SARATOGA SPRINGS — Tucker Wurtmann, a senior rower at Saratoga Springs CSD, has officially committed to Columbia for rowing after only being active in the sport for eight months.
“My recruitment story is pretty unique. I started rowing about eight months ago, but being a cross country runner, I was able to work really hard for college recruitment and evidently, a career at Columbia,” Wurtmann explained.
After hearing about rowing from friends and knowing the reputation of Saratoga Rowing Association (SRA); “we tend to win and have a really strong program in terms of individual rowers,” Wurtmann decided to give it a try.
He was diagnosed with stress fractures in both tibias from running for three years, forcing a transition to rowing, which he ended up loving.
“At SRA, I’m on a team with about 30 or so guys. We do a combination of on the water training, whether it be in smaller boats or larger boats, as well as indoor workouts,” he explained.
Due to his Columbia commitment, Wurtmann does not intend to run again and does off-season rowing training with a friend.
“I had been running on my own a little bit in middle school and my cousin, who is a runner, bought me shoes and encouraged me to run in high school,” he stated.
Wurtmann also dabbled briefly in Nordic skiing.
To achieve greatness, Wurtmann worked out a lot on his own and use the P.E.T.E. Plan, a continuous training plan that follows a three-week cycle that repeats sessions ever three weeks. He visited a few different schools and chose Columbia because of the team culture.
“Columbia was really the one team that I saw put in a lot of work on their own and that’s something that I really valued because my story is that I was the inexperienced rower with a good base in cardio, and so I had a lot of potential but not really as much experience as any of the other guys. I really like the culture of the team and that everyone does their own work and I also really like the guys on the team. Seeing them balance rowing in addition to being one of the best academic universities was really impressive to me and something that I’m really excited to join next year,” Wurtmann said.
At Columbia, he intends to major in biology and become an oral surgeon.
“We have really great teachers here at Saratoga and it’s been more interesting and more fun this year. I feel really confident and I’m excited to finish off the year strong,” he said of his academics.
Wurtmann has nothing but praise for the coaches and team at SRA.
“We have incredible coaches who will encourage you no matter what and give you everything you need to be as successful as you want. I think, in addition to that, the biggest thing for me was talking to the guys who are my same age but are heavier than me: have more muscle and more experience; talking to guys like that who will never look down on someone who is less than them and will only give advice on how to get better. All the team wants, really, is to get better. It’s really what you make of it. You are as good as how hard you work,” he mused.
Wurtmann should serve as an example of it never being too late to chase a dream and change your mind about something. He worked hard to succeed in a sport he only just started with and it paid off.
“If there is anyone interested in beginning rowing, never be discouraged by your starting point because the beautiful thing about rowing is that you can really pour your heart into it and get results. Improvement is proportional to how hard you work and discouragement in the early stages of your rowing career are not conducive to success.”
SARATOGA-WILTON — Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge No. 161 will hold its annual Hoop Shoot basketball free throw shooting competition on Saturday, December 1, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Christopher Dailey Gym, Gavin Park, at 10 Lewis Drive in Wilton. This event is free and open to boys and girls ages 8-13. Boys and girls will be divided into separate divisions and by age groups of 8-9-year old’s, 10-11year old’s and 12-13-year old’s. Participants’ eligibility will be determined as of their age on April 1, 2019. Pre-registration is not required, although the Town of Wilton Recreation Department is accepting pre-registrations at Gavin Park. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in all age groups in both divisions. Local
winners will advance to the District Championship, and have the opportunity to advance to Regional, State and National Championship competitions. All national champions will be enshrined in the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. For more information, please contact Saratoga-Wilton Elks Hoop Shoot Director Steve Dorsey at 518-369-1985.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 22, thousands of participants will gather to race in the annual 5K Turkey Trot race to benefit the Christopher Dailey Foundation. All registration must be done in advance, $25 on or before November 11 and $27 from November 12-21; entry fees are non-refundable. Christopher Gene Dailey, a Saratoga Springs native, was an active 8-year-old sports enthusiast who died suddenly on November 23, 2001. The Foundation was formed on December 29, 2001 by his parents, with the support of family and friends.
The Christopher Dailey Foundation is a non-profit, Saratoga Springs based, charitable organization supporting youth needs in our community. After completion of the Christopher Dailey Youth Gym in Gavin Park, Wilton NY, the Foundation has continued to support youth needs in the Saratoga County area. Since 2012, the CDF has given over $500,000 to 50+ youth organizations. Visit www. christopherdaileyfoundation. com to learn more about their donations. Attendees can register online, by mail, or in person. Online registration at ZippyReg. com closes at noon on Tuesday, November 20. Mail registration forms can be sent to Christopher Dailey Foundation c/o AREEP PO Box 38195 Albany, NY 12203. Do not mail after November 15. Register in person between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, at the Saratoga Hilton Hotel. The race will be timed by ARE Event Productions using the ChronoTrack B-Tag. This is a small and flat chip that comes affixed to the back of the bib. Runners must wear their bib on their outer-most layer and it must not be altered in any way. They cannot flatten, bend, nor crease their bib. These chips do not get returned, making for a smooth and easy finishing process. Results will be immediately available at www.AREEP.com following the event.
Race starts on Broadway, into Skidmore, and finishes on North Broadway. This is a moderately challenging course, including both hills and downgrades. Medals will be given to top 3 m/f overall. Age divisions include: 11-under, 12-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, Divisions: 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75+. Any other questions email the foundation at [email protected] nycap.rr.com or call 518-5811328. For registration questions ONLY call 518-650-6963.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The never-ending battle between the Saratoga Springs CSD Board of Education and Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools (SPFSC) continues to rage on. After the school board voted 5-4 on October 9 to end the practice of school resource officers carrying firearms, some parents and community members decided to fight back. This included the creation of Saratoga Parents for Safer School, “an organization built by parents and community members in the wake of the Oct 9, 2018 decision by the Saratoga Springs Board of Education to remove the historically proven armed security monitors from campus. The organization’s goal is to reauthorize the armed grounds monitor program.”
On Thursday, November 1, SPFSC met with school administrators and board members to discuss school safety and the next steps. With the meeting lasting about an hour, all topics related to school safety were discussed. According to a press release from SPFSC, the members left the meeting with a commitment from the board to do the following:
1. Conduct a risk assessment survey with the Department of Homeland Security.
2. Engage with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s department about adding more School Resource Officers throughout the district.
3. Engage with the Saratoga Springs police department and city government about adding School Resource Officers and other ideas to improve school safety.
“While we appreciate the school administration’s willingness to listen to our concerns, our organization made it clear to the administration that these commitments were not enough and do not fully address our safety concerns. Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools will continue to work with the board, and community to regain the same level of school security that the district had over the past 30+ years,” the press release continued.
SPFSC brought their resolution to the City Council on Monday, November 5, and it was adopted 5-0.
The City Council resolution calls for “trained, educated, experienced and certified individuals, namely active law enforcement personnel, to carry firearms” and recommends a collaborative plan between the city council, the school district, the county board of supervisors and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s office be put in place “which will again permit appropriately trained and certified individuals to possess a firearm while on school grounds including, but not limited to, the potential expansion of SROs to all schools within the District.” This resolution is the first step towards increased safety within our schools.
“However, we will continue to work diligently to ensure these suggested measures, and more, will be adopted by the school district. With the current city shortage of Police Officers, we still need to pursue the option of allowing recently retired, skilled and qualified Officers to protect our children,” the SPFSC stated.
According to News 10, who received a statement from the Board of Education:
“The Saratoga Springs City School District is committed to creating a safe and supportive learning environment for all students, staff, and visitors. The Board of Education and District Emergency Response Team place a strong emphasis on utilizing a comprehensive approach to school safety. This includes supporting the social and emotional health of all students, maintaining strong partnerships with local law enforcement, ongoing training and drills to prepare for emergency situations, and continuous improvements to our safety and security infrastructure and procedures. For the past several months, district administration worked with the Board of Education to research the authorization process of qualified individuals to carry firearms on school property while performing their job duties. The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 prohibits anyone from knowingly possessing a firearm on school grounds without proper authorization. In the past, some grounds monitors possessed a firearm on district property without knowing that prior written permission was required from the Board of Education. When district officials determined that the practice was not in compliance with the current law, grounds monitors were instructed not to carry a firearm on school property until proper authorization was obtained. School district officials and the Board of Education did their due diligence by researching this topic for several months gathering feedback from our partners in law enforcement, our school district insurance carrier, our school district attorney, listening to public comments, learning about best practices from neighboring school districts, and a presentation from the District Emergency Response Team. At the October 9th Board of Education meeting, the Board voted against approving the authorization. Safety is an underlying theme in everything that we do and the safety and security of students is our number one priority. The Board of Education appreciates the dedication and support of our full-time School Resource Officer who is an active duty, armed City of Saratoga Springs Police Officer. The district also continues to staff both full and part-time grounds monitors who help maintain a safe and orderly environment in and around our schools. The District is in the process of evaluating our current safety and security procedures, including conducting a risk/ threat assessment of all schools by an independent school safety specialist. The District will continue to gather feedback from all stakeholders and will be hosting a school safety community forum in the upcoming months to share the results of the threat assessment and recommendations that the BOE will consider to help improve our overall safety plan. The District appreciates the support that has been offered by the Saratoga Springs City Council and the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors for sharing in the responsibility of ensuring that our schools are safe for all students.”
SPFSC is unsatisfied with these developments, claiming that the BOE did not take the recommendations of the Saratoga Springs Police Department, nor did they talk to the Sherriff’s office, or speak to anyone at National Associate of School Resource Officers (NASRO), among other things. The next BOE meeting will be held on November 13 at Maple Avenue Middle School.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The JoyUs Foundation mission is “to restore Joy and Serenity in the lives of cancer survivors and their families, by providing access to outdoor experiences.”
The experiences are: hiking, kayaking, fishing, organic gardening, and connection with other cancer survivors in a
relaxed setting. JoyUs hopes to raise enough money to open a property in the Adirondacks that will offer an extended stay and all experiences to cancer survivors and their families without financial burden. Janet created JoyUs and Evolution Strength and Performance Gym collaborated with her to bring the foundation’s dream to life.
“We wanted to partner up with her. Our focus here is giving back for the third quarter, it’s a focus all year round but we’re really putting a big emphasis on it this year. We set up the swing event. We’re trying to reach a certain dollar amount,” said Lindsay Cruz, a coach at the gym.
The gym is holding the Stronger than Cancer 12,000 swing challenge to raise money for JoyUs. Participants will do sets of kettleball swings every minute, on the minute, for 60 minutes.
“The gym is still kind of in its infancy stage. We have about 70 members, we do mostly small group training here. We opened in the summer of last year. We’ve got a community of people here that love to help each other out so this is perfect for us. We’re looking for anybody outside the community that wants to come in, evenif they’ve never done any training before with kettleballs; we’re willing to give them introduction to that and if they want to help out and raise money or if they actually want to participate that would be awesome,” Cruz explained.
People participating are encouraged to partner with a friend or create a team of three and “tag-in” when the participant needs rest. The gym’s goal is to raise $1,200 and pledge to do one swing for every 10 cents that is donated. Prizes are offered to the teams who do the most swings.
“$1,200 that’s our goal, I think we’re going to smash it. We’ve already got members here signed up, think we have 10 teams so far and we’re trying to get 20,” Cruz stated.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs Pop Warner Football (SSPW) junior team and junior cheerleading team will both be going to regionals this year. The team will represent the Capital District as they head to the first round of Eastern Regional playoffs on Sunday, November 4 at 11 a.m. against Rockland County at Spring Valley High School in Spring Valley, NY. Eastern Region is made of NY, PA, DE, NJ, MD and DC. The champions of the regional playoffs will head to Disney’s Wide World of Sports the first week of December for Pop Warner’s equivalent of the Super Bowl. Saratoga Pop Warner Junior PeeWee Cheer Squad Placed second at Capital District Cheer competition on October 6, which qualified them for the Eastern Region Competition being held Saturday, November 3 at the Cure Insuring Arena in Trenton, NJ.
“This is the second year in a row this squad has qualified for regionals,” said Kim Delgado, current president of SSPW.
The champions of the regional competition will head to the National Championship at Disney’s Wide World of Sports during the first week of December. Fifteen cheerleaders, ages 9-11, seven of which are new to the squad this season. The squad is coached by Ceara Poulin, who is assisted by Amanda Ganser, Hailey Grogan, and Sandra Scalo. The cheerleaders are: Stella Delgado, Quiyana Brown, Isabel Ramos, Hailey Scalo, Jaelyn Wilcox, Sedona Price, Holland Campbell, Elianna Callender, Zoe Evans, Fiona Doty, Janessa Mallaney, Kaitlyn Lamica, Ruby O’Neal, Sierra Glinski, and Ella Dobson. The SSPW junior team are the American Division Champions for 2018 with an 8-0 record and 167 points scored. Nineteen players make up the team, ages 9-11, eight of which have never played football before. The team is coached by Ari Delgado who is assisted by Raquel Thompson, Leighton Anderson, Eric Johnson, and Steve Streicher. The players are: Gianni Delgado, Dylan Marcello, Johnny Stevenson, Lucius Anderson, Zach Streicher, Chris Johnson, Alex Schumacher, Jay’den White, Harrison Nacua-Saum, Blayke Nacua-Saum, Owen Beierlein, Nicolas Mello, Karsten Soule, David Newell, Hayden Passaretti, Tyler McCarthy, Brennan Malloy, Michael Carson, and Andrew Stallmer.
“We are so proud of them,” Delgado remarked.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Kennedy Murphy, a senior at Saratoga Central Catholic, has been playing volleyball since the seventh grade, a sport that in her big sportoriented family, she has all to herself.
“I wanted to play a fall sport and it was a good program at the school, a lot of my friends were playing, so in seventh grade I just joined the modified team and ended up really liking it, so I just stuck with it,” Murphy explained.
She is also a guard on the basketball court and an outfielder on the softball field, though volleyball is her favorite.
“I just really enjoy the sport [volleyball] overall. My family was always a huge basketball family and nobody in my family had played volleyball before, so it was nice for it to be my thing. Sports in general, not specifically volleyball, you get tired of going to the practices and the far away games, but I think that’s all worth it,” she said.
In her limited free time, Murphy enjoys spending time with her family and watching sports on tv and in person. Her dad will be coaching basketball this year at Saratoga Springs High School and she enjoys going to those games to watch. During Murphy’s junior season, the volleyball team went undefeated and were crowned champions of the league. This season, two of their best players had moved on to college.
“I think we were good this year. I don’t think people thought we were going to do as good as we did just because we lost two girls that are now playing in college, so it was nice to come out and show that we were going to do good and have a presence in the league. It was definitely hard coming back, having lost those girls, but I think we figured it out,” she explained.
The reason for the initial difficulties? A lot of the girls had never played together before because they had been moved up from JV to Varsity.
“In the past years, we had all just always played together. So, it took a little bit more work to find that team chemistry but eventually, I think we found it,” Murphy stated.
Murphy has known Coach Izzo for a long time, her parents were taught by her at Spa Catholic as well. Izzo has tried to convince Murphy to play volleyball in college but she’s unsure, for a good reason.
“I have thought about it a little bit, I kind of wanted to go to a bigger school, that I don’t think I could play at. Playing sports in college is a huge commitment and I just want to focus on school, but I did think about it. I could only play at small schools, so I don’t think I’m going to do it,” she explained.
Her top three picks for college are University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, and Syracuse University. She really wants to go down south because, “she doesn’t like winter at all.”
She intends to major in something related to heath and exercise science.
“The plan right now is to get my doctorate in physical therapy but who knows, that may change,” she said.
This season, the team lost in the first round of sectionals. However, while Murphy acknowledged that it was upsetting, she also realizes her entire varsity career has been great and this season was good, aside from the final loss.
BALLSTON SPA STUDENTS BEGIN ANNUAL PENNY HARVEST
BALLSTON SPA — Students in the Ballston Spa Central School District have started the annual district wide penny harvest in each of the six schools. The schools will hold various activities in the coming weeks to gather up pennies which will be collected by the SEFCU mobile branch on December 4, 2018. During the last ten years students have collected and successfully donated $89,747 to local nonprofit organizations through participation in the annual SEFCU Penny Harvest program. The Penny Harvest student leaders in each school are responsible for researching local community issues and the non-profit organizations before deciding how their funds could be used to further support these non-profits. The annual SEFCU Penny Harvest is implemented in grades K-12 and has proven to be successful in educating students in service learning and financial literacy. This program teaches students about the importance of philanthropy and service as well as teaching math, communication, and team building skills. The program is implemented in the fall of each school year and monetary awards will be presented to the local charities in May. Students collected over $9,400 in pennies during the fall 2017 harvest and donated the funds to eight local non-profit organizations. The district is very grateful to SEFCU for sponsoring the program and processing over 940,000 pennies.
The awards for 2019 will be presented at a ceremony on May 21, 2019 at the Ballston Spa High School. For more information,
please visit the individual school websites or contact the BSCSD Office of District Advancement at 518-884-7195.
Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect Visits Ballston Spa Middle School
BALLSTON SPA — Over 100 Ballston Spa 7th grade Orchestra, Band and Choir students recently attended an interactive presentation with visiting musicians from Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect program. Ensemble Connect is a two-year fellowship program for the finest young professional musicians in the country, designed to develop the artistic values and skills necessary for careers that combine musical excellence with education, community engagement, advocacy, and leadership. The program reflects the belief that today’s artists require both the ability to perform at the highest level and the capacity to give back to the community, inspiring the next generation of quality musicians and music lovers. The visiting musicians included the students in their presentation and provided minilessons about their musical performance. They also provided all students with free tickets to their concert on October 19, 2018 at Skidmore.
Ensemble Connect musicians are in residence at Skidmore for one week each October and February working with Skidmore students in classes, lessons, and coaching, presenting world premiere performances, and also offering interactive visits to local schools and human service organizations that involve student engaged performance. For additional information, please contact the Ballston Spa Music Department at 518-884-7150.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local basketball legend, Gregory Wilson, has recently had his second induction into Oswego Basketball Hall of Fame for his prominent place in the Laker record books. He had the highest scoring average in a single-season (28.0) and on January 30, 1968 for 31 rebounds in a game at Utica. As a Laker, Wilson averaged a double-double over his career.
Although Wilson was only on the Oswego Lakers for two varsity seasons, he made his mark. He was inducted into the Upstate New York Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017 for “his contributions at several levels of the game.”
Wilson began playing basketball at age 13 in Round Lake. "All the guys used to play, I wasn't really that interested but I would play anyway, and it wasn't until I was on the freshmen team in high school at Shenendehowa watching the varsity play, that it clicked with me. I couldn't believe the feeling I got from watching it, I wanted to be a part of it," Wilson said.
Wilson still plays basketball at the YMCA in Schenectady and for 20 years, he played in a Colonie senior basketball league for guys 50 and older. They would travel around the country playing three on three. He remains active by working part time at his son Rory’s pizza shop, D’Andrea’s Pizza, and he works at a food pantry every other week.
Still, basketball is what changed his life.
"Well, I got a great education and a great life out of it. I put a lot of hard work into it and I got the results of it. I never expected anything like this, believe me, but it's just something you like and pursue. I was fortunate enough to have the life I have. I taught for 37 years and basketball got me that way,” he said.
Wilson is eternally grateful to his family: his wife, his six children, and his friends.
"It never crossed my mind that anything so spectacular would happen, totally overwhelming. John Harrington and Dave Hewitt helped me, a lot to pursue this and I was friends with them for years, and of course my three sisters and my mother, they were really behind me all the way and never gave me any grief about it,” he said, citing his biggest supporters.
Spa Catholic Volley Ball
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Central Catholic hosted Stillwater in League play. Warriors won 3-1 scores 23-25,27-25,25-19,25-21
Highlights for the Warriors:
12-2 league, 14-2 overall; Kyleigh Frank 6 blocks, 8 kills; Chloe Farr 11 kills, 13 service points, 5 digs; Skylar Brennan 16 assist 18 service points.
Highlights for the Saints:
12-2 league, 13-3 overall; Elise Browell 7 service points, 19 assist; Kennedy Murphy 6 service points, 9 kills, 5 digs; MaryClare Pikus 2 kills,7digs,1block;GraceO’Reilly 15 service points, 7 aces 9 kills
Ballston Spa Boys Soccer
BALLSTON SPA — Troy visited Ballston Spa for the first round of sectionals on Wednesday afternoon, October 17. Troy’s Stinson scored in the first 10 minutes of play. BSpa’s Ethan Waters scored two goals in the last 10 minutes of the first half, assisted by Liam O’Connell and Michael Robyck. In the second half, B’Spa put two more points on the board, with goals by Ian DeFilippis and Michael Robyck, assisted by Devin Duttine. Final score 4-2, Ballston Spa.
Ballston Spa visited Averill Park Friday, October 19, for a quarter final sectional game. In the first 15 minutes, Averill Park scored with a goal by Biewlawski. In the last five minutes of the first half, Christian Toma scored for Ballston to tie the game 1-1. In the second half, Ethan Cook scored from a penalty kick to put Ballston up 2-1. Averill Park came back with a goal by Ghent to tie the game 2-2. Cook scored again from a penalty kick put Ballston up 3-2. Final score 3-2 Ballston. They will advance to the semi- finals on Wednesday.
St. Michael’s College Volleyball
VERMONT — The Saint Bentley University on Tuesday, of Saratoga Springs/Saratoga Michael’s College women’s Pace University on Friday, and Central Catholic, chipped in four volleyball team dropped three Adelphi University on Saturday. kills, a .500 hitting percentage, 3-0 decisions this past week to First-year Grace Fornabia, two digs, an ace, and a block.
Saratoga Field Hockey
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Class A Quarters at Saratoga
Frist Half: Toga 3 v. Columbia 0
Olivia Vukelic assisted by Hunter Yourch; Kylie Folts assisted by Hailey Waghorn; Hailey Waghorn assisted by Lindsey Frank.
Lindsey Frank; Kylie Folts; Molly Russell assisted by Lindsey Frank.
Final Score: Toga 6 v. Columbia 0
Corners: Saratoga - 16 | Columbia - 2
Shots: Saratoga - 34 | Columbia - 1
Saratoga Goalies: Kristen Rodecker and Emma Piccirillo - 1 save
Columbia Goalie: Maddy Hogan - 13 saves Saratoga 14-3
SARATOGA COUNTY — The Shenendehowa Plainsmen football squad scored 35 points and restricted the visiting Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks to 7 in the Plainsmen league victory on Friday.
The Plainsmen now possess a 7-1 record. They put it on the line next when they travel to Saratoga Springs for a Section 2 AA battle on Friday, October 26. Shenendehowa will face a Blue Streaks squad coming off a 35-7 league loss to Shenendehowa (Clifton Park). The Blue Streaks record now stands at 6-2.
The Averill Park Warriors football squad scored 16 points and limited the visiting Ballston Spa Scotties to 0 in the Warriors non-league win on Friday.
In Saturday’s non-league game, the Schuylerville Horses (Schuylerville) football team smashed the visiting Schalmont Sabres (Schenectady), by a final score of 40-6.
The Horses (6-2) will now prepare for their game against Cobleskill-Richmondville.