Lori Mahan

Lori Mahan

Friday, 21 September 2018 12:27

JDRF’S Ride for Type I Diabetes

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — 500 riders from 81 JDRF International chapters raised $1.476 million for type 1 diabetes research at Saturday’s Ride to Cure Diabetes in Saratoga Springs. Thirty local riders, including Tom Hoffman Jr., CEO, Hoffman Car Wash & Hoffman Jiffy Lube, raised $112,000 while representing the JDRF Northeastern New York chapter. The Northeastern New York chapter raised $113,50.

The top ten for the Northeastern New York Chapter are:

1. Thomas Hoffman who raised $25,120.

2. Stuart Sacks who raised $11,600.

3. Michelle DiMeo who raised $5,751.

4. Ray Kimmelblatt who raised $5,696.

5. Todd Kincaid who raised $5,412.

6. Dave Nicastro who raised $5,065.

7. Denise Nicastro who raised $4,694.

8. Heather Messina who raised $3,371.

9. Brian Dwyer who raised $3,300.

10. Michael Ciaburri who raised $3,100.

Friday, 21 September 2018 12:26

Local All-Star Moments

Spa Catholic Volleyball
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Central Catholic Saints hosted the Berlin Mountaineers on Friday, Sept. 14. Saints won 3-0.  Scores: 25-6,25-5,25-22. Highlights for the Saints: Elise Browell 17 service points 3 aces 15 assist; MaryClare Pikus 2 kills 2 blocks; Caroline Motler 6 service points 1 ace; Catherine Darcy 5 service points 2 aces 2 kills. Highlights for the Mountaineers: Brooke DeShane 6 service points 2 aces 1 kill Saints are 4-0 league and overall. Mountaineers are 0-4 league and overall.

Ballston Spa Boys Soccer
BALLSTON SPA— Thursday, Sept.13, Burnt Hills Boys Varsity soccer team visited Ballston Spa. The score was 0-0 until the last minute of the game when Jeff Matthews scored assisted by Mikey Robyck. Final score 1-0 Ballston Spa taking the win. Saturday Sept. 15, Bethlehem boys varsity soccer team, ranked #2 in NYS, visited Ballston Spa. Liam O’Connell scored a laser shot from 25 yards out to put BSpa on the board within the first five minutes, assisted by Jeffery Matthews. Bethlehem pressed hard for the remaining 75 minutes, but the Scotties held their ground and Bethlehem was unable put one in. Final score: 1-0 Ballston Spa. 

SRYMCA Over 50 Basketball League 2018-2019: Announcement
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Regional YMCA Over 50 Basketball League will begin its 13th season. Sign-ups 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 or visit srymca.org

Suburban Field Hockey
Wednesday, Sept. 12: Nisky at Saratoga at The Dome
Frist Half: Toga 4  v. Nisky 0
Haley Waghorn assisted by Kylie Folts
Lindsey Frank - 2 goals and 1 assist
Olivia Vukelic  - 2
Katelyn Ginley - 2 assists
Second Half:
Molly Russell - 2 goals
Olivia Vukelic - 1 assist
Lindsey Frank - 1 assist

Final Score: Toga 6 v. Nisky 0
Corners: Toga - 11 | Nisky - 6
Shots: Toga 16 | Nisky 14
Toga Goalies: Kristen Rodecker and Emma Piccirillo - 6 saves
Nisky Goalie - 6 saves
Toga 4-1 | Nisky 3-2

Friday, Sept. 14: Gland at Saratoga at the Dome
First Half: Toga 2  v. Gland 0
Lindsey Frank - 2 goals and 1 assist by Kylie Folts

Second Half:
Molly Russell assisted by Lindsey Frank
Hunter Yourch assisted by Lindsey Frank
Final Score: Toga 4 v. Gland 0
Corners: Toga – 8 | Gland – 4
Shots: Toga 24 | Gland 4
Toga Goalies: Kristen Rodecker - 2 saves
Gland Goalie:  Jazlyn Jimenez - 15 saves
Toga 5-1

Friday, 21 September 2018 12:16

Pickleball League at Gavin Park

WILTON — Pickleball, which has been at Gavin Park for the last nine years, takes place Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 6:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a whiffle ball, over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules similar to tennis, with a few modifications. Pickleball was invented in the mid-1960s as a children’s backyard pastime but has become popular among adults as well. It is only $3 for a resident and $5 for a non-resident. Alan Ross has been leading the Pickleball courts for the last three years as the communications person and has been playing Pickleball for the last five years.

“I handle the email list for communications, and right now we have over 135 on our list,” Ross explained.

Ron Kermani, a Pickleball player for the last three years, joked that the group has made Ross “the Commissioner.”

“It’s kind of like the small town where they don’t have an official Mayor or anything. I kind of assumed the email list, another gal was running it and she had a serious fire at her house about three years ago, so, I volunteered to temporarily take over. And that’s how that Commissioner bit came about, but I enjoy it,” Ross said.

Gavin Park recently relined the outdoor tennis courts for Pickleball and marked two more on the basketball courts, now the Pickleballers have six outdoor courts and six indoor courts, where they play from midSeptember to mid-June.

“It really caught on with seniors, which is why most of us are here,” Ross said, gesturing to the packed pickleball courts.

“There are thousands of players now and it has been elevated to the point that it’s developed its own structure. There are national and international tournaments. It’s still neat because it’s a grass roots kind of thing and that’s how it’s grown here at Gavin. You’ll also find it at East Side Rec and Clifton Park Y, and in Queensbury,” Ross listed.

“Anybody who has played racket sports, it’s a natural transition. Or someone who hasn’t even held a paddle before, after a half an hour was loving it. It’s an easy game to pick up, the rules are very simple, and for $20 you can buy a paddle and balls at a store and get on the court,” Kermani said.

“Within the first three months of when I started playing, I lost 20 pounds and I’ve kept it off,” Ross explained.

“My legs and hips have never hurt so much in my life,” Kermani laughed.

Schools are now beginning to teach Pickleball as well.

“It’s spreading,” Ross said excitedly.

For information on Gavin Park’s Pickleball and more, visit townofwilton.com/departments/ parks-and-recreation.

“We welcome beginners and usually one of the more experienced players will show them the basics and get them started,” Ross said.

Friday, 21 September 2018 12:02

Malta YMCA Grand Opening

 On Tuesday, September 18, the Saratoga Regional YMCA officially opened the doors on the Malta YMCA. The new Y is approximately 35,000 sq. ft. of a 55,000 sq. ft. facility shared with Saratoga Hospital and includes an Early Learning and School Age Child Care Center as well as a Healthy Living Center. Andrew Bobbitt, Saratoga Regional YMCA’s CEO says he is excited to expand the Y’s mission in the community.

 “The Y is more than a place to work out — we’re a place of community. With our new facility, we’ll be able to have even more of an impact in Malta and the surrounding communities as we can now serve up to 6,000 members.  Of course, our members will have access to new machines and spacious exercise rooms, but there will be so much more. We’ll be offering early learning readiness programs for our smallest community members, before and after school care (B.A.S.E.), as well as some very exciting partnered programming with Saratoga Hospital.”

“We’d like to thank the major donors who supported this project: Stewarts and the Dake family, Adirondack Trust, the DeCrescente family, and Ballston Spa National Bank,” Bobbitt continued.

“I said at the groundbreaking ceremony that synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. To us, this partnership is the exemplification of synergy. The Y and Saratoga Hospital are leading the way for community integrated health in our area. Times are changing and our approach to community health needs to adapt. We at the Y, together with our community partners, are committed to finding better ways of improving the overall wellness of our community by considering the whole person: mind, body, and spirit,” said Alysa Arnold, President of Saratoga Regional YMCA Board of Directors.

“This project really was touched by so many people... Really the roots go back to what is a philosophy of our board... That where appropriate, and where we can drive value, collaborating with a partner is really our preferred approach. We’ve found that that has worked very well on a number of occasions. This property is an excellent representation of partnering,” Angelo Calbone, President and CEO of Saratoga Hospital, said.

The new Y features: • 8,700 sq. ft. Healthy Living Center • Early Learning & School Age Center (Full day childcare, preschool, B.A.S.E.) • Warm Yoga Room • MYZONE (Heart Rate
Monitoring System) • 65 Group Exercise Classes a week included in your membership • Dedicated Cycle Room • Private and Tranquil Massage Room • Family Inclusive Classes • KidzCare (A safe space for your child/children to learn and play while you work out!) • New Equipment • State-ofthe-art Playground Along with these new features, a membership at the Malta YMCA will also grant members access to all five Saratoga Regional YMCA locations (Battenkill, Corinth, Malta, Saratoga Springs and Wilton) as well as access to over 1,500 Ys nationwide.

“This has an interesting feel to it in that hospitals tend to be a little sterile and aloof and the presence in the Y gave it a much warmer potential feel that may make people significantly more comfortable,” Bill Dake, Chairman of Stewart’s Shops, explained.

“This has been a project years in the making,” Bobbitt stated.

“District Administration is working with the Board of Education to make a decision regarding the authorization of qualified individuals to possess firearms on school district property while performing job duties. The authorization would allow certain members of the District’s security staff, who have retired from service as law enforcement officers and who have been deemed qualified and are licensed pursuant to the New York Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, to possess a firearm on District property while performing duties for the District. In the past, certain members of the District’s security staff, who were actively employed or retired from law enforcement, did possess a firearm on District property. When District officials determined this practice was not in compliance with current law, grounds monitors were instructed to no longer possess a firearm on school property. The District is fortunate to have a long-standing working relationship with local law enforcement and to have the unique opportunity to hire highly qualified staff, many of which are current or retired members of law enforcement.  The District takes this matter very seriously, and the safety and security of students is the District’s number one priority. The discussion has included a significant amount of research into what security options are available that will best meet the needs of our schools and community.”

SARATOGA COUNTY — SUNY Adirondack will induct five members to the Trailblazer Society, a new distinguished alumni program for the college on September 28 during Homecoming Weekend. Rich Johns of Saratoga Springs will be one of the first five to be honored. The path to success for many alumni began at Adirondack Community College. For the college, humble beginnings in 1961 in Hudson Falls led to a new campus in 1967 in Queensbury and a new name, SUNY Adirondack, in 2010.  With the idea that paths unfold with twists and turns and that in life, success is derived from taking risks or changing direction, we have established SUNY Adirondack Trailblazers to celebrate the lives and careers of our distinguished alumni. A college lives through its alumni. Their success contributes to the college’s success and reputation. We seek to recognize outstanding alumni who provide an inspirational impact to our students from their accomplishments and service to their professions and communities. By honoring our former students, we hope to inspire today’s students to strive for both personal and professional success. The college’s Distinguished Faculty evaluated and selected the inaugural class from a competitive pool of nominations. Induction Information: Rich Johns, a native of South Glens Falls, began his academic career at ACC in 1968 and transferred to the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he graduated in 1972 where he received The Minerva Award, their highest award given to an alumnus. Johns taught elementary and middle school, and he coached tennis at Saratoga Springs High School for 38 years. Under his guidance, Saratoga won 17 League Titles, nine Sectional Team Titles and holds the Section II record for Class AA with 85 consecutive wins and a record of 107– 2 during that period. He has won numerous awards as a coach, an Excellence in Teaching Award by the SUNY Albany Chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success in 2015 and 2016 and has been inducted into the SUNY Adirondack and SUNY Potsdam Halls of Fame as well as the Saratoga Springs School District and the South Glens Falls Athletic and Community Pride Hall of Fame. Rich was humbled recently by being included in the 2018 Upstate New York Basketball Hall of Fame by receiving the John Cahill Community Contributor Award. Following his passion of personal character development, Johns started a “pay it forward” mission called Act With Respect Always. His charitable foundation has grown into a national model of all students and athletes to follow. The Trailblazer Networking Luncheon will be held on Sept. 28 in the Northwest Bay Center in Adirondack Hall. Registration will begin at noon, with the lunch and program starting at 12:30 p.m. Seating is limited. To reserve a spot, email foundation@

sunyacc.edu or call 518-743-2243. Other Inductees: Sarah Ghent, ‘80 Dennis Harris ‘96 Steve Harmon ‘76 Brett Lange ‘91.

Thursday, 13 September 2018 13:17

Ballston Spa Scotties Soccer Team

Photos by SuperSource Media, LLC

BALLSTON SPA — Garry Preece has been coaching the Ballston Spa Scotties varsity soccer team for ten years and this is the first year in a while that he’s had a young and talented team.

"I have a very young, actually talented, soccer team. Which I haven't had that in the past. I have a lot of soccer players. Usually it's a variety of athletes and soccer players but this year it's soccer players. It's a very young team with eight or nine tenth graders,” he explained.

He still has seven seniors, after having several players graduate last year.

“It's not a total clear-out. It's balanced by all of the grade levels,” he said.

His star player?

“Mikey Robyck, he’s a junior. He's good on the ball, has great speed, and distributes well,” Preece complimented.

Representing the under-dogs is Ethan Cook.

"He's a 10th grader, he probably grew a foot. Tremendous, very skilled. He wins every ball and brings it down out of the air. Great pick up,” Preece said.

Preece’s goalie was injured in the Niskayuna game.

"He's phenomenal but I don't really have a back-up goalie but he's back. We were tight with Niskayuna but once he went down they pummeled us the rest of the game. We were in trouble,” Preece said.

Last year, the Scotties lost in the first round of Sectionals. Their goal this year?

“We're in the As this year so the goal is to win sectionals,” he said.

"I've been coaching for 10 years. I don't really look at teams as rivals. If you win Sectionals, everyone supports you. So, I don't really feel like it's that kind of conference where there are big rivals. I feel like it's more of a 'hey we're going to play each other and whoever wins, afterwards we're going to shake hands and it's good luck in the next game,’” Preece stated.

For upcoming games, check out our Sports at a Glance page.

Thursday, 13 September 2018 20:00

Christopher Thompson: Local Golfing All-Star

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Christopher Thompson, a 2015 alum from Saratoga Springs High School, and a current senior at St. John Fisher College (SJFC) in Rochester, where he is studying economics, has been having an amazing golf season. Golfing since he was five and his dad brought him a set of junior golf clubs, Thompson decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play golf.

"It's nice to actually start playing well. I struggled a lot my first few years. I actually didn't play my sophomore year, I took that year off from golf. I struggled my freshmen year and the fall of my junior year. So, it's kind of nice to actually start playing well and shoot some good scores," Thompson said.

While in high school he played four years of varsity golf, was named the Most Outstanding Player in 2013-14, was named Section II Player of the Year in 2014, won the Section II title in 2014, and averaged 36 for nine holes in his senior campaign, was the recipient of the Dottie Pepper Award in 2014.

"That was pretty awesome! I've met Dottie a few times and just knowing how accomplished she is and all that she has done,” Thompson said.

Thompson has been a member at McGregor’s Links for eight years this summer, where he has been club champ since “before he could drive.”

In college, the accolades didn’t cease. He participated in eight tournaments as a junior, averaged a score of 80.58, posted best finish at the Empire 8 Spring Championship, with a fourth-place finish and a finishing two round score of 161.

"I like that it's all on you out there. You can't really blame anyone else but yourself if you play bad. I also love playing all of the different courses. especially in Rochester, there are several very nice golf courses to play on,” Thompson stated, explaining his favorite thing about golfing.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, the St. John Fisher College men’s golf team entered the SJFC Invitational’s final round with a 31-stroke lead and finished the 54-hole tournament in first place after carding a combined team score of 892 (+32).

"He's done really well at tournaments in the past, but this is the first time he's won one of the tournaments,” said Valerie Thompson, Christopher’s mom.

SJFC had had four golfers finish in the top five, led by Thompson, who placed first with a three-day score of +5 (220) after shooting even par on Sunday. Thompson recorded five birdies over the final 18 holes, including three consecutive birdies to overtake the top spot.

"He's shy, he's humble. He's not like his mother at all," she laughed, "because I will tell you how great he is."

Thompson credits his parents, Valerie and Bill Thompson, as his biggest supporters. Thompson plans to enter the accounting or finance field after graduating from college this spring.

Thursday, 13 September 2018 13:05

Local All-Star Moments

Ballston Spa Boys Soccer
BALLSTON SPA — On September 4, Niskayuna visited Ballston Spa on a hot, sunny Tuesday afternoon. Jeff Matthews scored for BSpa, assisted by Ethan Cook, in the first two minutes of play.  But BSpa wasn’t able to put another point on the board and Niskayuna came away with a 5-1 win, with a hat trick by Ozisik, and goals by Mesbahi and Viggiano.

Suburban Field Hockey
SARATOGA SPRINGS —  Saratoga at Columbia
First Half: Toga 5 v. Columbia 0
Haley Waghorn assisted by Kylie Folts
Lindsey Frank-1
Jane Ginley assisted by Olivia Vukelic
Katelyn Ginley-1
Danielle Geils assisted by Maddie Messitt
Second Half:
Hunter Yourch-1, Molly Russell- 1, Katelyn Ginley- 1
Final Score: Toga 8 v. Columbia 0
Corners: Toga -12 | Columbia - 0
Shots: Toga 27 | Columbia 3
Toga Goalies: Kristen Rodecker and Emma Piccirillo  - 3 saves
Col Goalie: Maddy Hogan - 16 saves
Toga 3-0 | Columbia 0-3

SRYMCA Over 50 Basketball League 2018-2019: Announcement
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.

St. Michael’s College Women’s Volleyball at Union Invitational
SARATOGA COUNTY — In Friday's opening match against Skidmore, first-year Grace Fornabia (Saratoga Springs/ Saratoga Central Catholic) led the team with six kills on 11 attempts, finishing with a .455 hitting percentage. Fornabia and Statile also contributed five kills. In the final match of the weekend against Williams, Fornabia again led the Purple Knight with five kills and a .625 hitting percentage.

Wasaren League Saratoga Central Catholic Volleyball
Saratoga Central Catholic hosted Cambridge on Monday, September 10. Saratoga Catholic Saints beat the Cambridge Indians 3-1.
Scores: 25-17, 22-25, 25-13, 25-14
Highlights for the Saints: 
2-0 overall and league Elise Browell (senior) 19 service points, 2 aces 23 assist Kennedy Murphy (senior), 9 kills Emy Murray (Junior), 9 service points Grace O'Reilly (Junior), 10 service points, 6 aces 5 kills Molly O'Reilly (Sophomore), 11 service points 5 kills.
Highlights for the Indians: Keana Sherwin 6 kills 7 blocks, Katie Simon 5 service points, JoJo Griffith 7 service points 1 kills.

Thursday, 13 September 2018 12:56

YMCA Tennis Shift: Handing Over a New Racket

Photos by SuperSource Media, LLC.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Rolland LeBlanc has been the Wilton YMCA Tennis Director for the last 28 years and decided that this was the year he was going to retire.

"I had a severe eye injury, I was hit with a tennis ball four years ago, and it caused extensive damage to my eye. I have no depth perception and it's just a struggle. I reached retirement age and now it's time to rest my weary head," LeBlanc chuckled.

"I’m going to take a nap,” he said.

"Well, it's changed my life because it's been actually a generation of members who have only known one tennis director. How it's changed is just doing generations of members. I’m instructing the children of the adults I’ve instructed before, so I’ve really enjoyed that. As far as accomplishments go, we've increased our courts by 100 percent since I’ve been here. Staff has increased by 500 percent and the programs have increased by 300 percent. So, to me, it's just the commitment to coming in for 28 years,” LeBlanc explained.

Stepping into his shoes is Jed Murray, former general manager of Sportime in Schenectady, where he was for the last eight years. While receiving applications from all over the world, Murray was vetted by CEO of the Saratoga Regional YMCA.

“Jed has proven to have the experience of being a tennis director which includes operating a budget, overseeing staff, and being a tennis pro himself. The quality of the pool was really high," LeBlanc emphasized.

"I was kind of hesitant at first, not really knowing what the tennis landscape was in Saratoga and obviously of leaving the comfort of what is known. I had really started to enjoy the success of building programming at Sportime. It's hard to leap into the unknown," Murray explained.

It took Murray a few months to make his final decision to take over for LeBlanc.

"There was a lot of thought that went forth on this decision and I had to write down the pros and cons, do a list," Murray laughed.

"I’m really excited to try and build something again and really try to elevate the level of tennis across the Saratoga region. It's really exciting opportunity,” he said.

Murray does have plans to revamp the program. He has dreams of seeing the youth play multiple times a week, not only in clinic settings but in match play settings also. He wants the general feel of the tennis area and lobby to have more energy as well.

"I think that there are a lot of good things already here, so there is already a good base of tennis players and a community here. I think within the junior program, there is a lot more that can be done with U10. I think that making some clear progression lines from a very beginner red student to orange and green and yellow, in term of play, could be improved. I do feel that the Y has done a great job getting beginner players to play. I don’t feel, though, that they have the resources or the programming to try and advance intermediate to intermediate advance kids and that's something I think we're uniquely skilled to do,” Murray explained.

"Three full-time tennis staff are coming on to replace me. So, there are six eyes to replace my one eye," LeBlanc joked.

Joining Murray is new Head Pro Alex Van Cott, previously a Master Pro at Sportime, and new Director of Competition Stephen Thirolle, who has been a part time tennis pro at the YMCA and is Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach at Skidmore College.

“Stephen [Thirolle] is a mainstay here, so his role with Skidmore and his role here as one of the lead pros is important for us, during our transition especially. We're really counting on him to do a lot of good work for us. Alex [Van Cott] is probably the premiere task player in the capital region. He was a former number 1 in the 16s and 18s in the USTA. He's played professional tournaments and for Tulane University. He took them from top 100 to top 20 rank in the nation. At the same time, his ability to relate with his students and communicate and teach the game usually isn't found with that level of player. It is with him. It's a nice mix and a nice addition to have to our staff,” Murray said, commending his staff.

"I’m looking forward to the new director of tennis. I'm sure it'll be very professional. I've been in the water so long, I don’t know if it's hot or cold. So, it's time," LeBlanc stated.

Tennis information can be found at www.srymca.org/ locations/wilton-branch/tennis. 

Page 16 of 44