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Displaying items by tag: ballston spa
SARATOGA COUNTY – Two local robotics teams stole the show at a recent regional competition, paving the way for their trips to the national level in April.
Robotics club teams from the Ballston Spa and Schuylerville school districts competed at the NY Tech Valley FIRST Robotics competition, a regional division of the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international youth event designed to give student practical engineering experience. Each school put in strong work at the competition, which ran from March 16-18 at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with Ballston Spa receiving the prestigious Chairman’s Award, and Schuylerville finishing in second place and putting up the highest score of the weekend during the quarterfinals, 450 points. Both teams will be competing at the national championships in St. Louis, MO, which will run from April 26-29.
At the regional competition, teams were challenged to design and build robots that could receive and place gears, fire wiffle balls, and climb five feet. Each challenge would net the teams a certain amount of points, and it was up to the teams which actions they designed their machines to specialize in. Ballston Spa chose to design a robot that could do all three actions, with club advisor and coach Darrel Ackroyd being particularly proud of the machines ability to place gears by itself.
“We can receive gears from the human player station and place the gear on the peg via an active placement of the gear,” Ackroyd said. “Most teams have a passive gear system where the pilot has to pull the gear out of the robot.”
Schuylerville, on the other hands, chose to focus on gear-placing and climbing, as they determined that shooting wiffle balls would be too difficult to design for, and would not yield as many point as the other challenges.
Every team competing in the FIRST Robotics competition was informed of the challenges they would face in January, and then had six weeks to design and build the robot they would take to the competition. After that, their machine had to be submitted, or “bagged and tagged,” so that they could not utilize it again before the competition weekend. Both teams, however, built practice robots at the same time as their competition robots, so that they could continue practicing after the six week time limit.
“Our robot performed incredibly and we won quarterfinals,” Ackroyd said about his team’s performance. “We came up short in semi finals, but our alliance with Cambridge and Troy was a great one to be apart of in eliminations.”
“I couldn’t have ask for anymore,” said Mark Belden, advisor and coach for the Schuylerville team. “We’re not a big team, but we went right out there. Our team, our mentors, our alliance partners… it went as well as I could’ve expected.”
This will be Ballston Spa’s third time competing at the national level, and their second time in a row, having made it to the finals at RIT last year. This will also be Schuylerville’s second year in a row competing at nationals. Neither team has won at that level, but they are hopeful heading into the event.
“We are making changes to our climber and gear mechanism for our competition this weekend at Rockland County,” Ackroyd said. “I feel with these changes we should be a top-performing robot at the competition”
“We’re feeling really good,” Belden said. “Some other teams we competed against have already gotten in touch with us with suggestions.”
Schuylerville is currently raising money to help fund their trip to St. Louis. Belden estimates that it will cost around $20,000 to transport the team. They will be hosting a spaghetti dinner and raffle to help raise funds on March 31 in the elementary school cafeteria, from 5-8 p.m. Donations can also be made directly at www.gofundme.com/schuylerville-robotics-team-4508.
SARATOGA COUNTY – Victory was earned for two local high school wrestlers this past weekend. Competing in the NYSPHSAA wrestling championships, which ran from Feb. 24-25, Ballston Spa junior Tyler Barnes and Schuylerville junior Orion Anderson fought through four rounds of competition across two days to claim state championship titles. Barnes won in the Division I, 170-pound weight class, while Anderson won in the Section II, 120-pound class. With this win, Barnes becomes the first ever state champion to come out of Ballston Spa. Anderson, meanwhile, fought through illness and injury to not only win the title, but also be voted one of the Most Outstanding Wrestlers out of the whole competition.
“He’s a very focused young man,” said Coach Harold Staulters of Barnes. “He has goals, he always has goals, and he sticks to them.”
After finishing in 5th place at last year’s championship, Barnes, supported by in Staulters’s estimation 40 or more Ballston Spa residence in attendance, went all the way this year to become the town’s first ever state wrestling champion. Winning his first match by pin on Friday, Barnes made it to the finals on Saturday, where he bested John Glenn High School’s Mike Ancewicz 5-2. Well aware of the import of his potential victory, Barnes wore a singlet with Ballston Spa’s school colors, purple and gold.
Staulters said that consistency was important during Barnes’s training leading up to the event. He stuck to his usual practice routines, and stuck with his longtime friend and practice partner, Jake Cook, who also competed over the weekend.
“They know each other pretty well,” said Staulters of Barnes and Cook. “They’ve been friends since they were six… Probably been workout partner since the same time.”
For Anderson, the run-up to the championship was fraught with hindrances. At the Section II state qualifying event two weeks prior at the Glens Falls Civic Center where Anderson secured his spot in the state finals, he suffered a cut to his forehead that required stitches. For the month prior to the state finals, Anderson had also been suffering through bouts of mononucleosis and upper respiratory infection, the latter of which sometimes made it difficult for him to breathe.
“I don’t think he even realizes what a big deal it is,” said Buck Anderson, Orion’s coach and father.
For each champion, wrestling is a family affair. Barnes’s father, Terry, wrestled in the 1995 state championships and was runner-up that year. Anderson, meanwhile, has seen many members of his family in the state finals, with his older brother and sister each having competed in the finals in years prior, and he himself has been wrestling since the age of two.
Barnes’s is currently planning to compete in the Cadet Greco Nationals in Fargo, ND, where he also competed last year, making it all the way through the semifinals. This year, he’s aiming to win it all. Anderson, conversely, will be taking things slower to let his body heal and to recover from his illnesses. Once he feels better, he intends to get back to practicing and compete in off-season matches.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Building a mouth-watering lasagna from scratch can be a real challenge for busy moms on-the-go, which is one reason why Augie Vitiello, chef and owner of popular mainstay Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant in Ballston Spa, is bringing his famous recipes to Saratoga Springs at a new take-out-only location coming in January.
“It’s so exciting to have Augie’s To Go moving into the neighborhood!” said Katrina Lucas of Saratoga Springs. “A quick weeknight meal just got so much easier. We can pick up the kids from after-school activities and pick up a fresh, amazing Italian dinner down the street.”
Augie’s Family Style Italian To Go will continue the Augie’s concept, with familiar menu items as well as prepared foods such as packaged homemade pastas and sauces. There will be homemade cannoli, seasonally flavored gelatos, and other desserts as well.
“You can come in and pick up a pound of fresh pasta and quart of marinara at your convenience,” said Vitiello. “Or you can call ahead to pick up a pan of eggplant parm, lasagna or meatballs and salad to have for company at home the next day. Fresh and hassle-free.”
Vitiello said he often heard from his restaurant customers that they wished he had a location in Saratoga Springs.
“We’re making life easier for our great customers in Saratoga so they don’t have to drive to Ballston Spa,” said Vitiello. “It’s a great Eastside location, across from the park where there’s lots of activity and a big population of families that want good, wholesome Italian food at a reasonable price just a phone call away. I see a niche for that, and I think it will do really well.”
Vitiello is taking over the former pizzeria at 223 Lake Avenue, just across from East Side Recreation Park, which has been empty for about a year.
“The landlord has been doing extensive renovations to the property,” said Vitiello, “and he’s excited having me join the property and bring it back to life. We’re anticipating an opening date in mid-January.”
Vitiello has originally opened his restaurant in Larchmont in 1990, and moved to Ballston Spa in 2004.
“It’s been great,” he said. “We’ve been growing all the time, constantly expanding what we do. We’ve expanded our footprint in the restaurant and now have two private dining rooms for private parties and banquets. It’s been pretty active and promising.”
BALLSTON SPA— On Saturday, May 7, The Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame Committee held its 2016 induction ceremony at the Ballston Spa High School auditorium, 220 Ballston Avenue. A reception with light refreshments will follow at the school. The BSAHF recognizes Ballston Spa alumni who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in the field of athletics.
The 2016 Ballston Spa Athletics Hall of Fame inductees:
1. Carl Barney – “Old Timer” Athlete
2. Briana Borgolini - Athlete
3. Frank Cinella - Athlete
4. Steve Cook - Athlete
5. Joseph King - Coach
6. Olivio “Tete” Monaco - Athlete
7. Anthony Spensieri - Athlete
8. Arlington Uline – Athlete
9. 1954 Basketball Team – Team Members: Frank Ascenzo, Clarence “Daisy” Evarts, Jim Funiciello, Burton Green, Roy Hodsoll, Arthur Isenberg, Jack Leahy, Harry Monaco, Pasquale “Patsy” Monaco, Louie Thomas and Arlie Uline
For more information visit ballstonspaathleticshalloffame.com
WILTON – In spite of pleas from residents to take more time to consider the proposed zoning changes, Wilton’s Town Board members voted to approve the majority of them – over 100 in all – wrapping up what has been a contentious three months since residents first learned of the proposed changes.