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Displaying items by tag: athlete of the week

Thursday, 22 April 2021 14:32

Zoey Goodness: Athlete of the Week

Congrats to Athlete of the Week – Zoey Goodness!

Zoey is a senior at Saratoga Springs High School and rows with the SRA (Saratoga Rowing Association). Some of her rowing accomplishments include placing third nationally at SRAA’s in the Women’s 2V8+ category as a sophomore in 2019, racing at the Head of the Charles in 2018 and 2019, and in 2020 receiving the Service Award from her rowing club, SRA. 

“I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to train and work with highly experienced coaches, including elite rowers who have competed at World Championships for the United States and those who will compete, or train in hopes to compete, at the Olympic level,” said Zoey.

Zoey has been an active member of Best Buddies at the high school for four years, and a Best Buddies Officer for the past three years. She is also involved in several other clubs in school that spread the same message and include people with IDD’s (Intellectual Developmental Disabilities) such as Unified Sports and Lions Club. 

“Being inclusive is a big part of who I am,” said Zoey. “Whether that be at rowing, school, or wherever I may be.” 

All four years of high school she has been on the High Honor Roll, and her junior and senior year she has been a part of the National Honor Society. Zoey will be attending and rowing lightweight for Boston University while studying chemistry on a pre-med track.

“To be able to continue my rowing journey in college is a dream come true,” said Zoey. “Even now I hope to push my rowing abilities past college and possibly row at the elite level.” 

Published in Sports
Thursday, 30 January 2020 13:51

Athlete of the Week: Ava Dallas

SARATOGA SPRINGS — “Gymnastics has made me strong. I feel like it broke me down to my lowest point, but at the same time, it has given me the greatest strength anyone could ask for.” – Olympian Shawn Johnson.

Ava Dallas is a record-breaking 17-year-old junior at Saratoga Springs High School with a passion for gymnastics that she pursues, regardless of the injuries or other things she sacrifices to succeed. 

“I started when I was really little, around two years old, and I stopped for a while but then I started to get serious about it when I was 10,” she explained.

“Just watching college gymnastics on TV and the summer Olympics, I got really inspired and then I started taking classes at the Y and then I joined the team there.”

Dallas then switched to a club team which was more serious and eventually made the choice to join the school’s team full time. She was with Stepping Star for three years and then switched to the high school team because she wanted something more team oriented and with less hours in the gym. From November to the end of February, the gym is where you can find her.

"Right after the season is over, we have about a month and a half off and then we go back to practicing on Sundays and then when it gets into the summer, we practice twice a week,” Dallas specified.

Dallas currently holds the Section II record for vaulting, which is 9.475.

"My freshmen year on the team, I broke the record for the first time and then last year I broke it once in the beginning of the year and then once again at the end of the year at the state meet,” she explained.

However, she is still recovering from a stress fracture in her back from over the summer. 

“It was very hard for me to do anything because it was so painful. When I went to the doctor, he advised that I slow down and possibly stop to prevent any further injury. I didn't want to do that and compromise my junior season so I modified my routines to do skills that didn't hurt me and now I’m building back all of my skills and all of my routines to get back to where I want to be,” Dallas said.

Dallas also coaches the little girls the basics of gymnastics at the Wilton YMCA.

"Coaching the little girls definitely provides a different perspective on the sport. As a coach, you have to think about putting the skill into words that the little kids would understand and sometimes it takes multiple times to explain things so it really makes you think about every single little part of each skill that you do. Also, to see them enjoy it as much as they do, it really brings a new enjoyment for me,” she mused.

Her family supports one another tremendously. Her sister cheers at Syracuse and the family goes to watch her games whenever they can.

She cites her father as her biggest fan: "it means a lot, I can always look over and see him cheering for me… He's like my number one fan," she laughed.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 21 March 2019 13:04

Grace O'Reilly: Athlete of the Week

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Catholic’s Junior athlete Grace O’Reilly takes the values instilled in her at home onto the playing fields.
“I grew up in a family of three kids…both my parents played sports in high school. It’s in the family,” said O’Reilly.
O’Reilly participates in cross-country, track and field, volleyball, basketball and softball. Her father is also the Varsity coach for Spa Catholic’s softball team, of which both O’Reilly and her sister are players for.
Sometimes being the coach’s kid isn’t easy as the standards her father sets for her at home are also expected of her on the field.
“He (her father) knows me at home, so he knows the potential I have in the sports that I play, so he pushes me that much harder,” said O’ Reilly. “He does it with my sister, also. He knows our potential and he wants us to succeed.”
After some deliberation, O’Reilly would say that Yankee’s Derek Jeter would be her favorite athlete because she believes him to be a humble as well as a phenomenal athlete.
“He reminds me of the morals in my family, which are faith, courage, and strength. My dad has engraved that into the family - into our daily lives,” said O’Reilly.
Faith, courage, and strength are certainly at the forefront of the O’Reilly family’s minds, and it is evident in the way 17-year-old O’Reilly believes her parents to be the biggest inspiration in sports and in life.
“They’re (her parents) both constantly working and providing for us. They take time out of their day to make sure that we’re okay, to make sure that we’re happy. Even if they’re not happy.”
O’Reilly’s favorite sport is volleyball, and it’s because she enjoys being an independent part of a team, where each player has their part to assist each other in reaching an overall success. 
Much like on a sports team, a family operates the same way. O’Reilly notices that balancing school work and sports can be challenging, but with her family's support, she is able to flourish.
“My family supports me a lot so they can tell when I’m feeling down and they’ll say ‘hey, you need a mental day, or you need to not go to practice.”
For O’Reilly, family and fitness are one in the same. She hopes to continue to be a part of teams through college.
Published in Sports
Thursday, 14 March 2019 12:39

Vincent Santilli: Athlete of the Week

Photos provided. 
SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Section 2 Champion wrestler Vincent Santilli demonstrates how values taught through sports transfer into everyday life.
Santilli, 17, is a senior three-season athlete at South Glens Falls High School. While he plays both soccer and lacrosse, this year he excelled in wrestling as he took home the gold at the Section 2 Division I tournament 1st.
Stacked against two previous competitors from Queensbury and Niskayuna, going into this match Santilli expressed, “I knew I had to do well, and that I had to wrestle my best ever."
Wrestle to his best he did as he won sectionals and progressed to state. Unfortunately, he did not make the top six at the podium.

This past season Santilli used his role as a team captain not only to help motivate his teammates but to instill a sense of team camaraderie in a sport that is heavily focused on the solo performance on the mat. Though a team player, Santilli's favorite aspect of wrestling is going solo to the mat, for the sense of accountability he embodies.
“When playing a team sport you have other people to rely on in a game and if you make a mistake, it might be made up for somewhere else, but in wrestling, it's all you,” said Santilli. “If I mess up it's only me and I have to make up for myself. It kind of helps me with my everyday life. Like in school or a job - I’ve got to be responsible.”
For most student athletes, being responsible means keeping your grades up and showing up to practice, but for a wrestler, making and keeping to your weight class is an additional task to take on.
"An hour before I had to wrestle at the state tournament, I had to lose two pounds...things like that are really tough. But It helps me stay disciplined not only at practice but at home."
In life, many things that are unexacting happen, and it’s an important value to take the obstacles and grow from them. Santilli thanks a minor injury for being a contributing factor in him winning sectionals.
"If I didn't hurt my pinky, I wouldn't have learned to wrestle intelligently and strategically. I don't think I would've won sectionals. I wouldn't have been as focused."
Focusing may be something that Santilli thinks he developed over the course of this season, but his condensed academic and extracurricular schedule shows that this is a skill he’s established through his high school career.
What many may not know is that during the week of states, Santilli was also one of eight student chairpersons for the South High Dance Marathon, which raised $837,859.97 for varying charities.
Santilli hopes to continue his development on and off the mat as he ventures to college. 
Published in Sports
Thursday, 31 January 2019 11:11

Dolly Carins: Athlete of the Week

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Dolly Carins, 16, is the only Junior serving as one of the three captains of the Saratoga High School Girls Varsity Basketball team.
Carins was introduced to the world of basketball when she would tag along with her dad and brother for her brother’s practices. While her brother eventually left the sport, Carins’ basketball career was only beginning. In the 7th grade, Carins was playing for her school’s JV team, when halfway through the season she was bumped up to Varsity.
Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics would be Carins’ most admired athlete.
“Just because I think he puts a lot of time in on the court, said Carins. “And then watching him play, it gets better every time I watch him… I really like him a lot.”
She certainly follows his lead with a dedication to the sport outside of her scheduled practices.  As she prepares for her season to begin, she spends her autumn mornings waking up at 5:30 a.m to begin her hour of shooting practice by 6:15 a.m, four times a week.
Carins attributes her success to her support systems, both on and off the court. When asked who her biggest fans were, without hesitation she said, “my parents. They are always at every game, they love coming.” 
For many athletes, the scoreboard and games are the most glorified aspect of their sports careers, but for Carins, winning comes in second to what she values most about her time in the sport.
“I like the relationships that I’ve made with my teammates throughout all of the different teams that I’ve played for — I think those last a lifetime. When I’m older I think I’ll remember that more than I’ll remember winning and losing a game. “
Even during a loss, which Is Carins’ least favorite aspect of the sport, she keeps a positive attitude for the sake of her teammates. “We can’t let that (losing) ruin us for the rest of the season,” said Carins. “We just have to come back better.”
Carins plans on taking that determination and can do attitude throughout college, where she hopes to play basketball before pursuing a stable career.
Published in Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS – It was a situation that would be tense for any baseball team in any game: tied with the rival team, 4-4, in the bottom of the seventh inning. This was the situation that the Saratoga Springs High School varsity baseball team found itself in on April 14, when it faced rivals Shenendahowa in a non-league game at Shuttleworth Park. This was not just any old non-league game, however: to give some extra heft to the game required under new Suburban Council guidelines, the two teams came together to create the I-87 Cup, which will fought over each year by both teams in a non-league game.

Enter junior Brian Hart, who with just the right swing of the bat hit a homerun, cinching the Blue Streaks’ victory and making them the inaugural holders of the new title.

“It was a great feeling, just running around the bases,” Hart said. “Seeing everyone at home plate, all excited, and I was excited, just to touch the plate and celebrate with my team… Yeah, they were all excited for me, and it was a special moment for us.”
“I kinda said to him in the on-deck circle, it’d be nice if you hit one over that wall, kinda jokingly,” Coach Andy Cuthbertson said. “And, you know, sure enough, he did that.”

Hart has been playing baseball for Saratoga since little league, or, “most” of his life, as he said. Going forward in the season, he believes that the Blue Streaks can go on to win a sectional championship.
“We’re looking to make a long run,” Hart said.

“The one thing about Brian, even when he was a 10th grader last year, he is very composed,” Cuthbertson said. “He doesn’t get very worked up, and that’s quite an attribute to have as a 10th grader, and now as a junior, sometimes I almost think in my mind that he is a senior, and I have remember that, wow, I have him for one more year. What a nice treat for our program.”

All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com

Published in Sports

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