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OGDENSBURG – Displaying their characteristic dominating ground attack, Schuylerville (11-0) ran up over 500 yards on the ground and scored seven straight rushing touchdowns as they rolled over Malone’s Franklin Academy, 44-12, in a Class B quarterfinal. The Black Horses will face Section I’s Westlake (9-2) in the Class B semifinals on Saturday, November 21, at 3 p.m. at Kingston’s Dietz Stadium.
Schuylerville’s QB Will Griffen scored 3 TDs; Zach Pierce scored 2, and Joe Vanderhoof and Derek Willson had 1 each. Following a fumble on their first drive, Schuylerville scored rushing TD’s on seven straight possessions to take a 44-0 lead with just under 11 minutes left in the third quarter. Schuylerville was able to play its reserves through the rest of the contest.
MIDDLETOWN –The Ballston Spa Boys soccer squad concluded the best year in Scotties’ history by improving from 8-8-2 last year to win the Section II title and then advancing all the way to the State finals. To reach those finals, Ballston Spa overcame a 2-0 deficit to best top-ranked Ithaca, 4-2, on Saturday, November 14.
In the finals on Sunday, November 15, the Scotties met a charged up Walt Whitman Wildcat squad and were bested, 5-1. But one loss cannot diminish all the brilliant season that this team achieved and the happiness it brought to their fans. The Scotties finished the year at an incredible 20-1-1. A tip of the hat goes out to this team, its 23 seniors and Coach Garry Preece.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Thursday, November 12, a special ceremony took place at Saratoga Springs High School to recognize nine special student-athletes who signed their National Letter of Intent to play intercollegiate sports. SSHS Athletic Director Peter Sheehan introduced the student-athletes, who were given a rousing round of applause by family members, coaches, teammates and well wishers.
Shane Barringer - Baseball - Siena College
Brendan Coffey - Baseball - Sacred Heart University
Emily Danielson - Swimming - Binghamton University
Grayce French – Track + Field – Clemson University
Daniel Hobbs - Baseball - Siena College
Noelle Kolakowski - Swimming - Binghamton University
Nicholas Kondo - Baseball - University at Albany
Marisa Larkin - Field Hockey - Quinnipiac University
Aidan Tooker - Track + Cross Country - Syracuse University
U.S. Mint; Saratoga National Historical Park Put New Coin in Circulation
SCHUYLERVILLE – A United States Quarter, commemorating the British surrender at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, is now in circulation.
With an official “coin pour” at a Quarter Launch ceremony at a packed Schuylerville High School auditorium on Tuesday, November 17, the 30th coin released as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, was officially put into use.
Participants and attendees included hundreds of schoolchildren, who learned about the historic and local context of the event depicted on the coin, which many believe was the “Turning Point” of the Revolutionary War, eventually enabling the colonies to achieve independence from the British Empire. The quarter's reverse (tails side) depicts a close-up of the moment British General John Burgoyne surrendered his sword to American General Horatio Gates.
Saratoga National Historical Park (SNHP) Ranger and Historian Eric Schnitzer added some historical nuggets that may have been news to many in the audience regardless of age. The surrender in 1777 was the first time the British had done so anywhere. The surrender also led to the first official day of Thanksgiving, which that year was celebrated on December 18. Schnitzer added that the Battle of Saratoga was the first event to be featured twice on U.S. currency (having originally appeared on a $500 Federal note that is no longer circulated and extremely rare), and the first event to be depicted on both paper currency and a coin.
Following the presentation of colors by the SNHP Color Guard, students from Schuylerville High School, its symphonic band and vocal ensemble participated at several points throughout the program: leading the Pledge of Allegiance, performing the National Anthem and America the Beautiful, and other patriotic numbers.
SNHP Superintendent Amy Bracewell and Acting Quality Manager Ron Harrigal from the U.S. Mint, poured the newly minted quarters to officially launch the new coin. All students and attendees under age 18 were presented with a new quarter, and the public was given the opportunity to be among the first in the Nation to get brand new quarters during a coin exchange, conducted by Glens Falls National Bank, that was held after the ceremony.
BALLSTON SPA – The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors honored Eugene J. Corsale at a monthly ceremony that was attended by family, friends and colleagues on Tuesday, November 17.
They came together to honor a man who was the epitome of the word honor. A man who had done so much his lifetime in service to others. Indeed, this monthly ceremony to honor a deceased veteran had been founded and chaired by the man they were honoring on this day.
Gene Corsale was not only heralded as a tireless advocate for Veteran’s affairs, but the many dignitaries who spoke in tribute to him also noted his leadership in fostering a revival on the West Side of Saratoga Springs, as well as his love of trains.
Gene Corsale entered the US Navy in 1950 and served on the Battleship USS Wisconsin in Korea. His career in the Navy took him to 22 different countries, and, among the many honors issued during his service were the National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal, United Nations Service Medal and Korean Service Medal.
The Corsale family was presented proclamations on behalf of the City of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County and the New York State Assembly. Senator Hugh Farley’s office bestowed a unique honor – a second New York State Senate Liberty Medal – to the family. They were also presented a US flag, which had been flown over the Capitol Building, and, following the ceremony, attendees witnessed that flag being raised in front of the Saratoga County offices. This flag will fly for 30 days in tribute to a unique man and his lifetime of service.
Ten SSHS Swimmers and Divers Heading to State Tournament
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Springs High School Girls Varsity Swim and Dive team is once again sending a large squad to the State tournament, to be held this weekend at Ithaca College. A total of 10 (eight swimmers and two divers) will represent the Blue Streaks in relay, individual and diving competitions.
The 10 who will compete this weekend are:
Felicity Ryan (9th Grade)
Samantha Badar (10)
Autumn Boxley (11)
Victoria Breslin (11)
Alison Canjura (12)
Emily Danielson (12)
Morgan Hoffman-Smith (11)
Noelle Kolakowski (12)
Taylor Patnode (10)
Sophia Tannatta (12)
The diving finals take place on Friday, November 19 and the swimming finals on Saturday, November 20.
“This is a great group, and the whole team has had a fantastic season,” said their enthusiastic Coach, Joshua Muldner. “We finished out the regular season 8-2 and took third overall in the Sectionals, winning three events. Last year, we set a team record by sending 10 girls to the State Tournament, which was the largest squad of any team, and we are thrilled to tie that record this year.”
Speaking of records, “…this year’s team set several,” Coach Muldner said. “For instance, sophomore Taylor Patnode set a school record in the 50 freestyle at 24.34, and Felicity Ryan set a freshman record for 11 dives at 508.75. We’re real proud to say she dethroned the reigning champion in the Sectionals, a senior from Shen, by 25 points.”
Coach Muldner continued, “What I like about this group, all 30 on our team really, is how they interact – they’re best friends and hang out with each other.” But make no mistake - when it comes to their sport - this team is all business. And it starts early in the year, and early in the morning.
“People need to appreciate what a commitment all these kids make. They start in August, and for three weeks before school begins, they are practicing from 5:45-7:45 a.m. That’s usually before their classmates even think about getting up,” Coach Muldner said with a smile. “And then, they are lifting weights in the afternoon!”
The process reverses itself once school starts – lifting in the morning (6-7 a.m.) and in the water after school five days a week, plus Saturday afternoons. “It takes a special individual to make that commitment. Some of these girls have done this for years,” he said. “I am so very proud to call myself their coach.”
This is a team with obvious athletic prowess, but part of their coach’s pride stems from the fact that it’s also a team with a heart. “Every year, we designate two charities as recipients of our fundraising. We held our ninth annual charity swim-a-thon - raising money for Kristen’s Kause (supporting Kristen Shinebarger, a Maple Avenue Middle School student battling cancer), and also for The National Kidney Foundation, in honor of team member Victoria Breslin’s grandmother.”
And this team with talent - this team with a heart, makes their coach proudest of all with how they perform in the classroom. “Even with all the hours they put in on their sport and helping others, this is a team of scholar-athletes that for years has averaged a 95 GPA. That’s awesome!” Coach Muldner said.
You see all these elements in abundance as the squad goes about their business at a preparatory practice at Skidmore before boarding a bus to Ithaca: The skill and technique, the joy and camaraderie. It’s all there. Add it up and this makes a group that represents Saratoga Springs High School with excellence, making it easy to understand their Coach’s pride and even easier to root for them in this weekend’s tournament.
Seeking to Develop High Rock Parcel
SARATOGA SPRINGS – At a special Saratoga Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 10, the only agenda item was presentations by the two groups seeking to develop the last large parcel in Downtown Saratoga Springs. The 2.6-acre site bordered by Lake, High Rock and Maple Avenues adjacent to High Rock Park has been the subject of intense interest, and the meeting was moved upstairs from the Council room to the larger Music Hall.
Community Builders/Paramount Realty and a team led by Hyman Hemispheric, LLC delivered presentations. Both proposed development scenarios involved mixed use: Combining parking with residential and commercial applications and both noted that they were attempting to respond to the needs of the community which they indicated had desired more than just a parking garage in this location, while attempting to respond to the need for more parking for the Saratoga Springs City Center, as well as being sensitive to the impact on the adjacent Mouzon House Restaurant. They did differ on several key points as to how best to accomplish these varied goals.
Community / Paramount presented first and detailed a $77 million mixed-use plan called High Rock Village that had 607 parking places (259 earmarked for the City Center, 30 for City Hall use, 140 for the development’s residents and 178 for the public) and presented a financial scenario that assumed the first hour of parking would be free, $1.50/hr. thereafter; and 166 mixed housing units: 64 senior, 42 “workforce housing” for young professionals and families, 36 condominiums and 24 market rate apartments. The plan anticipated about 50,000 square feet of retail space. The plan had several design features detailed including a pedestrian promenade running North/South and a possible water feature, perhaps including a ‘living wall’ fed by the water along the High Rock Park side of the development. Overall, their financial plan anticipated 50 percent of all revenue from the development going to the City, with about $2 million in annual tax revenue.
Hyman Hemispheric presented their team, which included Sequence Development, Phinney Design, Consigli Construction and JCJ Architecture. They noted that the team had worked together before and involved a local presence (e.g.: Phinney and Consigli). Their plan involved an outright purchase of the land for $2.6 million and would have 656 parking spaces, of which 350 would be reserved for the needs of the new development; 106,000 square feet of housing – a mix of market and workforce; 65,000 sq. ft. of office space in a four-level structure and retail. Mike Phinney noted that much of the actual design of the development would best be reserved until a charette (a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions) was conducted among concerned interest groups (such as the Downtown Business Association) and the public. Phinney indicated that the best projects are those placed before the land use boards with the public already supportive of the design detail.
However, their presentation did have some important broad design elements, such as setting aside 35,400 sq. ft. for open space, ‘green notes’ such as pocket parks and other pedestrian oriented features, including a park space facing the Mouzon House. The presenters stressed the primacy on an east-west flow of people, from the development to Downtown and the City Center, as well as retail across High Rock Avenue. The philosophy of the development was to use retail and housing to minimize the “garage presence”, concealing the parking portion to the greatest extent possible.
While generally appreciative of the two presenting teams’ efforts, some of the Council’s comments following the two presentations indicated that they had concerns that the two proposals did not adequately address the amount of parking space needs for the City Center, and did not provide for direct connectivity to the City Center from the parking area. Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan expressed concern with the overall magnitude of the two projects for the area available, and called for a comprehensive traffic study involving traffic flow, congestion and parking requirements in the immediate and surrounding areas. Commissioner of Public Safety Chris Mathiesen raised the point that part of the parcel might best be reserved for a City Hall annex to alleviate overcrowding and satisfy the need for a mandated second courtroom in the city.
Maple Ave Middle School’s Alexa Rahman is Conquering the Equestrian World
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Let’s begin with a little exercise:
- Start by thinking of all the 13 year-olds that you know.
- Next, eliminate all but those who can look you in the eye with a quiet, yet determined, confidence and convince you that they have found their life’s profession.
- Now, subtract all but those 13 year-olds who have already reached the absolute pinnacle of that calling.
What are you left with? Meet Alexa Rahman. Multiple World Champion Morgan (show) horse equestrian. Also, an eighth grader at Maple Avenue Middle School.
This season, Alexa has a championship for each year of her existence: A stunning 13 titles in various aspects of show horse riding ( see record at end of story), culminating in two world championships and one reserve (runner-up) championship at last month’s Morgan Grand Nationals in Oklahoma City.
When discussing her performances and techniques, Alexa has acquired so much knowledge, so fast, that you forget her young age. It’s only when she credits her “Nana and Papa,” as well as her parents, Marisa and Bernard, with instilling a love for riding in her at a young age, that are you jolted back to reality and realize that she’s just a nice young lady.
“I started riding at about age 3½,” Alexa noted. “I always had a love for animals, even having big stuffed horses all around my room. My Nana gave me riding lessons for my fourth birthday.” Her first instructor was Barbara Diamond at Clover Ridge Farms on Middle Grove Road. Alexa showed quite a bit of aptitude, competing in her first show at age seven, and garnering ribbons at local shows in Saratoga Springs, Fonda and Cobleskill. Eventually, she was referred to Rolling Oaks Stable in Gansevoort. Her first instructor was Sue Friday, the owner’s mother and she is now trained by Owner Keith Friday and Assistant Trainer Maggie Smith. The team at Rolling Oaks further developed Alexa’s techniques and she made her first Grand National appearance in 2012.
As rare as Alexa’s accomplishments are, it is further unusual in the manner it gets done. Simply put, she competes primarily in two sub-categories: Equitation and Pleasure. Each involves a precise list of gaits and the rider controlling their positions atop the horse as well as the horse’s posture while competing. “In terms of control, I would say Equitation involves 60 percent rider, 40 percent horse. Pleasure is more like 60 percent horse, 40 percent rider,” Alexa said.
Also rare is the fact that she uses two different horses to compete: Baxter (which the Rahmans own) and Zoe. The competitors are in the ring at the same time, working against an ideal performance for the judges, rather than each other. This fosters an atmosphere that is more collegial than competitive, and Alexa notes that she has made many friends on the Morgan show horse circuit.
“It’s fun, but I have to be focused,” Alexa said when asked how it feels to be competing in a disciplined routine. Indeed, when you see her perform (see link at end), she accomplishes the difficult feat of appearing effortless, but in fact she assures you that she is working hard at keeping control of her movements as well as the horse’s.
This is an area of equine competition that is primarily purely for the love of sport. Prize money, if any, is minimal. Marisa Rahman estimated that the cost of everything: stabling, transporting, lodging and competing both for horse and rider to be about $55,000 per year. So consider it an entire family commitment to allow a champion to excel.
As central as show horse competition is to Alexa’s life, she is a well-rounded individual who is an honor class student at Maple Avenue, a member of the Select Chorus, and plays First Violin in the Chamber Orchestra. She has ambitions to perhaps become a veterinarian, or perhaps a horse owner/trainer – but all with an eye to fund her first love.
This is a sport that has no Michael Jordan with a record for her to aim at, although Alexa Rahman looks up to the accomplishments of her trainers Friday and Smith as inspirations. For her, like the competitions themselves, she is competing only against an ideal.
So what’s next when you’re a world champion at age 13?
“I’d like to have a year where I go undefeated,” Alexa says with a giggle. The nice young lady in her would half-like to take it back, but the competitor that wants a challenge wins out.
Here’s a tip: Don’t bet against her.
To view Alexa Rahman’s performance at the Oklahoma City Morgan Grand Nationals, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhJ0fvuASVg&sns=em
A CHAMPION’S RECORD
This year, Alexa Rahman has captured 13 show horse championships, culminating with World Championships in Oklahoma City:
Morgan Grand Nationals and World Championship October OKC
Hunter Pleasure 13 and Under Championship World Champion
Hunter Pleasure 12 and Under Qualifier Reserve Champion
Huntseat on the Flat Championship World Champion
New York Morgan Regional - September Syracuse
Huntseat Equitation 13 and Under Qualifier Champion
Huntseat Equitation 17 and Under Championship Champion
Hunter Pleasure Youth (21 and Under) Champion
Hunter Pleasure Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under Qualifier Champion
Hunter Pleasure Jr. Ex 17 and Under Championship Champion
Mass Morgan - August - Massachusetts
Huntseat Equitation 13 and Under Qualifier Reserve Champion
Hunter Pleasure Jr. Exhibitor 13 and Under Qualifier Champion
Hunter Pleasure Jr. Ex 13 and Under Championship Champion
N. England Morgan Horse Show – July
UPHA Jr. Challenge Cup Saddleseat - Champion
Syracuse International June Syracuse
Huntseat Equitation 17 and Under Qualifier Champion
Huntseat Equitation 17 and Under Championship Champion
Hunter Pleasure Jr. Ex Championship Champion
Schuylerville’s Defense Comes Up Strong in 14-7 Win Vs. Glens Falls
BURNT HILLS – If ever you needed evidence that the playoffs are a ‘whole different ballgame,’ this contest will serve as proof.
Two high-powered offenses - undefeated Schuylerville and once-beaten (by Schuylerville) Glens Falls - met in a rematch to decide the Class B title. This time, defenses were prominent as the Schuylerville Black Horses captured their first Section II title since 2005 by a 14-7 score. Schuylerville (10-0) will advance to the State Class B quarterfinals in Ogdensburg on Saturday, November 14 against Malone’s Franklin Academy.
Unlike their first meeting, where Schuylerville put the game away early and rolled to a 33-0 victory on October 9, this match tested both offenses. Glens Falls had several good scoring opportunities down by the goal line in the second quarter, but the Black Horses’ defense consistently came up big. Two end-zone interceptions by Tanner Dunkel kept the Indians off the board, and the game scoreless at halftime.
Schuylerville finally broke through 7-0, on a 7-yard keeper by QB Will Griffen, who finished with a game-high 127 yards, with 11:14 to go in the third quarter. A key play to set up that score to begin the second half was a long runback by Zach Pierce.
Pierce later provided what proved to be the winning margin when he scooped up Griffen’s fumble and ran it in from 5 yards out, with 3 minutes left in the third, to give the Black Horses a 14-0 lead. A key on that drive was a fake punt by Griffen that went for a first down and eventually set up Schuylerville’s second score.
Glens Falls lone score came with just 2:16 to go in the game. The Black Horses’ Anthony Carpenter recovered their subsequent onside kick attempt, and Schuylerville was able to run out the clock to seal the victory.
Victorious 19-14 Over Shaker With Key Defensive Stops
CLIFTON PARK – In every game, there are those key moments that provide the margin of victory for the teams who can capitalize on their opportunities.
Nowhere was this clearer than in the Class AA title game last Friday, November 6, in which two unbeaten, 9-0 squads – Saratoga Springs’ Blue Streaks and Shaker’s Blue Bison, faced each other for the first time this season in a showdown at Shenendehowa High School. Saratoga emerged with the win, 19-14, in large part because they both created chances and exploited those openings that were presented to them.
The first opportunity came after the initial score by Shaker, a 26 yard run by RB Ronel Forde, more than midway in the first quarter. Saratoga immediately countered with a vengeance - with the ‘answer’ they had all season – Dakota Harvey. On the first play from scrimmage following Shaker’s TD, RB Harvey rumbled for a 75-yard TD that included more than a few changes of direction to elude every member of Shaker’s defense.
Toward the end of the first quarter, QB Brian Williams made Shaker squander an opportunity to stop Saratoga as he scrambled for a first down on a third-and-19. Harvey followed that with a 15- yard run to give Saratoga it’s first lead, 13-7. After Shaker answered to retake the lead, 14-13, on a one-yard run from their QB Wahid Nabi, and looked to be driving for more, Saratoga created the first of several defensive opportunities – when Zack Regels recovered a fumble with 4:40 left in the first half, and this keyed a 10-yard run by Williams to give Saratoga back the lead before halftime, 19-14.
This was to be the final score of the game, but it was by no means certain throughout the second half, as the Blue Streaks’ defense needed to rise up to frustrate Shaker on several occasions.
A key moment in the contest came on Shaker’s first drive of the third quarter, when Brian Williams (now on defense) stripped the ball from Forde, who appeared to be heading for the end zone. Saratoga’s DB Zach Frank pounced on the fumble, and Shaker lost its best chance to regain the lead. LB Eric Stone snuffed out another Shaker drive in the fourth quarter with a timely interception.
By making the most of the opportunities it created and were presented, Saratoga Springs (10-0) captured its first Section II Class AA title since 2009, and now has the biggest opportunity of all – to advance. They will receive a bye in the first round of the State semi-finals, and will meet the winner of the game between the winners of Sections I and IX, on Saturday, November 21, at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.