Lori Mahan

Lori Mahan

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — After over five years in the making, local author and illustrator Jennifer Claire Hockford has completed her three-book series, which teaches preschool children a fun way to learn the alphabet, count, and all about bees and honey production. Hockford, whose day job is at Higher Logic in Saratoga Springs and resides in Rexford, spent the last five years working on her three-book series. The first book of the series, titled Our Little Farm ABC, book number two is Our Little Farm 1, 2, 3 Meet Shannon the Sheepdog, and the third book in the series it entitled Our Little Farm Meets Buzzy the Bee.

Inspiration struck Hockford about five years ago while working as an artist CO-OP in Middleburgh, NY, an area struck by extensive flooding in years past.  By nature, Hockford has always found herself making lists and doodling; adding different colors and eventually creating this imaginary farm. Soon, a passing idea turned into a thoughtful brainstorming session and the characters of the farm were born. After searching for gifts for new parents, Hockford was disappointed in the selection of learning books and toys. This ultimately led her to create her three-book series. Creating these books based from the culture and livelihood of an area that was so devastated is Hockford’s way of making them proud while paying tribute to the area.

“It took five years to complete because I originally did the first three books. I felt it to be complete when I became confident with the way everything looked. I submitted them to a librarian in Clifton Park to take a look at them in January,” Hockford explained.

The librarian complimented her illustrations and storyline and told her of the corrections needed to be made. Her character, Shannon the Sheepdog, is based on her friend's daughter, also named Shannon. “She’s just super enthusiastic,” Hockford said.

Shannon is a high schooler at Shenendehowa.

“She has a ton of energy,” Hockford continued.

Shannon will be the narrator of the book for the Burlington Book Festival reading.

“My husband said, ‘you’re super artistic but when are you going to start selling these books?” She said.

Hockford self-publishes via Creative Space through Amazon.

“It’s a wonderful program, very user friendly and easy to work with,” she explained. Having been a painter and teaching art classes for over 15 years, writing and illustrating was a new and exciting medium for her.

“The series definitely lends itself for many other books so I’m hoping to just continue that on,” Hockford explained.

“I like giving back to the community so I’m going to be approaching some local daycares if they want to do any fundraising type of activities to sell the books and just contribute back to them,” she stated.

All books are available via Hockford’s website: www. ourlittlefarmabc.com. Hockford’s website not only contains books for sale, but also read along videos to help young readers find their way through each book.

Thursday, 06 September 2018 15:35

Care 4 Cora Golf Tournament

Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, the inaugural Care 4 Cora Golf Tournament will be taking place at Airway Meadows Golf Club. Cora Gargano, a four-year-old in dire need of a kidney transplant, is the guest of honor for this event.

“Cora doesn’t really understand. Once she’s there she’ll know it’s a party. She doesn’t really understand that she’s sick. We don’t talk about it. It’s the only thing she knows, it’s her normal,” said Cora’s mom, Kelly Gargano.

The tournament organization is being spearheaded by six of Gargano’s friends and Richard Snyder, Anthony Gargano’s lifelong friend.

“I grew up with Anthony, Cora’s daddy, and we’ve been lifelong friends. He was my best man at my wedding and I was in his wedding and we’ve just grown up together and stayed friends. We’re both raising families, and this was an opportunity to help out. Cora is a sweet girl, and this is going to be great for her,” Snyder explained.

“Our friends are going completely above and beyond; the effort is insane. We’re so appreciative. We don’t even know what the future holds for Cora,” Gargano said.

Snyder became involved due to his lifelong friendship with Mr. Gargano and his expertise in the marketing field, he is the Vice President of Communications at the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. He is helping to raise sponsorships, marketing the event, and working the social media for the tournament. He credits Mrs. Gargano’s friends for their hard work, explaining they “all have their roles.”

“I’m a poor golfer,” he laughed, “so on the day of the tournament I will be cooking hot dogs.”

The tournament is close to being half-way sold out. If you’re interested in golfing for Cora, you can register by phone at 518-7924144 or by check via mail at 262 Brownville Road Gansevoort, NY 12831. Checks must be payable to Airway Meadows Inc. Registration ends on Saturday, September 15.

There will also be an after party from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Local musician Dylan Moran will provide the entertainment along with face painters, a bouncy house, food from Spring
Street Deli, and shaved ice provided by Leftfield. Beer will also be provided by Druther’s, Decrescente, and Saratoga Eagle.

As of now, the family is still looking for a kidney donor. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. For any inquiries on the tournament, email care4cora@ gmail.com. If you’re unable to golf, you can donate at www.gofundme. com/54vw4n-care-for-cora.

Thursday, 06 September 2018 15:34

Matla 5K

Photos provided.

MALTA — On Saturday, September 8, the Roundabout Runners Club, will host its’ 9th annual 5K road race, starting at 8:30 a.m., in Malta’s two technology parks: NYSERDA’s Saratoga Technology and Energy Park and Luther Forest Technology Campus. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is proud to be the title sponsor of this event which last year raised well over $37,500 to support the VetHelp and Malta’s emergency first responders. The event starts at Hudson Valley Community College TEC Smart located within NYSERDA’s Saratoga Technology & Energy Park (STEP). The course then takes participants south though Luther Forest Technology Campus (LFTC). Once through LFTC, participants get the privilege of going through the Global Foundries campus. Almost 1 mile of the 3.1 miles will be on Global Foundries campus.  All participants will finish their 9/11 tribute under a giant American flag hoisted by the Round Lake Fire Department. Participants are encouraged to stick around after the event to enjoy post- race food provided by Hannaford. Fleet Feet Malta is our official prize sponsor and is providing cash prizes to our overall male and female winners. There will be over 54 award categories of all ages donated from local companies. The 1st 750 runners/joggers/ walkers are guaranteed a long- sleeve shirt. Interested participants can register from 3-8 p.m. on September 7th at Fleet Feet in Malta and the day off at TEC Smart at 7:30 a.m. Anyone registering the day of the race is urged to arrive at TEC Smart no later than 8 a.m. to ensure an on time start.

Photos provided.

The Saratoga Blue Streaks varsity football team kicked off their 2018-2019 season on August 13, heading straight into practice. There are no try-outs or cuts for this team, anyone who shows up is put to work. That means all 48 players hit the field.

“We have some great kids back and we beat one of our rivals, Christian Brothers Academy, last week and we’re getting ready for Albany this week,” explained Terry Jones, head coach.

Last season, the Blue Streaks’ record was 9-1, losing to Troy in the Section II finals. Troy went on to win their second state championship.

“Jake Williams is taking over as quarterback, he was a sophomore last year, but he wasn’t our starting quarterback. He’s taken over the reigns as our quarterback and we’re excited about what he brings to the table,” Jones said. Wes Eglintine was quarterback last year and graduated.

“We feel good about the kids that we have. Jake was with us last year and saw a lot of time. It’s the high school process, kids graduate and move on and the next group must step up. Jake played a great game Friday night and we expect great things out of him this year,” Jones complimented.

This is Jones’ 28th coaching year overall and 12th year as head coach for the Blue Streaks.

Thursday, 06 September 2018 15:28

Local All-Star Moments

Photos provided.

Ballston Spa Boys Soccer
BALLSTON SPA — Utica-Proctor visited Ballston Spa on Friday, August 31. The first goal was scored by Utica-Proctors Somow. Ballston came back with a goal by Brayden Box assisted by Ethan Waters to tie it 1-1. In the second half Ethan Cook scored to make it 2-1. Final score 2-1 Ballston. Whitesboro visited Ballston Spa on Saturday, September 1. Whitesboro scored two goals in the first half by Stuhlman and Gorgas. Ballston scored one goal by Ethan Waters. In the second half Whitesboro scored with a goal by Williams. Final score 3-1 Whitesboro.

Shaker at Saratoga Field Hockey
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Shaker at Saratoga (at the Dome) First Half: Toga 2 v. Shaker 0 Lindsey Frank-1 Olivia Vukelic from Dani Geils Second Half: Lindsey Frank-2 goals Kylie Folts from Lindsey Frank Grace Sablich from Lindsey Frank Final Score Toga 6 v. Shaker 0 Corners: Toga-24 | Shaker -2 Shots: Toga 28 | Shaker 2 Toga Goalies: Kristen Rodecker and Emma Piccirillo - 2 saves Shaker Goalies: Kassie Egan and Davin Testo - 13 saves Toga 1-0 | Shaker 0-1

SRYMCA/Saratoga Honda Summer Youth Basketball League
Cudney’s Launderers  33 v. PJ’s BAR-B-QSA  24 
After falling behind in the first half, the Cudney’s Launderers Team got a scoring burst and pulled away from the PJ’s BAR-B-QSA  for a 33 to 24 win in the 2018 championship game. Cudney’s was led by Channing Adriance with 10 points, teammates
Bryant Savage had eight points, Antone Robbens, Nick Scalo and Ian O’Rourke rounded out the scoring with five points apiece. PJ’s got 11 points from Christian Mello along with five points from Sam Chaucer, four points from Jacob Bader and three points from Jacob Hernandez.

Berkshire Hathaway Blake Realtors  46 – Saratoga PBA  44
This game lived up to the hype and we got the championship game we had all hoped for, a twopoint victory. The game was nip and tuck the whole time with many leader changes throughout the game. The Realtors finished their season undefeated but had their hands full with PBA. The victors got scoring from Niko VanValis 15 points, Logan Bevan 11 points, Tom Villano and Stephen Bebee eight points apiece, four points Jacob Armer and Gabe Berube with two points.  PBA was led by Aiden Dunn, Alex Cutler and Trey Stanislowski 11 points each, Connor Johnson had eight points, Alexander Savage two points and Neil Graber with one point.

Thursday, 06 September 2018 15:24

Blue Streaks Undefeated 5-0

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs Varsity Golf Team only has ten golfers, but they’re already 5-0 this season. The team is the defending champion of the Section II title and they are aiming to hang on to that title. Coach Mike Hall, only in his second season coaching, says he has a very strong team this season, even with a “few new guys” and six returners.

“Our new guys have worked their way into the lineup very well and that makes us even stronger,” Hall complimented.

Try-outs began on August 13 and Hall ended up with three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman.

“To be honest, with golf, it’s 98 percent the kid’s talent and 2 percent coaching, at best,” he laughed.

“I tell the boys on day one that they are all significantly better golfers than I am. My main job is to get them organized, get them to where they need to be, and help them focus on the game,” Hall explained.

He started golfing his freshman year of college, about 24 years ago.

“That’s the one nice thing about why these guys are so strong, they started at such a young age. They get a chance to naturally develop their swing. The big thing with golf, especially, is it’s one of
those sports that no matter what kind of athlete you are, you have to commit the time to be good at it. Very few people just pick up a golf club and are consistently good. Even the best golfers in the world aren’t very good unless they’re out playing a ton,” Hall explained.

The team is constantly at class and lessons on the golf course together, which has led to a very tight-knit group.

“It’s interesting that on the course they can talk and give each other advice out there because they know each other’s game so well,” he said.

Their home course is McGregor Links where they are accompanied by Bob Cain, the pro at McGregor Links. Anders Mattson is Cain’s counterpart at Prime, where he runs Anders Academy, a lesson program the entire team also attends. Hall commends the team on all of the effort and investment they and their families put into the game, citing that as the reason the team is so strong.

“I joke with them that I could play my best and their worst for us to be about even,” Hall chuckled.

For a schedule of the golf teams matches, check out our Sports at a Glance page.

Friday, 31 August 2018 11:40

Local All-Star Moments

SRYMCA/Saratoga Honda Summer Youth Basketball League

Cudney’s Launderers  48 - Saratoga Financial Services 34 

In the first of our semi-final games, Cudney’s Launderers got 14 points apiece from Bryant Savage and Channing Adriance, along with 10 points from Nick Scalo and Antone Robbens, to defeat Saratoga Financial Services 48 to 34. Tobey Diulio had a game high 16 points while Noah Diulio and Noah Tousignant each scored six points in the loss. Cudney’s Lauderers now goes on to play PJ’s BAR-B-QSA in the championship game.

PJ’s BAR-B-QSA  27 - Village Photo 16
In what turned into a hard-fought defensive battle, PJ’s and Village Photo each held one another to just six second half points and took a 27 to 16 win in the semi-finals match. Christian Mello exploded for a game high 17 points all coming in the first half and Jacob Bader added eight points in the victory. Kemauri Johnson had seven points from while teammates Wyatt Wood and Henry Erreger each contributed two points in the loss.

Berkshire Hathaway Blake Realtors  40 - Synergy Promotions  31

In a game that looked like either team could win it, undefeated Berkshire Hathaway Blake Realtors prevailed over a never say die Synergy Promotions by a score of 40 to 31. The Realtors once again used a balanced scoring attack with Logan Bevan leading the way with 15 points. Stephen Bebee added six points, Tom Villano four points, Jacob Armer, Aiden Bevan, Niko VanValis, Gabe Berube each had three points and Jamie Cohen had two points. Pat Deschaine scored 13 points, Elijah Woods, Gordon Murray and Tyler Stack each scored five points in the loss.

Saratoga PBA  32 – Saratoga Firefighters 27
Saratoga PBA got off to an early lead and had a 10 point advantage at halftime 19 to 9. The firemen never gave up and made a game of it in the second half but just fell short in the end. Aiden Dunn led the winners with 16 points while teammate Alex Cutler added 10 points. The firefighters Charlie Didonato scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half but it wasn’t enough. Coach of the PBA team Kristy Savage, has a team in each division championship game.


Ballston Spa Boys Soccer vs. Troy

BALLSTON SPA — Troy visited Ballston Spa on August 28th. BSpa took an early lead with a goal from Jeff Matthews. Ballston Spa led 5-0 at the half. The final score was 7-0 Ballston, with goals by Duttine, Jaruga, Matthews (2), Savoia, Ethan Waters, and Justin Waters..


NENY PGA Junior League Championship Results

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Saratoga National Golf Club All-Star team earned the 2018 NENY PGA Section Junior League Championship title. They will advance into the PGA Junior League Regionals Presented by National Car Rental hosted on September 8-9 at Watertown Golf Club in Watertown, CT where they will compete against AllStar teams from New England
PGA and Connecticut PGA. In the second round matches hosted this morning at Town of Colonie Golf Course, Saratoga National All Star team defeated the Albany North team 10 to 2 and the Albany East All Star team defeated the Saratoga League  9 to 3.  In the Championship Match, the Saratoga National’s team defeated the Albany East team handily by a score of 11 to 1 flags earned.  

Friday, 31 August 2018 11:35

Coaching Profile: Aidan Glynn

Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRYMCA)’s summer basketball league had a new face on the court; Coach Aidan Glynn. Glynn, 23, has played basketball his entire life.

“I’ve always had a love for the game,” he said. About a year ago, Glynn began his coaching hobby at his old elementary school, but he wished to be even more involved.

“So, I reached out to the SRYMCA and got ahold of Mike Laudicina [league coordinator]; he ended up reaching out to me right away. He brought me in and told me all about this basketball program that he’s built up. I got excited about it right away and got involved,” Glynn said, explaining how his coaching career at the SRYMCA came to be.

Glynn, a Sienna College 2017 grad, is a salesperson by day, which affords him the flexibility to coach.

“It’s fun [being a young coach] because a lot of the kids are the same size as me. I played basketball growing up, so I felt like I was a pretty good player but some of the kids on my team now have more talent than I do,” he laughed.

Glynn’s coaching method is to involve everyone. His team is the undefeated team in the league, but he always makes sure that every team member plays and scores.

“I like to get everyone involved. When I played when I was younger, my first few years I rode the bench a lot and I think as a kid that’s really tough, so I like to get all the kids involved and let them play, especially here. It gives them a chance to get in game time situations where on their high school team it might be a little more tough to get all of the kids playing time,” he explained.

His favorite coaching moment so far has just been watching the team grow as players and people. Glynn will also be coaching in the fall league and his little brother will be joining his team.

“It’s great coaching my brother. He’s a lot more talented than I was when I was his age, so it’s great to see him learn and play and get better. As he continues to play, he gains confidence and that’s a great thing to see,” Glynn stated.

Glynn also hopes to grow into an even bigger role at the SRYMCA.

“I’ve really enjoyed the coaching so far and Mike [Laudicina] has been training me the different facets of the game and how putting together the league works,” Glynn explained.

He has learned score keeping, clock keeping, and how to interact with the refs.

“I really do see Aidan taking my position. I’m not going to be here forever, I keep saying this is my last year,” Laudicina laughed, “but I know I’ll be here for the fall and the summer.”

Laudicina has decided to mentor Glynn.

“One thing I can tell you though, it’s easy when you’re winning. Kids like it, they get excited, but if you check the papers you’ll see that everybody on his team scores. He makes sure of it. If someone isn’t
scoring, I’ll watch the other players on the team pass them the ball, so they will score. He keeps everybody involved and that is why not only do I think he’ll be a good coach, but I think he’ll be a good person to run the league in the future,” Laudicina said, complimenting Glynn.

The SRYMCA Fall Basketball League registration begins on Monday, September 10. For more information, contact Mike Laudicina at Mike. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Saratoga Independent School (SIS) was founded by parents in 1991 and is a private school for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, until this year. The sixth grade is finally open with the rest of the middle school grades to follow in the next two years. SIS’s mission is to empower students to “become confident learners who are capable of critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork,” according to their website. This year, the sixth grade is open for business and currently has 13 students enrolled, 12 of which are recent graduates from the fifth-grade class. 

"A middle school was a dream of SIS parents for years... I’d say probably five years ago, there was another effort and enrollment had grown significantly and it looked like this was really the time to focus on starting a middle school. There was a very determined board of trustees and they worked hard to come up with a plan and then when I came, it was my job to put the plan into action. I work with a middle school coordinator, Jeny Randall, who has done excellent work in creating curriculum and ideas for the middle school,” explained Lisa Brown, Head of School.

All teachers from the elementary school will be taking on classes for the middle school as well.

“We’re really excited! In fact, we had a bunch of middle school students who came in and met with us last week and we talked a lot about the middle school and what it was going to be like and what their ideas were and we’re having them help us write the middle school handbook. They took it really seriously and they’re really looking forward to all of the privileges and responsibilities that they have as middle schoolers,” Brown said.

The middle school adds a longevity to prospective parents looking into the school.

“As people are looking at schools, that’s really important so that they don’t have to think ‘well I’m coming into the school now but I’m going to have to look for another school in another few years,’” Brown explained.

Each grade has a theme for the year. Sixth grade’s theme is Identity and Origins, with the curriculum tying into that theme and also helping students make connections between different disciplines.

“It’s also a writing intensive curriculum so they are asked not to write just in language arts class but also in social studies and science and across the curriculum. We are focusing through our advisory program but also on social emotional learning and building community and a sense of respect for each other and for our school community and the larger community through service projects,” said Ms. Randall.

“I think it makes parents very comfortable to know that their kids are in an environment that values the same sorts of academics and social values that they’ve experienced in the elementary school,” Brown said.

For additional information or to schedule a tour, Saratoga Indepenent School can be reached at 518-583-0841. Visit the website at siskids.org/new-middle-school.

Thursday, 23 August 2018 14:27

Saratoga Springs Pop Warner Football

Photos provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs Pop Warner (SSPW) is a non-profit organization under Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. that serves the Saratoga area specifically while being a part of the Capital District Pop Warner Federation, playing against teams from Albany and beyond. SSPW has three tackle teams and one flag team as well as three cheerleading squads. Kim Delgado, current president of SSPW, stresses the importance of safety, fun, and wellness.

“Our oldest pee-wee team is the hardest to fill because it’s typically filled with sixth and seventh graders so we compete with the high school modified program, but Pop Warner is really a good program to do before they go into modified,” she explained.

The kids begin their conditioning hours on August 6, which, Delgado says, “is all in the name of safety.”

“That’s a challenge for us too because we have the requirement of starting in August and getting all these hours in and people want to still have their summer,” she said of the multiple practice a week schedule.

As she explains it, the football players must go through a certain regiment for 10 hours before they can put any tackle pads on. Practice is four nights a week in August and cuts back to three nights a week once school begins.

“We teach them the fundamentals, make the parents feel comfortable about their kids playing football, because we know that is a huge challenge. We use the same tackling techniques and training that the high school does. The kids should be well prepared to go to modified teams and play,” Delgado said, explaining the importantance of SSPW.

With their fees the lowest in the area at only $90, they still offer scholarships, payment plans, and fundraising options to parents in need.

“We’re not really anymore unsafe than hockey or soccer. If parents did their research on what youth football is all about, we have some people who think of how it was in the eighties when the parents were in school. The safety protocols and all of that just wasn’t there then, but now we have them,” she said.

Delgado addressed that safety seems to be the main concern when a parent is on the fence about allowing their child to sign up.

“We have really well-trained coaches who really care about the safety of the kids. It’s just much different. For us, the challenge is getting people to the field and just getting them to our clinics in the summer to kind of feel comfortable with what the organization is about and how much we really do care about the safety” Delgado stated.

Along with the football players, there are also 50 cheerleaders this year. Last year, the oldest team won the local competition and went to New Jersey, had they won there, they would have competed in Disney.

“That team is very hopeful this year that they’ll have another successful cheer season,” she said.

To kick off the season, teams from all over the Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. capital district umbrella will come to East Side Rec to play on Beau Kilmer Field. Kilmer was a very famous Pop Warner coach in Saratoga.

“He was instrumental in Saratoga Pop Warner football and every year we do an annual scrimmage in his honor,” Delgado explained.

“We can’t tell people that nothing is ever going to happen, we can’t do that it wouldn’t be right. But we do everything that we can to ensure the safety of their kids,” Delgado reassured.

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