gives the JMJC its 30th Scholastic Nationals medalist and it's 11th Jr. Pan Am team member in their 15-year history. "Eric has come a very long way in the three years he has been with us" commented his coach and four-time Olympian, Jason Morris. "He has improved consistently over that period of time and can go much further if he stays the course," Morris added.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – A strong argument could be made that auto racing and broadcasting icon Sam Posey, subject of the Saratoga Automobile Museum's summer featured exhibit, is as deserving of the title: "the most interesting man in the world" as anyone in a Dos Equis beer commercial.
"POSEY: Shifting Through the Creative Life of Sam Posey," will be subtitled "A journey through racing, art, broadcasting, writing, design and more." But even a title of that length cannot do justice to Posey’s multi-faceted career, interests and skills.
An amateur sports car racer whose career blossomed at nearby Lime Rock Park, Posey soon graduated to the professional Can AM and Trans AM series, where he wheeled one of Roger Penske's Sunoco Camaros as a teammate to the legendary Mark Donohue. From there, Posey's career path included the USAC Championship Car series, where he made 13 career starts including the Indianapolis 500, and endurance racing, highlighted by five top-10 finishes in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in ten starts.
Posey's second career began when he joined ABC Sports, serving as analyst for a variety of auto racing broadcasts. Best known for his work in the broadcast booth at the Indianapolis 500 and ongoing coverage of the CART/PPG Indy Car Series, Sam delighted the audience when he sparred repeatedly with fellow analyst Bobby Unser. His association with ABC Sports grew, and Posey was the lead broadcaster on coverage of the Tour de France and luge events at the winter Olympics, among other assignments.
Posey's proudest moment with ABC Sports came when he was honored with an Emmy for Writing for the network's coverage of Alaska's famed Iditarod sled dog race.
Other major accomplishments of "Renaissance Man" Posey include acclaim as an artist and painter and credit for his endeavors as an architect, including the Control Tower at Lime Rock Park and numerous homes and commercial buildings in the area. He also holds a place of honor in the model railroading community, where his tome "Playing With Trains" is held in extremely high regard, as is the world-class train layout at his Connecticut home.
The Posey exhibit, which will occupy the auto museum's Golub Gallery, will include three cars from his personal collection, including his Mercedes-Benz Gullwing, a vintage Formula Ford and his 1967 Caldwell D7. A number of other significant cars marking various stages of his career will be announced at a later date.
This exhibit will open to the public on June 11, with the annual Saratoga Automobile Museum Gala, honoring Sam Posey, set for Friday, June 24. More information on gala attendance, the Posey exhibit and the museum's wide-ranging activities and educational programs can be found online at www.saratogaautomuseum.org.
Benefits BSCSD Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Central School District has announced that the inaugural Scotties Stampede, the Ballston Spa 5k for Education, will be held on Saturday, May 21, at 9 a.m. The primary goal of the 5K is to bring the school community together and encourage students (and their families) to participate in healthy and active lifestyles. The entire community is invited to walk or run in this fun athletic event organized by the school district.
Financially, the 5K will provide revenue for the district’s Ballston Spa Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. This field of interest fund is used to support the various innovative and mission-related programs throughout the district that include Sponsor-A-Scholar, Robotics, the Performing and Fine Arts, STEM enrichment initiatives and the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School (Clean Tech ECHS).
The school district is grateful for all of the sponsors that are making the event possible including platinum and media sponsors Lemery Greisler LLC, LookMedia, and Saratoga TODAY; and gold sponsors Empire BlueCross, Healthy Living Market Saratoga, Leonard Bus Sales, Inc., and TCT Federal Credit Union.