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Displaying items by tag: high school
Saratoga Lacrosse Shootout Brings the Heat to Town
SARATOGA TODAY — Overcoming repeated bouts with rain, the 5th Annual Saratoga Lacrosse Shootout brought some of the best high school lacrosse teams from across the country together at Gavin Park for a weekend of high intensity competition. Taking place from June 30-July 2, the event saw teams mostly from New York, a good number from New England, and a couple from as far away as Arkansas. These teams competed for a Championship title, and the wider event also featured professional player clinics, coaching clinics, opening night ceremonies and festivities, a players-only lounge, 3-vs.-3 mini lacrosse tournament, Mazzone Catering, and a vendor village.
All photos by www.PhotoAndGraphic.com.
Schuylerville Honor Society Induction
SCHUYLERVILLE – The Schuylerville branch of the National Honor Society inducted 45 new members in ceremony held on April 12. Inductees were chosen based on several criteria, including scholarship, character, leadership, and community service. Students and other attendees were also treated to words from guest speaker Khamel Abdulai, the director of training and talent management at Excelsior College and adjunct professor at the College of Saint Rose.
The inductees are as follows:
- Hailey Abruscato
- Cameron Alber
- Brandon Aschauer
- Grace Beaulac
- Freya Birkas-Dent
- Kassandra Brennan
- Alison Burnham
- Amanda Carlstrom
- Emily Carlstrom
- Lillian Claus
- Cassaundra Darrah
- Thomas Donovan
- Ryan Durie
- Samantha Ellis
- Hannah Eustis
- Elizabeth Fordyce
- Zachary Galcik
- Aidan Garry
- Sidney Gregorek
- Morgan Gunter
- Mikhail Hailu
- Grace Hanehan
- Nathan Hefner
- Jack Hemingway
- Jessica Hinners
- Devynn Hough
- Caitlin Kelleher
- Johnathan King
- Kadon Lane
- Jessica Melita
- Amy Moreau
- Teghan Murray
- Cassie Patrick
- Matthew Peck
- Lyndsey Prince
- Christine Putman
- Casey Renner
- Trent Thomas
- Tristan Turner
- Emily Vallee
- Dominic Vito
- Alice Voell-White
- Emily Warmt
- Katelyn Weed
- Derek Willson
Building a Better Robot: Local Schools Excel at Regional Competition
SARATOGA COUNTY – Two local robotics teams stole the show at a recent regional competition, paving the way for their trips to the national level in April.
Robotics club teams from the Ballston Spa and Schuylerville school districts competed at the NY Tech Valley FIRST Robotics competition, a regional division of the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international youth event designed to give student practical engineering experience. Each school put in strong work at the competition, which ran from March 16-18 at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with Ballston Spa receiving the prestigious Chairman’s Award, and Schuylerville finishing in second place and putting up the highest score of the weekend during the quarterfinals, 450 points. Both teams will be competing at the national championships in St. Louis, MO, which will run from April 26-29.
At the regional competition, teams were challenged to design and build robots that could receive and place gears, fire wiffle balls, and climb five feet. Each challenge would net the teams a certain amount of points, and it was up to the teams which actions they designed their machines to specialize in. Ballston Spa chose to design a robot that could do all three actions, with club advisor and coach Darrel Ackroyd being particularly proud of the machines ability to place gears by itself.
“We can receive gears from the human player station and place the gear on the peg via an active placement of the gear,” Ackroyd said. “Most teams have a passive gear system where the pilot has to pull the gear out of the robot.”
Schuylerville, on the other hands, chose to focus on gear-placing and climbing, as they determined that shooting wiffle balls would be too difficult to design for, and would not yield as many point as the other challenges.
Every team competing in the FIRST Robotics competition was informed of the challenges they would face in January, and then had six weeks to design and build the robot they would take to the competition. After that, their machine had to be submitted, or “bagged and tagged,” so that they could not utilize it again before the competition weekend. Both teams, however, built practice robots at the same time as their competition robots, so that they could continue practicing after the six week time limit.
“Our robot performed incredibly and we won quarterfinals,” Ackroyd said about his team’s performance. “We came up short in semi finals, but our alliance with Cambridge and Troy was a great one to be apart of in eliminations.”
“I couldn’t have ask for anymore,” said Mark Belden, advisor and coach for the Schuylerville team. “We’re not a big team, but we went right out there. Our team, our mentors, our alliance partners… it went as well as I could’ve expected.”
This will be Ballston Spa’s third time competing at the national level, and their second time in a row, having made it to the finals at RIT last year. This will also be Schuylerville’s second year in a row competing at nationals. Neither team has won at that level, but they are hopeful heading into the event.
“We are making changes to our climber and gear mechanism for our competition this weekend at Rockland County,” Ackroyd said. “I feel with these changes we should be a top-performing robot at the competition”
“We’re feeling really good,” Belden said. “Some other teams we competed against have already gotten in touch with us with suggestions.”
Schuylerville is currently raising money to help fund their trip to St. Louis. Belden estimates that it will cost around $20,000 to transport the team. They will be hosting a spaghetti dinner and raffle to help raise funds on March 31 in the elementary school cafeteria, from 5-8 p.m. Donations can also be made directly at www.gofundme.com/schuylerville-robotics-team-4508.
Saratoga Boys Lacrosse Commences Spring Training
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The weather may continue to disagree, but spring is in the air. On March 6, practice for the varsity and JV boys lacrosse teams’ spring season commenced at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury, with the girls’ team following suit on March 13. Check back next week for our full preview story of the upcoming boys lacrosse season. For more information on practices and game times, go to www.saratogaschools.org/athletics.
Blue Streak Breaks National Record
SARATOGA SPRINGS – There is no rest for the dominant track and field stars of Saratoga Springs High School.
Just one week after blowing away competition at the NYSPHSAA 2017 Indoor Track & Field Championships in Staten Island, sophomore Kelsey Chmiel and senior Nick Cavotta took another trip down to New York City to compete in the 2017 New Balance Nationals Indoor (NBNI). The event, a premier national-level event for high school track and field athletes, was held in the Armory Track & Field Center and ran from March 10-12.
Competing this time in the 2-mile, Chmiel put in another stellar performance, despite taking part in a more endurance-testing event. Finishing in third place behind Brie Oakley of Aurora, CO, and Jessica Lawson of Elmira, NY, her time was 10 minutes and 12.94 seconds, narrowly but definitively besting the national record for sophomore girls in the 2-mile event, as well as the state record. Previously, the national record was held by Hannah De Balsi of Westport, CT, with a time of 10 minutes and 12.95 seconds, giving Chmiel the edge by 0.01 seconds. This marks back-to-back broken records for Chmiel, who set the national sophomore record in the girls 3,000 meter event at the state championships the previous weekend.
“The state level is usually pretty competitive,” Chmiel said. “But nationals has some really competitive and fast people in it.”
Characteristically modest about her performances, Chmiel said that she was pleased at the gradual improvement she had made over the course of the indoor season. Coach Linda Kranick, always more keen to tout the runner’s achievements, led the rest of the girls track and field team in a round of applause for Chmiel’s record-breaking run right before her first practice back on Monday afternoon.
“I like the longer distances, so the 3K is usually my focus,” Chmiel said about what she will focusing on going forward into the outdoor season.
Cavotta once again competed in the long jump event that has been his signature in the past few weeks. Coming in 14th place out of 33 finalists, Cavotta’s farthest jump measured 21 feet 11.5 inches, lower than the 23-foot jump that helped him claim his first ever state title and break his school’s long jump record. While admitting that Cavotta might have made the top 8 if he had given his best jump, coach Chris Conley remains nonetheless impressed with the progress he has made during his high school career.
“Halfway through his sophomore year, he came out for outdoor track day,” Conley said. “And in the last couple seasons, he’s really started to put a lot of technical stuff together. He’s come a good amount of ways in a short amount of time.”
For now, Cavotta is resting up for a week before moving into the outdoor track season, as Conley traditionally likes to do for his athletes between seasons. Moving forward, Cavotta will focus on competing in a few different events, including 200 and 400 meters, in addition to the long jump, as he begins to be recruited by more and more universities.
$823,614: South Glens Falls Marathon Dance Breaks Record by $61K
GLENS FALLS – South Glens Falls High School put on an appropriately impressive show for its 40th Annual Marathon Dance. Over the course of 28 hours from March 3-4, the school raised $823,614.91, beating its 2016 record by over $61,000. All the money raised at the event goes to in-need families and community organizations. The dance was dedicated to the memory of the late State Trooper Timothy Pratt, who took part in the dance as a student, and always volunteered in the years after.
State Champs: Tyler Barnes and Orion Anderson Claim State Titles
SARATOGA COUNTY – Victory was earned for two local high school wrestlers this past weekend. Competing in the NYSPHSAA wrestling championships, which ran from Feb. 24-25, Ballston Spa junior Tyler Barnes and Schuylerville junior Orion Anderson fought through four rounds of competition across two days to claim state championship titles. Barnes won in the Division I, 170-pound weight class, while Anderson won in the Section II, 120-pound class. With this win, Barnes becomes the first ever state champion to come out of Ballston Spa. Anderson, meanwhile, fought through illness and injury to not only win the title, but also be voted one of the Most Outstanding Wrestlers out of the whole competition.
“He’s a very focused young man,” said Coach Harold Staulters of Barnes. “He has goals, he always has goals, and he sticks to them.”
After finishing in 5th place at last year’s championship, Barnes, supported by in Staulters’s estimation 40 or more Ballston Spa residence in attendance, went all the way this year to become the town’s first ever state wrestling champion. Winning his first match by pin on Friday, Barnes made it to the finals on Saturday, where he bested John Glenn High School’s Mike Ancewicz 5-2. Well aware of the import of his potential victory, Barnes wore a singlet with Ballston Spa’s school colors, purple and gold.
Staulters said that consistency was important during Barnes’s training leading up to the event. He stuck to his usual practice routines, and stuck with his longtime friend and practice partner, Jake Cook, who also competed over the weekend.
“They know each other pretty well,” said Staulters of Barnes and Cook. “They’ve been friends since they were six… Probably been workout partner since the same time.”
For Anderson, the run-up to the championship was fraught with hindrances. At the Section II state qualifying event two weeks prior at the Glens Falls Civic Center where Anderson secured his spot in the state finals, he suffered a cut to his forehead that required stitches. For the month prior to the state finals, Anderson had also been suffering through bouts of mononucleosis and upper respiratory infection, the latter of which sometimes made it difficult for him to breathe.
“I don’t think he even realizes what a big deal it is,” said Buck Anderson, Orion’s coach and father.
For each champion, wrestling is a family affair. Barnes’s father, Terry, wrestled in the 1995 state championships and was runner-up that year. Anderson, meanwhile, has seen many members of his family in the state finals, with his older brother and sister each having competed in the finals in years prior, and he himself has been wrestling since the age of two.
Barnes’s is currently planning to compete in the Cadet Greco Nationals in Fargo, ND, where he also competed last year, making it all the way through the semifinals. This year, he’s aiming to win it all. Anderson, conversely, will be taking things slower to let his body heal and to recover from his illnesses. Once he feels better, he intends to get back to practicing and compete in off-season matches.
Home Made Theater Wins “Best Community Theater” in New York
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Home Made Theater (HMT) has been awarded the title of “Best Community Theatre” by NY Theatre Guide, as part of their 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards. Voting was held online, with thousands of ballots cast from across New York State.
“There are so many theater companies that are worthy, so we are certainly very honored,” said Stacie Mayette Barnes, Producing Manager at HMT. “It’s recognition of all the hard work we put in. The work of our 180 volunteers each year, the work of directors and designers – everyone involved put together a product we’re very proud of.”
According to NY Theatre Guide, the awards are designed to honor local performing arts, entertainment and education organizations for their creativity, talents, and contributions across New York. Home Made Theater was one of five theaters nominated for the award. Other nominees included Central New York Playhouse in Syracuse, Clocktower Players in Irvington, Olean Community Theatre, and Ghent Playhouse.
Now in its 31st season, HMT got the news about the award during the opening week of their production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Barnes noted how HMT will be using their status as “Best Community Theatre” to raise awareness for HMT’s shows and draw to attention to what the company is all about.
“We’re very excited about this award. There must be people out there who believe in us and took the time to vote,” continued Barnes. “HMT is a unique blend of professionals and those working in theater for the first time. We try to give everyone involved a great experience. We’re proud of the quality of the work we do and proud to give our audiences some terrific entertainment. I want to thank everyone for voting for us, and invite everyone to come check us out in the state park – you won’t be sorry!”
Going on right now at HMT is their production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams. Show times are February 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and February 21 and 28 at 2 p.m.
For more information about Home Made Theater, visit homemadetheater.org.