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Displaying items by tag: SRYMCA

Thursday, 19 April 2018 12:18

New Learn to Love Tennis Program at the YMCA

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Andrew Bobbitt, the CEO of the Saratoga Regional YMCA, has a love of tennis and when Bobbitt had coffee with YMCA member Allen Oppenheim, an idea was formed: The Learn to Love Tennis (LTLT) Program.

“[Oppenheim’s] interest in the Y primarily comes from playing tennis at Wilton and he had shared that he had tried to do some work with our staff and the US Tennis Association on a program that they had that would provide access to tennis for underprivileged children. I have a tennis background, I taught and played a little in college and was teaching pro in the summers, so I said, ‘hey that sounds like a great thing,’” Bobbitt said, explaining how the idea came to be. Bobbitt decided to customize their own local program for kids who haven’t played at all in the area, just “get them to pick up a racket and start learning tennis,” he said.

The YMCA was able to raise money, so the classes can be offered at no cost. There are two classes offered, Thursdays and Saturdays, which take place over five weeks.

“Ideally, we are going to try and do four of these classes over the remainder of the year which is going to impact 320 kids between the ages of 7 and 10,” Bobbitt said.

“I started as a program director and I’ve been doing admin in the YMCA for a long time now and I think having that tennis background and the enthusiasm that Allen had, we can impact these kids through a recreational sport. Tennis is a sport you can play recreationally well into your 70s and beyond,” he stated.

Saturday classes begin on April 28 and they run from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Wilton YMCA, Thursday classes are already full and as of Thursday, April 19, Saturday classes have a limited number of spots left.

“As soon as we can do a second session for a different group of 80 kids, we would advertise another LTLT,” he said.

“I think there is an opportunity for us to engage more individuals in the game of tennis and I can’t think of a better way to do that then young children who have not picked up a racket before,” Bobbitt concluded.

For more information, contact the SRYMCA at 518-583-9622.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 12 April 2018 13:36

Local All-Star Moments

Saratoga Springs and Shen Alum Earn  Syracuse University Cheer Awards           

SYRACUSE — Syracuse University freshman cheerleaders Madison Dallas (Saratoga Springs - Class of 2017) and Brenna Hart (Shenendehowa - Class of 2017) were recently honored at the Syracuse University Cheer banquet held Sunday, April 8, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel.    Madison won the “Rookie of the Year” award which is given to “The newcomer whose athletic ability, willingness to improve and dedication has contributed greatly to the success of Syracuse Cheerleading 2017-2018.”  Brenna received the coveted “Orange Award” given “To the athlete who has been an outstanding representative of Syracuse Cheerleading through service events, appearances, games, and an overall commitment to our team.” Both girls cheered for their respective high school during their time in the Capital District and cheered for the private cheer gym Cheer Intensity in Green Island, NY.  Madison and Brenna are planning to room together during their sophomore year at Syracuse University.

Spa Catholic Softball Team            
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Monday, April 9, Saratoga Central Catholic played Hoosick Falls in their first game of the season and won, 8-2. Spa Catholic had one run in the first inning and seven in the second while Hoosick Falls had two runs in the sixth. For Spa Catholic: Victoria Alvord hit a double, Cassidy Hayner had the only home run of the evening, and Grace O’Reilly had 2 RBIs.

Saratoga Springs vs. Niskayuna Girls Lacrosse            
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Tuesday, April 10, Saratoga Springs beat Niskayuna, 13-8. For Saratoga Springs: Sophia Burke had four goals; Lindsey Frank had three goals and two assists; Reilly Hogan had three goals; Katie Wendell had two goals and four assists; and Sylvie Waters had one goal and one assist.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 22 March 2018 14:18

Local All-Star Moments

[Photos provided]

Saratoga Regional YMCA Basketball League Scores

GAME 1: D’Andrea’s Pizza – 60 vs. Post Time Wine & Spirits – 43                        
Ed Benway’s game high 24 points wasn’t enough for Post Time Wine & Spirits to avoid a 60 – 43 loss to D’Andrea’s Pizza Parlor. Jim Puleo notched 20 points, Charlie Maurer 18, and Mike Scanlon 16 points for D’Andrea’s.  Jim Eliopulos added 11 points for Post Time.

GAME 2: Jones Steves – 68 vs. Gennaro’s Pizza – 62                                   
Jones Steves outscored Gennaro’s Pizza 34 – 28 in the first half and continued on to their 68 – 62 victory.  Rory Wilson notched a game high 34 points for Jones Steves while Kevin Reilly topped Gennaro’s with 28 points. Also, in double figures in the winning effort was Matt Truex with 13 points and ‘Squid’ Sephas with 11 points. Rob Thiess’s 14 points and Mark Sohl’s 13 kept Gennaro’s in the game.

GAME 3: Mama Mi’s Cafe – 71 vs. West Side Sports Grill - 54                    
Mama Mia’s Café moved into a first place tie with West Side Sports Grill by beating West Side 71 – 54. Mama Mia’s was led by 31 points from Bobby Hanson and 30 points from Andy Kramarchyk. West Side was paced by 18 points from Joe Twomey, 15 by John Mooney, and 11 points from Scott Waterhouse.   

GAME 4: Village Photo, LLC – 67 vs. Nemer Chrysler – 65
Village Photo, LLC was able to overcome a 12 point first quarter deficit and earned a hard fought 67 – 65 win over Nemer Chrysler as Pat Reidy led the winners with 25 points. Nemer’s Phil Fitzpatrick was the league’s high scorer for the night with 37 points. Contributing to the win were Pat Correa with 16 points and Mike Lander with 12 points.  Tom Kelly added 17 points for Nemer.

SRYMCA Rotary Youth Basketball Banquet
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The banquet, held on Sunday, March 18 at the Saratoga/Wilton Elks Club, was attended by 245 players, families, sponsors, coaches, referees, and Saratoga
Regional YMCA staff. Prior to the banquet there were 4 AllStar games, a Jr. Division, a Sr. Division, a coaches’ game and an alumni game for anyone who played in the league since 1992. There were three-point contests for both the Jr. and Sr. Divisions. The three-point winner for the Jr. Division was Steve Bebee and the winner for the Sr. Division was Patrick Dechaine.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 15 March 2018 14:58

Local All-Star Moments

[Photos provided]

Hannah Klingebiel, Alpine Skiing: 
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Klingebiel won every slalom race in Section II during the regular season.  She then went on to win the NY State Championship title for slalom at Bristol Mountain on Feb. 26.  This qualified her for the Eastern High School Championship at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire this past weekend.  Klingebiel once again won the slalom on March 9! Klingebiel is a sophomore at Schuylerville High School and has skied at Willard Mountain since she was four years old.  She joined the race team there when she was eight.

Saratoga Regional YMCA Youth Basketball League:
Ethan Dinsmore had a last-minute basket and then made a free throw to give Mexican Connection Restaurant a hard earned 24 to 21 victory over Saratoga PBA. Dinsmore had a team high of seven points, Bryant Savage six points, Alexander Savage five points, Connor Johnson and Yankiel Bracero had two points apiece, Nick Scalo and Jaden Cousar one point each. PBA was led by Jaden Manning with a game high nine points while teammates Jack Foster had six points, Emylyn Tineo got three points, Steve Bebee had two points and Makala Roy had one point.

Berkshire Hathaway Blake Realtors had a 20-point first half lead and never looked back, defeating Cudney’s Launderers by a score of 55 to 40. The winners got points from everyone on the team, with Jake leading the way with 14 points, along with 13 points from Ian Fisk, 11 points Cameron Fitzpatrick, eight points from Seth Mattice, three points from Shane Richardson, and two points apiece from Isaiah Barnes and Tim Leary. PBA scoring was Hunter Regels 15 points, Lydia Green eight points, six points from Elias Whol, five points from Will Sambrook, four points from Tom Leary, and Coleman Fignar with two points.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 08 March 2018 13:20

Over 25 Basketball League Returning to SRYMCA

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Regional YMCA is restarting their Over 25 Basketball League this April through June. This league will follow up the youth league and Over 50 League, that end their seasons in late March. Similar to the Over 50 League, this league will not have any coaches, instead the captains of each team will act as a coach. Games will take place every Wednesday night, with two games at 7 p.m. and two games at 8 p.m. Games will be played four on four at half-court, so two can take place at a time.

As far as fees go, Mike Laudicina, program coordinator, says that “it all depends on what team the player is on, because the fee is by teams. Some teams have 10 players, so it’s less expensive.”

About 50 percent of the players who have signed up so far played in the youth league when they were kids and were too young to play in the Over 50 League, now they have a place to play organized basketball again.

“It’s a program that we used to have years ago when we were at the Broadway facility and when we moved here it was a little hard to run it because at Broadway we were in a closed gym and here, you know the players have to watch their language and different things because children walk around on the track. So when we first moved here, we thought it was better to drop the program, but we had so many people asking about it and we had hoped to get six teams and we have eight teams so far, so it’s something that is needed and wanted,” Laudicina explained.

This program will run every spring, and if successful, may also run in the fall, depending on gym availability.

“I don’t need to talk much about it because people are signing up already! I don’t even have sign-ups out, but the gentlemen involved have been going around and getting teams, but we do still have spots available,” Laudicina said.

While the rosters are filling quickly, the league needs sponsors for the teams. If interested in playing or being a sponsor, contact Mike Laudicina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call at 518-583-9622, ext. 145.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:41

Saratoga YMCA Basketball League

[Photo by Thomas Kika]

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Mike Laudicina, basketball league coordinator at the Saratoga YMCA, originally started the league in 1991 for kids who did not make the JV or Varsity teams at their school, so they would still have a chance to play basketball.

“We found that there were so many young people who were good enough to play on those teams but they can only have so many there. So we started with six teams and ended up when I originally retired in 2009, 24 teams in the league,” said Laudicina.

Laudicina retired in 2009 and then decided to come back in a smaller capacity in 2015.

“I had this passion for basketball and if somebody else comes in and doesn’t have that same passion, sometimes it’s not the same thing on that front burner. So they called me up in 2015 to come back because I had retired. I came back and there were only four teams, 26 boys,” Laudicina explained.

The fall basketball league is co-ed, just how Laudicina prefers it. He is a father of boys and girls and has always demanded that his league be for boys and girls.

“I don’t like leaving out girls because sometimes they’re better than the boys. Especially in the younger years, because physically they’re about the same,” Laudicina said.

This year’s league will have 12 teams and approximately 15 girls playing. When Laudicina came back after retirement there were four teams and this year they are shooting for 12, six in the junior division and six in the varsity division. The junior division is for grades five through eight and the varsity division is for grades nine through 12.

“The league gets kids in here from all over; it’s not just Saratoga, it’s Ballston Spa, Mechanicville, Corinth. The whole area, because there really is nothing for these kids to do so it keeps them out of trouble. They have one practice a week for an hour and then our games are on Sunday mornings, around 10:30 a.m. and goes until all the games are done,” Laudicina explained the league.

There are two coaches per team and nine scheduled games and at least one playoff game as each team makes the playoffs. If your team succeeds in the playoffs, there will be 12 games total.

“The great part about this, is that so many of the coaches played in the league. They want to give back, it’s all volunteers. It’s great to see them come back and say, ‘you know what, it was great for me and I want to make it great for somebody else,” Laudicina said.

Registration fees are $74 for YMCA members and $125 for non-members.

“We have sponsorship money for everything at the Y. Anyone can be sponsored and get scholarships,” Laudicina clarified.

If interested kids come in and they don’t have an active home life and they want to play but they can’t afford to or don’t have the parental involvement to, Laudicina will help them fill out paperwork and get sponsored so that they can still play.

“Some people see the price and they say ‘jeez, that’s a lot’ and they can’t afford to bring their kids in, but there are scholarships that can help!” Laudicina said encouragingly.

Last year the league had around 63 players and 10 of them were fully sponsored. The Over-50 Basketball League had a player pass away and in his honor, they made a collection and they donated it to the younger kids for sponsorships. So that is used to help.

Registration begins Sept. 18 and runs through Nov. 19 with games beginning Dec. 3.

“On November 19, we have something we call Skills Assessment. It’s not a tryout because a tryout means you might not make it. Everybody makes the team; we just want them to be evenly matched. Last year, we had eight teams and in both divisions, there were no teams who didn’t win two or three games and nobody who won every game. Everybody gets to play in the league; everybody has to sit down too. So if you have a star player, they can’t play the whole game,” Laudicina said.

Laudicina has already seen success since he has restarted at the YMCA with his summer league program.

“I couldn’t believe it, up until the day we started people were trying to get in. Once we ordered shirts and everything, there was nowhere to go. So we had a few I couldn’t get in,” he said.

First and second place winners of the fall league receive trophies at the yearly banquet put on by the Elks Club on Maple Ave. The Elks Club also sponsors a team. There is also a James Cudney Award which is for a senior in high school who demonstrates what it means to be a wonderful teammate, student, and volunteer.

Laudicina said they are always looking for more coaches and sponsors, so contact him if you are interested; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“When the league started, I was the youth director here. Kids used to come up to my office and say to me, ‘I saw the paper!’ And I would say, ‘yeah I know! You scored however many points.’ I knew everybody’s name, and I knew what he or she did and it made them feel important. That’s the other thing, to make these kids feel important,” Laudicina wrapped up.

Registration begins Sept. 18, visit www.srymca.org for more information.

Published in Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Regional YMCA concluded the first phase of its outdoor development program by bringing adventure to our very own backyard.

Tucked into the woods on the south end of the Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRYMCA) on West Avenue is the brand new Adventure Course, which had its grand opening on June 22. The 4,340-square-foot course consists of a multiple rock-climbing walls, rope bridges, and tire bridges suspended at varying levels above the ground. Affixed to the top of the main rock wall tower structure is a zip-line, which brave participants can use to ride down to the bottom. When press and other attendees arrived for the grand opening of the course, SRYMCA Board President Alysa Arnold addressed the crowd from the top of the course before riding the zip-line down.

“Today, I am so excited that we are at the point where we have an amazing team that is well-trained, and this summer, kids and adults in our area are going to be able to experience this wonderful adventure course,” Arnold said from the top of the structure. “We have 300-plus campers this summer, and they are gonna have a lot of fun and learn a lot of life skills right on this course.”

Arnold went on to emphasize that the course was far more than just a way for kids and families to have healthy fun, but that it will also give them the opportunity to safely challenge themselves by going outside their comfort zones. Then, using herself as an example of this due to her fear of heights, she ended her speech and rode the zip-line down to a round of applause.

“This is one of those resources that helps us make sure that Saratoga is the healthiest county in all of New York State,” Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus said, introducing the course to the gathered crowd. “As well as, hopefully, the world, someday.”

The Adventure Course is just one part of the first phase of SRYMCA outdoor development initiative. Other aspects of the first phase have included an enclosed pavilion for rainy days and a traverse wall on the north side of the West Avenue location. Planning for the course began approximately three years ago, with construction taking about a year to complete, beginning with the procurement of building permits. The actual time that it took to physically construct the course was around three months. The costs for constructing the course were covered through community fundraising, according to Chief Operations Officer Kelly Armer.

“The best way children learn is through play,” Armer said. “And this is a great structure to add [for that].”

The next phase of development for SRYMCA will begin soon, with plans to build a new pool and another gym, as according to Armer, they are quickly outgrowing their current space. There is currently no set timeline for this second phase.

All photos by Thomas Kika.  

Published in Sports
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