[Photos by Ruthann Thivierge]
SCHUYLERVILLE - The Schuylerville girls varsity soccer team, coached by Michael Kopp, have had an amazing season so far. They are currently 10-2 in their league and in first place in Foothills North Division. In their senior game last Tuesday, they won against Amsterdam.
Pre-season started for them on Aug. 14, however, during the summer they had informal gatherings for eighth through twelfth grade to utilize the soccer field for an hour and a half a few nights a week in June.
Kopp has 10 seniors on his team, which he has been coaching for three years now, which he describes as a “blessing as a coach.”
So next season will be a new learning experience for him. Players from JV will be brought up and the familiarity of the practices, plays, and teamwork will be starting fresh.
“It’s the familiarity and the reality that all of that is coming to an abrupt halt. We are only guaranteed two more games. We take it one game at a time,” he said.
Schuylerville is a Class B school, which is based on student enrollment, but the conference that they play in is primarily Class A teams.
“Theoretically,” Kopp explained, “we play tougher teams and opponents.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, Schuylerville lost to Mechanicville, and it was the first home game they have lost since 2015. The other two losses this season were to Scotia and South Glens Falls, which were both away games, with both schools ranked very high in New York State.
“They handled [the home game loss] well. I think they knew the mistakes that we had made, which were few but against a top-level team. They all nodded their heads. They knew what happened. This is a very seasoned group,” he explained.
Schuylerville has one more league game left on Friday, Oct. 13 against Queensbury and then the sectional seeding meeting on Monday where it will be determined which seed Schuylerville will have, they will be in the top four. This meeting will also determine who they are playing against and when the game will be. Sectionals are at the end of next week and if they win, it will be the first sectional win for Schuylerville girls’ soccer.
If Schuylerville defeats Queensbury on the 13th, they will be the Foothills North champions.
“I think our mental attitude is where it needs to be at the start of every game and virtually for every minute of the game,” Kopp said proudly.
“These kids have been in battles against tough teams starting out as sophomores. They’ve tasted success; there is not a lot they haven’t seen. They take everything in stride and they don’t get down on themselves. When we lost earlier this year there were tears of shock. They weren’t down about it, they were shocked. Some teams get accustomed to a defeated mentality but we literally intend to win every game we go out there for,” he said.
Emily Vallee, a senior, is the reigning Foothill Offensive Player of the Year, which she won as a junior by being voted on by all of the coaches.
“Our main objection is to win a sectional title, which Schuylerville has never won so that has been an objective of the program since well before I got here. We’re on the precipice to do this year,” Kopp explained.
“The fundamentals and the tactics of the game have not really changed in the three years we’ve been playing together, but the skill level has,” he said.
“I always tell them, every time you touch the ball, it makes you a better player,” Kopp said.
[Photos provided by Emily Inman]
Over 30,000 teachers use Banzai, an award-winning financial literacy course, nationwide. The goal of this program is to equip students with financial education that they will need in the future. It incorporates real-life scenarios such as paying rent, auto insurance, saving for unexpected costs, college tuition, and more. Banzai was founded in 2007 in Provo, Utah by co-owners Morgan Vandagriff and Kendall Buchanan and has spread to this area via TCT Federal Credit Union.
“Our goal for Banzai is to educate and inspire students to take their future into their own hands by developing positive money habits. The Banzai program helps students prepare for their financial future,” said Emily Inman, Public Relations Manager at Banzai.
Ballston Spa High School and Still Water Middle School and High School are utilizing this program.
TCT Federal Credit Union has provided this program free of charge to local schools, including those above. This program is online but has supplemented workbooks as well, that are within the state curriculum requirements for personal finance education.
TCT CEO Curt Cecala has said, “too often students get out of school and they just aren’t ready for the financial roller coasters life can give us. Banzai teaches students to navigate those twists and turns and come out on top.”
Ms. Lynne Blake is the ninth and tenth-grade business teacher at Ballston Spa High School who initiated contact with Banzai. She needed financial sponsors in order to do the program, so Blake reached out to several financial institutions and TCT Federal Credit Union responded.
“Basically, we put up the money to pay for the workbooks each student receives. The rest of the lessons are set up online,” said Kate Shoemaker, marketing manager at TCT Federal Credit Union.
“It’s really cool the way it’s done. It’s based on a choose your own adventure style. Similar to that old Oregon Trail computer game. They do the program once as a lesson and then at the end is a game that the students have to get through on their own, it usually takes them about three tries to get it right,” Shoemaker said.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t started using Banzai yet, but it looks great! It uses real-world scenarios and I think the students will love it,” Blake said.
To access the program, teachers may contact the credit union or the company directly at www.tctfcu.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Sierra Delaney is in her junior year at Ballston Spa High School and she is the only female varsity football player in the history of the school. Delaney plays on the defensive end and as a wide receiver. She started playing football at four years old when she and her cousin began on pop warner.
Delaney says there is definitely a difference between varsity and pop warner, “the guys get bigger,” she laughed.
Delaney says that the guys on the team are accepting of her but the ones who haven’t seen her before wonder why she’s there at first.
“We’re a giant family, especially as the year goes on we just get closer and closer. Coach always says, ‘brothers and sister,” Delaney explained.
“Most of my friends are pretty accepting, they’re always in line to wear my jersey on game days and are excited to watch me on Friday nights,” Delaney said.
Delaney is 5’11” and while she loves to play football, she plans to play basketball seriously in college and is already being scouted for that sport.
Jessie House, a 17-year-old senior at Saratoga Springs High School, is an offensive player on the field hockey team. House plans to continue playing field hockey at RPI next year. Starting in seventh grade, Coach Hostig was House’s PE coach in elementary school and she encouraged House to pursue field hockey.
“As soon as I could try out for a team I did and I’m glad I continued it,” House said of field hockey.
House will be attending RPI next year for Biomedical Engineering while also participating in D3 field hockey.
“I hope to be successful in both areas,” she said, “Academics are a big part of my life and I know I have to take them more seriously, but as a player, being on that field and playing the game I love takes that stress and thought of academics away and allows me to thrive in the sport.”
House had nothing but praise for her teammates and said that the proudest moment of her life thus far has been this season of varsity field hockey.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played better field hockey than I am right now. There is always room for improvement but I take pride in my accomplishments so far this season. The team this year is one of the best teams I’ve ever been on for field hockey. Everyone is so close and the rookies are a huge asset to the team and everyone is included as much as possible. We work hard as a team on and off the field,” House explained.
House is also a tennis player.
Grace Fornabia is a 17-year-old senior volleyball player from Saratoga Central Catholic High School. Fornabia’s main sport is volleyball, where she plays middle hitter and blocker, but she also successfully runs track and field. She intends to continue playing volleyball in college, either D2 or D3, and is still talking to coaches about which school is best for her.
“The first time I ever played volleyball was going into seventh grade at a Skidmore volleyball camp for beginners. I tried the sport because seventh grade was the year that middle schoolers could begin being a part of a sports team and volleyball was the first fall girls sport at Spa Catholic so I tried it out and fell in love with it and haven’t stopped playing since,” Fornabia explained.
Fornabia also plays volleyball over the summer with a program called IREVA, which stands for Iroquois Empire Volleyball Association, and is coached by college players and coaches.
“The main goal is to make everyone better by the end of the camp than when they first got there,” Fornabia explained.
“A very proud moment of mine was when I was going into freshmen year and I tried out for this camp and found out I made it. I was so excited when my mom showed me the email of me making the camp because I was so young and didn’t really know how to play volleyball correctly. I knew that going to this camp would make me better. All the coaches and players there motivate me by showing how passionate they are for the sport and I have always wanted to play at a high level just like they are at. Even today, the coaches and players motivate me to always work hard and play hard because it does pay off for sure,” she said.
Amy Moreau is a 17-year-old senior varsity midfielder on the Schuylerville soccer team. After playing recreational soccer from pre-school through elementary school, Amy joined the indoor team with Dan Gale in third grade and that is when she became serious about the sport. While she does not plan to pursue soccer after high school, she is committed to play D1 lacrosse at UMass Amherst next fall, where she plans to play lacrosse all four years and study sports medicine.
“Our team is probably the closest we have ever been, on and off the field, in all of the years I have been on a team, which is going to make saying goodbye to this sport that much harder,” Moreau said.
“Amy is a three-year captain and quite possibly the most exciting and hard-working player in all of section two. She’s extremely fast, equally skilled with both feet, and leads with 80 minutes of non-stop hustle. In addition, she’s one heck of a good kid, who’s well liked and respected by all. She’s been a dream player for me,” said coach Michael Kopp.
“My most proud moment so far in sports, has been two years ago losing in the sectional semi-finals one to zero to Schalmont, who ended up having an undefeated season winning states. This has been motivating for our team to work hard to get back to that game, and this year I think we definitely think we have a shot,” Moreau said.
[All photos by www.PhotoandGraphic.com.]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Vincek Farm has been around for 90+ years, since “before the birth of our nation,” owner Laura Vincek relayed.
Vincek Farm was owned and operated by John Vincek up until his passing in July 2017 from a long battle with metastatic melanoma. His wife Laura and his children continued to work the farm after his death.
John’s grandfather bought the farm after moving to America and his father and uncle chose to work off-farm careers. John chose to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps.
Sarah Bolles and nine of her field hockey teammates have been working at the farm the last few weekends to help with the pumpkin harvest. Sarah has gone to help at the farm four times. The team has joined her twice. Sarah has played on the field hockey team at Maple Avenue Middle School for two years and is coached by Colleen Belanger, she plays defense. So far this season, the field hockey team is undefeated and each game has been a shut-out. However, Sarah says the best part is being on a team and being able to participate in activities and community volunteer work like this.
“With technology, everything is really quite simple. We have a group chat for our team so we just kind of sent out a message and just explained to them the situation. A lot of people were like ‘yeah of course!’ it was actually a pretty good turn out,” Bolles explained.
“These girls are absolutely lovely and into all of the farm aspects. They had great questions and were delightful; we were so pleased with them. We were really impressed,” Vincek said.
For two hours, the field hockey team helped the farm to pick pumpkins for two Saturdays in a row.
“You can get a lot done in two hours,” Vincek explained.
“We’d go out with this big tractor that basically has a bed in the back. There are people picking the pumpkins and lifting them onto the tractor and once it’s all full we unload them and put them in a nice display according to size,” Bolles said.
Isabelle Kelly, a teammate of Bolles’ said, “I was very happy to help out the Vincek family. It was great to be able to work together as a team to do something that would help out others in our community.”
Kelly plays defense and has been playing field hockey since third grade after being inspired by her older sister.
The Vincek’s built this farm from a “starvation farm” into a business. John developed a composting facility that turns poor soil into richer soil, and from there, the farm became a bigger business.
In the summer months, you can buy vegetables at the farm and in the winter they sell hay and straw to their large animal customers.
The Vincek family has “the highest of praise for Sarah Bolles and her teammates, we are eternally grateful for their help with our pumpkin harvest.”
After the pumpkins, the Vincek Farm’s next crop will be turkey.
As far as a fundraiser for the farm goes, Sarah has given it some thought but she wants to perfect the idea first.
“You can just show up at the farm Saturdays at 1:00 p.m., any help is good. Just show up, be like ‘I’m here to pick pumpkins’ and they’ll be more than happy to put you somewhere,” Bolles said.
[Photo by Stuart Williams]
BALLSTON SPA – The Ballston Spa Central School District and local community has combined forces to celebrate the school and community during the district’s annual Community Spirit Week, taking place Oct. 6 through Oct. 14. During this celebration, the high school students will be hosting a powder puff football game and pep rally on Wednesday, Oct. 10 starting at 7:00 p.m. There will be a community spirit parade on Friday, Oct. 13 at 6:00 p.m. with the Homecoming football game to follow immediately at 7:00 p.m. The Homecoming game will be versus Niskayuna High School. On Saturday, Oct. 14 the Homecoming dance will take place.
Spirit Week consists of various themes and activities for each day of the week starting with Friday being Freedom Friday, Tie-Dye Tuesday, Twin Day Wednesday, Class Shirt Thursday, and School Spirit Friday.
Ballston Spa students and clubs will also participate in the annual painting of local businesses windows throughout the village. Students will paint the windows purple and gold spirit week themes.
The elementary and middle schools in the district will also be participating in various events throughout the week as well.
All in the area are invited to participate in Spirit Week and the Community Spirit Parade, the theme of which this year is “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.
The parade is a collaboration between the Mayor and Village of Ballston Spa, the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, the Ballston Spa High School Student Council, and several interested community members.
SARATOGA SPRINGS - A 16-year-old student who allegedly “posted a story on SnapChat about shooting up the school,” according to court documents, was charged Friday with making a terroristic threat.
Julius Cucinella, age 16, was charged with the felony after city police were made aware Friday morning of a threat posted on the social media network, SnapChat.
The social media post caused the school district to be alarmed and fear for the safety of its students and staff, according to court records.
According to a statement issued by police, a school resource officer assigned to the high school initiated an investigation and was able to identify Cucinella as the source of the post. The investigation into the post did not indicate anyone else being involved in the threat.
The student was arraigned and released on $500 cash bail and is scheduled to return to court Oct. 3.
The terroristic threat charge went on the books shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with a sentence range of 2 to 7 years in prison. The first known person to have been charged with making such a threat locally was a 42-year-old Skidmore College graduate who in May 2007 telephoned the college's Alumni Welcome Center and left a threatening message on the answering machine stating that he was coming to the campus with his M-16 rifle to cause harm.
Cucinella was supposed to be sentenced on Tuesday, Oct. 3 but the case was adjourned at the attorney’s request. No return date has been specified yet.
The school did release a statement.
“The incident in question was dealt with immediately in conjunction with the Saratoga Spring Police Department and we continue to work together to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Confidentiality laws prevent us from commenting on the specifics of student discipline issues. However, we take incidents of this nature seriously, as student safety is our primary focus,” said Maura Manny, Director of Community Outreach and Communications.
[Photos by www.PhotoandGraphic.com, Lori Mahan, and Ruth Thivierge.]
Three area teams remain undefeated this season. These teams are the Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks, the Schuylerville Horses, and the Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake Spartans.
How is it possible that three local teams can all be undefeated? The teams represent different classes and leagues, based on school size, with Saratoga being the largest of the classes, Section 2 Class AA, in the Empire Football League. We sat down with each coach this week to get their take on the current season.
BURNT HILLS – BALLSTON LAKE
Coach Matt Shell is very happy with how well the season has gone so far.
“The kids are working hard, we’re excited to be in the position that we’re in. We have a big game this week and we have to make sure we’re ready to play at such a high level.”
He’s happy with his offensive line and continues to see improvements on the defensive line, which has a few new players this year.
“Our defense has improved week to week,” he said.
In game one, they played Queensbury, which Shelly described as a “real good game.”
Averill Park was a tough team to beat but they were able to thanks to making some big plays at key times in the game.
“The team just works really hard and they’ve been doing a good job. Their work ethic has been good and fundamentally, they do a good job of working on the basics of the game to improve,” Shell said.
With practices Monday through Thursday, the Spartans stay busy and motivated.
Coach John Bowen is equally enthusiastic about his team’s season.
“I would definitely say to this point that the success we’ve been able to have has been a direct attribute to the way the kids work Monday through Thursday. Friday nights are for them. It’s their time. You allow them to showcase everything they’ve worked for. We’ve got a great group of kids who are willing to listen to and employ anything we ask of them,” Bowen said.
Bowen makes sure that the team stays focused on the week ahead and nothing beyond that.
“I’ve been very proud of the fact that the boys have really kept their focus and not allowed themselves to get ahead of the schedule in any given week. They’ve been really dialed into that week’s opponent,” Bowen explained.
Coach Terry Jones is making a comeback after last season.
“I think it’s great to be at this point, especially considering all of our games have been in our division. Winning our first five games has secured us the number one seed in the Empire Division, which guarantees us a playoff game in week eight and in week nine if we win the game in week eight. That’s one of the goals we set out with, was to win our division. We’re not looking past any of our goals as far as the rest of the season goes, we’re focusing on Albany this week,” Jones explained.
Last season was difficult for the Blue Streaks, they had a number of injuries and were unsure of how the team would perform this season.
“For example, Wes Eglintine, is in his third year on varsity but as a sophomore, he saw very limited action as a quarterback because we have a two-year starter and then last year he was lost in the week one game and here he is in his third year. We weren’t sure how things would go for him as a quarterback. He’s been doing great!” Jones said.
Sequoia Cumming was one for two in the game last week and will be kicking in the homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 6.
“We’ve had a number of kids who have performed outstanding all year long. We’ve had some kids go down with injuries and other kids step in to fill their roles and we’ve had a number of kids who have performed outstanding and even above our expectations,” Jones explained.
“We knew the talent was there,” he said, “and we knew that if things came together we could get to this point, but you never know how 16 and 17 year-olds are going to perform when the lights go on.”
Saratoga Springs will have their homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Check back on the Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Facebook page after the games this week for updates.
[Photos by Melissa Simser-Iovino]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Friday, Sept. 15 the Saratoga Casino Hotel held the New York Sire Stakes County Fair Finals, which followed two months of racing at 20 county fairs across New York State. The series began this year at the Orange County Fair in Goshen, NY on July 4 and ended on August 22 at the Tompkins County Fair. The top series point earners with more than five starts qualified for the finals.
Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association (SHHA) president Tom McTygue said, “it was really surprising how well many of the horses had done because the tracks at the fairs are nowhere near the pari-mutuel track and the conditions of our tracks are 75% better.”
“The SHHA represents the interests of owners, breeders, trainers, drivers, and caretakers of Standardbred horses. Its' goal is to promote the welfare of Harness Racing in the United States and Canada with special regard to Saratoga Springs, NY, now in its 76th season of live harness racing,” according to the official statement.
The New York Sire States promotes the breeding, buying, and racing of Standardbred horses in New York State. The finals event will take place on October 14 at Yonkers Raceway.
The winners of the race were; Buckys Brat, a two-year-old Colt Pace; Bonita Island, a three-year-old Filly Pace; NY Spirit, a two-year-old Filly Trot; Royal Bahama, a two-year-old Colt Trot; Golden Attitude, a three-year-old Colt Trot; Napper Tandy, a three-year-old Colt Pace; Anja, a three-year-old Filly Trot; and Casie’s Believer, a two-year-old Filly Pace. McTygue has had his horse’s race in the NYS Sire Stakes Finals previously but did not have any compete this year.
Twelve volunteer members run the SHHA. Those who run for office are owners, trainers, or grooms who work to better the horse industry. These office members work with all of the horsemen and combat any minor problems that may occur. The SHHA has a negotiation team that works with the Saratoga Casino and Hotel and Saratoga Race Track. With one year left on these contracts, they will renew next year.
McTygue said, “I’m retired now so I can actually put in the time. I go to the track and backstretch every morning. We’ve had two good years under our new contract and the casino has been working very well with us. It’s always very good to work well with the team you’re negotiating with.”
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[Photos by F. D. Photography]
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Saturday, Sept. 30 beginning at 8:00 a.m., the Saratoga Rowing Association will host its’ annual season-opening regatta at Fish CreekinSaratogaSprings.To the right is the schedule of the one-day event. Visit www.saratogarowing. com for more information.
“It will take over 225 people and 3,200 volunteer hours to run the three days of regattas this fall. at’s in addition to all the work put in by our dedicated coaches and staff. Starting o with a smaller regatta really does help us get those systems up and running once again,” Katherine Smith, Director of Development and Volunteer Coordinator stated.
September 30, 2017
8:00 a.m. Open Mens Open Single 1x-
8:13 a.m. Open Womens Open Single 1x-
8:23 a.m. Juniors Womens Junior U19 Single 1x-
8:35 a.m. Juniors Womens Junior U17 Single 1x-
8:48 a.m. Juniors Mens Junior Coxed Quad 4x+
8:58 a.m. Juniors Womens Junior Coxed Quad 4x+
9:18 a.m. Open Womens Open Pair 2-
9:29 a.m. Juniors Mens Junior U19 Single 1x-
9:43 a.m. Juniors Mens Junior U17 Single 1x-
9:56 a.m. Masters Mens Masters Quad 4x-
10:06 a.m. Masters Womens Masters Quad 4x-
10:14 a.m. Juniors Girls Middle School Coxed Quad (8th Grade & Under) 4x+
10:29 a.m. Juniors Womens Junior 1V Eight 8+
10:40 a.m. Juniors Womens Junior 2V Eight 8+
10:51 a.m. Juniors Mens Junior 1V Quad 4x-
11:01 a.m. Juniors Mens Junior 2V Quad 4x-
11:11 a.m. Masters Mens Masters Double 2x-
11:20 a.m. Masters Womens Masters Double 2x-
11:31 a.m. Juniors Boys Middle School Coxed Quad (8th Grade & Under) 4x+
11:41 a.m. Juniors Womens Juniors 3v/Lightweight 8+ 8-
11:49 a.m. Juniors Womens Junior Freshman/Novice Eight 8+
11:59 a.m. Juniors Boys Junior Freshman/Novice Quad 4x-
1:30 PM Juniors Mens Junior 1V Eight 8+
1:42 PM Juniors Mens Junior 2V Eight 8+
1:53 PM Masters Mens Masters Four 4-
2:01 PM Masters Womens Masters Four 4-
2:09 PM Juniors Womens Junior 1V Quad 4x-
2:19 PM Juniors Womens Junior 2V Quad 4x-
2:28 PM Juniors Boys Junior Freshman/Novice Eight 8+ 8+
2:41 PM Juniors Mens Junior Double 2x-
3:00 PM Juniors Womens Junior 1V Four 4-
3:11 PM Juniors Womens Junior 2V Four 4-
3:22 PM Juniors Girls Junior Freshman/Novice Quad 4x-
3:33 PM Masters Mixed Masters Eight 8+
3:41 PM Juniors Mens Junior 1V Four 4-
3:53 PM Juniors Mens Junior 2V Four 4-
4:05 PM Juniors Womens Junior Varsity Double 2x-
4:20 PM Masters Womens Masters Eight 8+
Times subject to change for final schedule 9/30
[All photos by Lori Mahan]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Blue Streaks, coached by Terry Jones, are 4-0 so far this season. The team is led by quarterback Wes Eglintine, two-way starter Kevin Toote, tight-end and defensive-end Mike Eglintine, and running-back Cam Adams, who have all played on varsity since their sophomore year. Wes Eglintine made his stellar return this season after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. With 46 players on the team this year, including kicker Sequoia Cumming, they seem to be holding true to their record of seasons past. Their rivalry game was this past Thursday, Sept. 28 against Ballston Spa. Next up, they have a game against Albany on Friday, Oct. 6 and a game on Friday, Oct. 13 versus LaSalle Institute.
“Our aspirations are every body’s aspirations. We want to win every game, but we don’t look ahead. We’re going to take every game one at a time because you can’t look ahead because every team can beat you in the Double A’s. I truly believe that. On the other hand, we can beat every team in the Double A’s,” said Jones.
Jones and his team tend to focus on the next game ahead of them and that game only.
Fri. 10/06/2017 07:00 PM
Saratoga Springs High School vs. Albany High School
at Saratoga Springs High School
Fri/ 10/13/2017 07:00PM
Saratoga Springs High School vs. LaSalle Institute
at LaSalle Institute
[Readers are encouraged to post respectful comments regarding the article below.]