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Meet the Team: Spa Catholic Saints Baseball
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Spa Catholic Saints are back for another season, with their sights set on high goals.
Head Coach Alphonse Lambert heads into his 32nd season coaching the legendary team, that was 20-3 last year in the Waseren League, and have been the league’s champions for the past two years.
“Tradition never graduates. The program as of right now, we know what’s expected and we work hard,” said Coach Lambert. “We just try to take one inning at a time…that’s how we’ve been successful.
This year’s team is a veteran team of mostly juniors, seniors and one sophomore. Coach Lambert can name a few outstanding players to look out for this season including Dylan Custer, Dante Merin, and the team’s captains Nicholas Winslow and Terel Tillman.
“He’s (Winslow) a fantastic hitter,” said Coach Lambert. “Nick is one of the best catchers in the area of the catholic districts.”
Tillman, a right-handed pitcher and shortstop is a two-time MVP of the Waseren league and three-time all-state player. According to his stats, and coach Lambert, “he’s one of Spa Catholic’s all-time greatest players.” Team captains Winslow and Tillman are not only talented players but enthused leaders.
“I try to tell them what they’re not so great at, so that they’re working on that more than working on their strong suits,” said Tillman.
“We like to have everyone involved and be a leader because we just do better, and the chemistry is better,” said Winslow.
Coach Lambert would like to focus this season on sharpening up basic skills.
“When you have a team that has a lot of talent, sometimes they do things that are unconventional,” said Lambert. “Sometimes fundamentals get lost in the shuffle, so you have to bring it back to the beginning.”
The Spa Catholic Saint’s first game of the season will be Monday, April 1 versus Hoosic Falls at Hoosic Falls.
Athlete of the Week: MaryClare Pikus
SARATOGA SPRINGS — MaryClare Pikus, a senior at Saratoga Central Catholic, is a star on the volleyball court. She has been playing volleyball for the last six years.
“The season is going great! Everyone on the team is working really hard and giving it their all, every single game,” Pikus said.
Pikus’ sister was also a volleyball player and watching her play inspired her to give it a try.
“My older sister played volleyball in high school and I watched almost every game when I was younger. Watching her and her team work hard together made me want to play volleyball myself, and I did as soon as I could in seventh grade,” Pikus explained.
Aside from volleyball, she also played softball for six years and stopped last season.
Teamwork makes the dream work and Pikus is inspired and in awe of her team.
“We all get along so well and it makes the experience so much fun. Playing volleyball with my team is like playing with a group of my close friends. I am going to miss it very much,” she said.
While Coach Maria Izzo has high praise for Pikus, she has high praise for her beloved coach as well.
“Coach Izzo is a great coach. She always knows what to say and when to say it. She can pick us back up when we begin to fall down in games and tells us exactly what we need to hear,” Pikus complimented.
She credits her dad as her biggest supporter.
“He always comes to my matches, even if they are a long distance away. He always makes me feel better when I don’t play my best during tough matches,” she said. Pikus has big dreams for the next ten years. “I hope to be a neuroscientist and work on research to help those with memory issues and other diseases affecting the brain,” she stated.
To see Pikus and the Spa Catholic Saints in action, check out our Sports at a Glance page for upcoming matches.
Saratoga Central Catholic Bowling Team
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Central Catholic Saints began their bowling season on Tuesday, Nov. 28 in an Adirondack/Wasaren League Tri-Match versus the Granville Golden Hordes and the Stillwater Warriors. The Saints proved to be no match for either teams, winning all three games against the Golden Hordes and all three games versus the Warriors.
Tim Barrett led the Saints with an average of 232, the highest of the team; followed by Micaela Barbolt, the first female bowler on the Saints team, with an average of 197.
The Warriors were led by Brandon Dyer with an average of 205.
The Saints next match takes place on Monday, Dec. 4 at 4:15 p.m. versus Hoosick Falls High School at the Saratoga Strike Zone Bowling Alley. The varsity bowling team is coached by Alphonse Lambert, athletic director at Saratoga Central Catholic.
Saratoga Central Catholic Saints Undefeated
[All photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Friday, Oct. 20 the Saratoga Central Catholic Saints varsity volleyball team defeated Cambridge 3-0, making the Saints the undefeated Wasaren League Champions, with a 16-0 season.
Coach Maria Izzo started the evening with honoring all of the seniors on the team, including Cambridge’s seniors, with flowers and kind words.
“This group of eight people has been a fun group. They get along so well, laughs are nonstop, and there’s nothing better than a team that connects. If they connect off the court, they’ll connect on the court,” Izzo said of the team.
Each senior girl has a buddy on the team, who is either a sophomore or junior that they mentor for the season.
The seniors are Grace Fornabia, Ani Crocker, Olivia Lawrence, and Mandy Bartoszek. Fornabia and Crocker are co-captains of the team.
Fornabia now holds the season and school record for number of kills. Fornabia makes it look effortless in her abilities, seeming to take her opponents by surprise every time.
“Grace is a one of a kind and has been a catalyst for the past couple of years. These girls have been a pleasure to coach and even more to watch them play very well together. I’m very proud of them and I will miss them,” Izzo said.
Saratoga Springs Fifth-Grade Student Wins State-Wide 'Kids Safe Online' Poster Contest
Peer-minded posters to promote safe, friendly environments on the Internet
By Colette Linton
SARATOGA SPRINGS— The Internet is nearly an extension of the classroom. Curiosities fuel web searches, social interaction and creativity, but they don’t always lead to a place where children are safe.
Kat McLain, a fifth grader at Division Street Elementary School in Saratoga Springs, recently won the “Kids Safe Online” New York State Poster contest for creating a message to resonate with her peers about online safety.
Her winning poster depicts a cautionary scene of a familiar childhood story. Kat said that she used the widely known tale of “The Three Little Pigs”, combining her interest in reading, writing and drawing, to help relate the concepts of Internet safety.
“The requirements were to think of something good enough that could help kids with online safety,” Kat said. “I loved reading; so, I was thinking about all the things I’ve read and stuff like that. I thought of the three pigs and the big bad wolf. I thought: ‘well, that would be a good way to explain how to be safe online.’”
The contest is run through the Division of Homeland Security in New York State for grades kindergarten to 12 and promotes increasing awareness among students to encourage their peers to use the Internet safely and securely, according to the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
This is the second year that Library Media Specialist Sarah Seniw has included the poster contest as part of her curriculum.
She said that her task during this particular program is to explain to students that treating people online is the same as a face-to-face interaction.
“I feel that there’s a disconnect in a way,” Seniw said. “A lot of times kids think that interactions with other kids or other adults online somehow aren’t the same as one’s (interactions) that are in person. Although, they are the same.”
“What I try to drive home the most to this age group is that there are consequences for treating others poorly, but there can be consequences if you do the right thing,” she said. “When you treat other respectfully, you can create respectful environments where you’re stopping others from doing the wrong thing. The same way you could do that in your school environment.”
Kat’s poster is now being judged at the national level, and Kat and her family are anxiously waiting for the results. Statewide, her poster topped 287 other submissions and she received a certificate and an engraved glass plaque with an image of her poster through the glass.
“I’d just like to say that I’m very proud of you, Katie (Kat),” Kat’s mother, Leslie McLain, said. “Not only that you have a good angle on Internet safety, but I’m also proud of you for how you treat your friends and what a good ambassador you are here at the school.”
Division Street Dilemma
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Though a final report has not yet been released in the investigation of why 13 teachers left Division Street Elementary School this year, Saratoga Springs Superintendent Michael Piccirillo said the staff exit interviews have provided four areas of consideration for the district to take action on.