SARATOGA SPRINGS — Elise Browell, a senior at Saratoga Central Catholic, has been playing volleyball for the last eight years.
“One of my friends in elementary school asked me to do club volleyball with her because she didn’t want to do it alone, so I said, ‘why not’ and I did it and I found out that I really enjoyed it,” Browell explained.
With her final varsity season almost over, Browell took some time to reflect: on the team, her best varsity season, and her coach, Maria Izzo.
“The team this year was great. Honestly, we didn’t know how it would be this year because it was a new team and a new dynamic, but I really loved the girls this year and we all got along better than I thought we would which is great. It’s a young team, we have a lot of sophomores, but I’m very proud of how we did this season,” she said.
Browell loves everything about volleyball, right down to “the way it works.” She has also played softball for a long time, as a right fielder. She plays to stay in shape for volleyball. The biggest similarity, for her, between the two sports is how much she loves being on each team.
“Both teams are actually very different, the biggest similarity though, is how upbeat they both are,” she said.
While Browell does enjoy softball, volleyball is her favorite because of how competitive she is.
“In volleyball, I feel like there’s more of a personal feeling there. I’m more emotionally invested in volleyball. Overall, I just really love the sport and I love the way it works... But since I’ve been playing at Spa Catholic, I’ve loved how close the team is and I think that’s a huge reason why I love the sport, it’s because I’ve been so lucky with my team the last couple of years,” Browell stated.
She cites last year, her junior year, as her peak volleyball season. “Because it was eight girls and about the same team from the year before and we were all so close and the chemistry was there. Last season we went undefeated, 16-0, and we won the Wasaren champs. I think that season was definitely the peak of my varsity volleyball experience,” Browell reminisced.
Although the team this year was a young team, Browell is still very proud of how they did this season.
“Honestly, we didn’t know how it would be this year because it was a new team and a new dynamic, but I really loved the girls this year and we all got along better than I thought we would,” she said candidly.
While the team is something Browell loves and compliments frequently, she is also very close to her volleyball coach, Maria Izzo.
“I have a relationship with coach Izzo that I think is different from the other girls. I’ve felt like throughout the past couple of years, she has been someone I can really rely on and not only as a coach, but as a friend and mentor that can help me through anything,” Browell said of her coach and mentor.
She also cites her parents as her biggest support system.
“My mom comes to every game and cheers me on. She always gives me a thumbs up which is super cute. My dad always comes to the Friday games. He always listens to my rants about anything that’s going on, he’s just very supportive. Both of them are just so great,” she stated.
Browell has dreams to study music business and is hoping to attend Syracuse or Western New England University. She will possibly play intramural volleyball but has no intention to play on a team, at least in her freshmen year.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Tuesday Oct. 9, the Saratoga Springs City School District voted NO, 5-4, to having armed School Resource Officers on the grounds after thirty years with their presence. On Tuesday, Oct. 23, hundreds of students, parents, and faculty filled the Meade Auditorium at the high school to voice their opinions on the vote.
During board of education meetings, the board members will allow for a thirty-minute public hearing where the community can sign up to speak for three minutes. At this meeting, however, the public hearing lasted for two hours.
Kara Rosettie was the first to speak, and she is adamantly opposed to the board’s decision. So, opposed in fact, that she created Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools (SPFSC). SPFSC is “an organization built by parents and community members in the wake of the Oct 9, 2018 decision by the Saratoga Springs Board of Education to remove the historically proven armed security monitors from campus. The organizations goal is to reauthorize the armed grounds monitor program.”
SPFSC held their own 20-minute press conference outside the high school prior to the board meeting where Rosettie, John Neeley, a retired Sergeant Station Commander whocurrentlyworksasaSecurity Consultant, and Joe Moran, a retired Sergeant and former School Resource Officer, spoke to the public.
Once inside the board of education meeting, Superintendent Patton gently reminded those in attendance that the board was there to listen to them and to be respectful of all and to hold back applause.
Rosettie kicked off the public hearing with an impassioned speech about her three boys and their safety.
“My boys and this community are the reason I started Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools,” Rosettie explained.
After explaining that she met with Superintendent Patton
previously about the safety precautions, she said she “left the meeting somewhat relieved, thinking that Saratoga was taking steps to ensure safety, that we were an example for other school district. My comfort was subsequently removed at the last board of education meeting and now I’m standing here, bewildered, at the loss of opportunity at increased safety that has passed our district by.”
Several others followed Rosettie with similar sentiments, including sophomore Meg Messitt, who told the board it takes her “about eleven minutes” to get ready in the morning.
“Those eleven minutes are significant and life changing to me. ButonFebruary14,2018,Margery Stowman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL., those eleven minutes meant the difference between life and death," she continued.
John Neely and Joe Moran also spoke, along with Sean Briscoe, current Lieutenant at Saratoga Springs PD.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ashton Capone, a senior at Saratoga Springs High School, recently reset the school’s record for number of touchdowns in a game with six, following up with five touchdowns the game afterward.
“Honestly, it felt like a big accomplishment but like I’ve said before, all of the credit has to go to the line, obviously, because without them the hole wouldn’t open up,” Capone said.
Capone has been playing football since he began Pop Warner in sixth grade; he is a running back and outside linebacker. Before his record-setting game, his most touchdowns in a game this season was two. He recently decided to stop playing baseball in order to focus solely on football and the sport that would help him succeed the most at football, track. He runs in the winter and spring.
“Growing up, I really enjoyed baseball and looked forward to it and then eventually, I played it for the school, and then after that I decided to just play travel. After travel, I’m coming down to where it’s, you know, getting later in my years and I’ve got to start focusing on football,” Capone said.
He cites track as “playing a big role in building speed for football.”
“I found out that I did fairly well in spring track and managed to take a sectional title, so I’m focusing on that in spring and winter,” he explained.
He played shortstop and was a starting pitcher on the baseball field.
“I already knew my plans in what I wanted to pursue, and that was football, I’ve always had a passion for football. So, it has basically come down to what is going to help me for football and baseball wasn’t really that. I knew my weakness going into this season was going to be speed because I worked all summer on building strength; and so I knew that I had to compliment it with speed. So I knew I had to give up baseball because it came around the same time as track and when it came down to it, my main priority was to build speed,” he stated.
Capone plans to continue playing football in college, he just explored SUNY Cortland and is visiting Pace soon. He wants to study physical training. To him, this football season isn’t all about winning. His team is a group of friends who get together every Thursday night to play video games, eat dinner, and talk.
“Everyone’s friends. It’s all about bringing each other up and never bringing each other down,” he explained.
He credits his parents, Fahren and Patrick Capone, as his biggest supporters. The Longest Yard is his favorite football themed movie.
“That’s a favorite from my younger days,” he explains.
Local Athletes Excel on National Level
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A number of kids from our area are making a name for themselves in the world of Ninja Warrior competitions. One will appear on the reality TV show American Ninja Warrior Jr., and five others will head to the National Ninja League World Finals. Ollie Huss, a fourth grader from Saratoga Springs, is a local TV star now. Huss will be featured in the inaugural season of American Ninja Warrior Jr., airing Saturdays at 7 p.m. on Universal Kids.
On how he was chosen, Huss said this: “they asked a certain amount of people to submit a video to cast on the show and if they got picked, they got a call back telling them they were on the show. The call back for me to be on the show felt really good. Especially knowing that this is something I’ve been dedicating my entire life to,” said the 9-year-old.
Huss and his family traveled to Los Angeles for three days, so he could compete for the show.
“I liked LA, it was really hot there,” he said.
Huss says his best ninja skills come from his upper-body strength. He wants to improve his balance, though.
“I’m trying to balance on skinnier ledges to help me improve,” he explained.
Huss practices daily for three to four hours. He also enjoys competitive climbing, playing the piano, and skiing.
“I’m really good at skiing,” he stated.
Huss has decided he wants to be a national climber when he grows up. continued from front page...
“When I first saw American Ninja Warrior, everyone that did it usually had a background of gymnastics and climbing… I’ve done gymnastics, I wasn’t exactly the best at it,” he laughed, “but it was fun to try.”
Huss said that seeing himself on tv is “hard to believe.”
Saratoga Ninja Lab has five athletes qualified for the National Ninja League World Finals this February in Connecticut; Keegan Daly and Rya Torres both took first place their divisions at Action Athletics National Ninja League Competition. Georgia Boggs also placed in her division; Joey Barr also qualified for finals; and Leah Torres powered through her run after a small stumble early on.
“I’m just so incredibly proud of them,” said coach Randi Cowper.
“These kids have been training here since we opened, they came to summer camp and we knew when we were talking about a ninja team that these guys and girls definitely had to be a part of it. They work so hard and it shows in their training,” Cowper continued.
So far, the Saratoga Ninja Lab has had five kids compete in two different competitions and four of the five competitors have qualified for the world finals.
“That’s unheard of, and I know we’re going to have more as the season goes on,” Cowper stated.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs City School District continues its communityfocused mission of supporting families and community members through Parent University, a series of free, informative programs.
Parent University recognizes that behind each successful student are supportive families, teachers, school staff and community members who actively participate in a student’s education.
Upcoming programs include:
• Tuesday, October 23: “Why Kids Give Up Too Easily, Lack Grit and Fail to Take Initiative!” presented by Dr. Cale. This program will be held in the Dorothy Nolan Elementary School Cafeteria at 9:30 a.m. Kids today give up when things get tough, choosing the easy path instead. Learn about raising kids with GRIT, which contains the power of resilience, persistence and passion. These tips will teach your kids the value of “giving it your all” in order to reap deep rewards in life.
• Tuesday, October 30: “Supporting Our LGBTQ+ Loved Ones” presented by James Shultis. This program will be held in the Maple Avenue Middle School Large Group Instruction room (on the second floor) at 6:30 p.m. Join our community for a interactive evening to bolster our support for youth who identify as LGBTQ+. Learn about gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and the resources available to ensure youth and their families are supported and connected in their identities and experiences.
• Wednesday, November 7: “Right Under Your Nose” presented by the Prevention Council. This program will be held at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Would you know what to look for if you suspected your teen of using drugs or alcohol? Walk through our mock teen room and see if you can spot cause for concern.
• Thursday, November 8: Sweethearts and Heroes Parent Program. The parent presentation promises to be as engaging and value packed as the student presentations. The focus is for attendees to gain new perspective on many topics related to technology, cyber bullying, bullying vs. conflict, adolescent brain science and best parenting practices. This program will be held at Lake Avenue Elementary School at 6 p.m.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Saratoga Casino Hotel reached a monumental achievement in the history of the 77-year-old property: since expanding the harness track into New York State’s debut VLT facility in January 2004, the casino has officially contributed one billion dollars to New York State Education.
Saratoga Casino Hotel contributes 48 percent of their total gaming revenues to New York State Education on a weekly basis, where the funds are then allocated across the region and state accordingly. With only nine gaming facilities across the state that are a part of the New York State Gaming Association, Saratoga Casino Hotel is only the third property to surpass the billion-dollar threshold for education contributions.
“Since opening the doors to our casino in 2004, we’ve worked diligently to develop an historic harness track into a strong entertainment destination for our region and New York State,” said Daniel Gerrity, President of Saratoga Casino Hotel.
“This is something we’re very proud of, and we could not have achieved this without the commitment of our team members, unions and trades staff,” Gerrity continued.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — From 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 13, Steve Remis will be using his brand-new hand cycle to take on the 18th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge at Spa State Park. This will be Remis’ second Great Pumpkin Challenge and the first race he’s done with his new handcycle. Remis, 47, began racing via his hand cycle in 2016, the year in which he did a whopping six races.
“I don’t believe in the words ‘can’t or don’t.’ After doing all of the races I’ve done, I don’t feel like anything is impossible.” Remis says, of all components of his life, not just racing.
Paralyzed from the waist down from Spina Bifida, Remis carries on.
“I have an upper body that is like King Kong,” he said.
Remis does 10Ks using a handcycle, which is a humanpowered land vehicle powered by the arms rather than the legs.
“My assistant manager and I, from my group home, would take one of the vans and drive each course, so I would know where the hills were. My old handcycle had no power, just three speeds. It went down to two because I lost second gear. I don’t know how that happened,” he laughed.
Remis’ sister purchased a new handcycle for him this year, “to the tune of four-thousand dollars,” and now he is ready to race again. His new handcycle has five speeds, reverse, a parking brake, and a hand brake.
“I surprise people because they think I’m going to do the 5k and I’m like ‘5k? no, 10k!’ I’ve had people collapse in shock. That was with my old hand cycle which was like 40 years old,” he explained.
Remis’ first handcycle was purchased for him in 1978 by his mother after she saw an ad for one in the newspaper. He had been using a six-wheeled vehicle called a Well-Rider that was as low as a car’s headlights. He used that handcycle until just recently, it lasted 40 years. All of the money raised through The Great Pumpkin Challenge goes back into the programs and services provided by Saratoga Bridges, so Remis and his friends are directly affected by this race.
“[Racing is] very fulfilling, I enjoy it and have enjoyed it for the last few years that I’ve done it. It was a no-brainer, I’m doing The Great Pumpkin Challenge again this year,” Remis said.
He was hesitant about The Great Pumpkin Challenge at first though, because he hasn’t raced at all this year, then when he learned he was getting his new handcycle via
the mail on time, he was ready to go.
“Back in 2016 I said, ‘I don’t race to win, I race to finish.’ so as long as I get across the finish line,” he said.
All of the money raised through The Great Pumpkin Challenge goes back into programs and services provided by Saratoga Bridges.
SRYMCA Over 50 Basketball League 2018-2019 Announcement
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Regional YMCA Over 50 Basketball League will begin its 13th season. Signups are now open at the Membership Desk of any SRYMCA Branch, or online for YMCA Members at srymca. org. New Player Evaluation will be October 17, First Game schedule for October 31. Games are played Wednesday nights. Dues are $130 for members and $260 for non-members. Sponsors and Team Captains are needed. For additional info call Paige Minear at 518-583–YMCA (9622), ext 120.
Spa Catholic Volleyball
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Central Catholic hosted Hoosic Valley in league play Saints won 3-0; scores 25-22,25-19,25-21. Highlights for the Saints: 10-1 league, 11-2 overall; Elise Browell 9 service points, 2 aces, 23 assist; MaryClare Pikus 4 kills, 5 digs Kennedy Murphy 5 kills, 4 digs; Grace O’Reilly 12 service points, 4 aces, 8 kills, 4 digs; Molly O’Reilly 10 service points, 6 aces, 3 digs. Highlights for the Indians: 3-9 league, 3-10 overall; Samantha Finkle 3 kills, 1 ace; Shannon Brown 3 kills, 5 assist; Olivia Smith 3 kills, 1 ace.
Saratoga Field Hockey
Saratoga at Nisky - Oct. 5
Scores made by: Kylie Folts; Lindsay Frank (3), one assisted by Katelyn Ginley; Haley Waghorn. 5-0 Toga
Saratoga at Glens Falls - Oct. 8
Scores made by: Haley Waghorn assisted by Lindsay Frank; Lindsay Frank assisted by Anna Dennett; Lindsay Frank assisted by Olivia Vukelic; Haley Waghorn; Grace Sablich assisted by Katelyn Ginley. 5-0 Toga
Oliver Huss Featured on American Ninja Warrior Junior
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Oliver Huss, 9, whose family owns Saratoga Ninja Garage, will be featured on the brand-new season/show American Ninja Warrior Junior. Huss was cast for the show after submitting videos in his local garage and becoming a nationally ranked ninja star through competitions. The local ninja garage and the city of Saratoga Springs has hosted the TV show’s most famous stars, and now boast their very own local ninja celebrity. You can watch Huss compete to be the first American Ninja Warrior Junior Champion on Universal Kids, premiering October 13 at 7 p.m.
St. Michael’s College Volleyball
The Saint Michael’s College women’s volleyball team lost 3-1 to 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifier Saint Anselm College on Tuesday before taking Merrimack College to five sets and falling 3-2 on Thursday. Both matches were in Northeast-10 Conference play. First-year Grace Fornabia, of Saratoga Springs/ Saratoga Central Catholic, had six kills and a block.
Saratoga CSD Varsity Golf
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Wednesday, Oct. 3, Saratoga Springs took the Section II Class A Golf Championship at McGregor Links Country Club, shooting 290 to win the team title over Albany Academy’s 315.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Chris Veitch, a freshman at Saratoga Springs High School, has been a star polo athlete for the last four years and is even playing for the Yale intercollegiate team this year from October through March after they recruited him. After meeting Cuko Escapite, a polo player, at the Saratoga Polo Association through his grandmother, Annamaria Bonar and taking a lesson with Escapite, Veitch became enamored with the sport.
“I like the fact that you get to do a lot [with the sport]. You get to meet cool people and it’s fun to play. It’s a tough sport. The most challenging thing is learning how to start and there are a lot of rules that are involved with it,” Veitch said.
Veitch plays polo on his own horse, Honey, whom he purchased in April of this year. She is housed at Bloomfield Farms.
“We had owned a horse before Honey, but he wasn’t good [at polo] so then we went to Florida to buy another pony and we sold him,” he explained.
Veitch does not play any other sports. He is happy to be in high school instead of middle school now, because he is enjoying having more “independence.”
He cites his parents and his grandmother, Annamaria Bonar, as his biggest supporters in his polo journey. His grandmother even pays for most of his polo dues. Veitch worked at the Saratoga Polo Association this summer, grooming the horses and helping the players get ready. He plans to play polo as a career.
“There are a lot of opportunities that polo creates for jobs as well, between the people you meet and the fact that you can say you play polo,” he stated.