Local All Star Moments: Jan. 24-30, 2020
Blue Streaks Hockey
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Wednesday, Jan. 15 the Blue Streaks took a big win, 6-1, over the CD Jets. Assistant Captain Joe Amodio had three goals and two assists; Assistant Captain Will Detora scored one goal with three assists; Michael Montague had one goal and two assists; and Griffin Sarver had one goal. Goalie Jesse Bradley had nine saves. On Friday, Jan. 17 the Blue Streaks played a close game against Ithaca, Saratoga took the win, 4-2. Joe Amodio, Charlie Leary, Ryan McCoskey, and Devon Wormley each scored one goal. Goalie Brad Blake had 18 saves.
SRYMCA/Saratoga Honda Youth Basketball Scores
Blend Realty v. Olsen Associates
Blend Realty-26: Jacob Alexander-15, Robert Tucker-3
Olsen Associates-17: Jacob Hernandez-4, Chris Perera-4, Xavier Rusio-4
PBA v. Cudney’s
PBA-39: Bryant Savage-17, Isaac Ryan-9
Cudney’s-35: Ben Van Valkenberg-12, John Gerardi-12
Village Photo v. Spa Café
Spa Café-52: Everett Smith-14, Joe Reynolds-13
Village Photo-40: Jacob Krygowski-16, Josh L. -9
Pashley Construction v. Vahanian & Associates Financial Planning
Vahanian’s-45: Michael Torani-15, Thomas Mauer-12
Pashley’s-34: Ziyair White-13, Nate Siewert-12
SRYMCA Over 50 Basketball League Scores
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15
Lazy Dog Cookie Company v. Nemer Chryslers
Lazy Dog-68: Scott Clark -34, Todd Mcshane-16
Nemer-54: Steve Brown-33, Frank Pascuito-10
West Side v. Turning Point Chiropractic
Turning Point-76: Bob Hanson-42, Mike Scanlon-14
West Side-48: Dave Wolf-28, Tom Welch-10
Walton’s Sport Shop v. Mama Mia’s Restaurant
Walton’s-56 : Alex Marin-20, Mike Bentley-16
Mama Mia’s-49: Philip Fitrzpatrick-22, Lamont Williams-16
D’Andrea’s Pizza Shop v. Stephen’s Chryslers Jeep Dodge of Greenwich
D’Andrea’s-59: Mike McMorris-19, Scott Waterhouse-12
Stephen’s-48: Paul Gross-22, Jerry Hefferman-22
A Force of Gymnasts to Reckon With
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Gymnastics team is a force of gymnasts to reckon with. They are already having a fabulous season and show no signs of stopping. Gymnast Ava Dallas is ranked 1st all-around.
Saratoga Gymnastics moved to 4-0 on the season by defeating Guilderland 170.85 – 163.25 on Thursday, January 16 at the Wilton YMCA. The team score was the highest of the season for the Blue Streaks. Saratoga secured the top 3 all-around spots led by Ava Dallas (1st all-around; 37.15) followed by Sophia Damiano (2nd all-around; 36.25) and Carly Ruschak (3rd all-around; 33.70). Guilderland’s top all-around performer was Alison Rem (4th all-around; 33.40). Saratoga gymnasts captured the top spot in each of the four individual events with Ava Dallas winning the bars (9.35), the beam (9.60), and the floor (9.20). Sophia Damiano captured the vault (9.45).
Junior Ava Dallas scored a 9.6 on beam Thursday night for the Saratoga Springs High School gymnastics team breaking the school record of 9.575 set by Kaitlin Dewey in 2005. In addition to winning the beam, Dallas also placed first on the floor (9.2), the bars (9.35) and the all-around (37.15) in leading Saratoga to a dual meet win over Guilderland 170.85 – 163.25.
“My beam routine is really starting to come together as I add back in some of my higher level skills,” commented Dallas.
“Honestly, I’m just happy to be able to compete after being sidelined for a few weeks at the beginning of the season with a stress fracture in my back. The doctor suggested that I shut it down for the season, but this sport and this team mean too much to me to miss my junior year.”
Dallas was able to modify her routines and eliminate skills that caused her discomfort.
“My back won’t be fully healed for several more months but right now everything feels good and I’m looking forward to Sectionals and States.”
In addition to the beam record, Dallas also owns the school (and Section 2) record on the vault of 9.475 she set last year at the New York State Gymnastics Championship Meet. Dallas was the Section 2 all-around runner-up in 2019 and was the Section 2 all-around champion in 2018.
Saratoga Springs Gymnastics moved to 5-0 on the season by defeating previously unbeaten Bethlehem 170.75 – 166.35 on Monday, January 20 at the Wilton YMCA. Although the Bethlehem team score broke a school record, the Blue Streaks were too much as they secured 3 of the top 4 all-around spots led by Sophia Damiano (1st all-around; 36.55) followed by Ava Dallas (2nd all-around; 36.10) and Carly Ruschak (4th all-around; 33.85). Bethlehem’s top all-around performer was Alison Gray (3rd all-around; 34.25). Saratoga gymnasts captured the top spot in each of the four individual events with Ava Dallas winning the bars (9.10), the beam (9.15), and the floor (9.10). Sophia Damiano captured the vault (9.25).
Bethlehem has one more shot at ruining Saratoga Springs Gymnastics perfect dual meet season as the Blue Streaks travel to Bethlehem on Thursday, January 30 (6 p.m. start time). Both teams come into the meet with a 4-0 dual meet record. Saratoga Gymnastics has won 18 consecutive Section 2 Gymnastics titles.
Adirondack Thunder to Host Annual Stick it to Cancer Weekend
CAPITAL REGION — The Adirondack Thunder, the Capital Region’s professional hockey team, will raise funds for a critical healthcare organization while honoring those impacted by cancer during the second annual “Stick it to Cancer Weekend,” presented by Glens Falls Hospital, on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8.
The annual event will coincide with the Thunder’s games against ECHL North Division rivals the Newfoundland Growlers at the Cool Insuring Arena in downtown Glens Falls. Faceoff for both games is at 7 p.m. The Thunder will wear specially-designed purple cancer awareness jerseys during the games.
The two-day event will have special meaning to the Thunder as they recognize two players affected by cancer: retired forward Shane Conacher, who was diagnosed at age 24; and current defenseman Jake Linhart. Both underwent treatment for testicular cancer and have been deemed cancer-free.
“We’re proud to once again offer Thunder fans this special opportunity to honor their loved ones impacted by cancer while supporting the C.R. Wood Cancer Center, which provides such vital care and services for so many people in our region,” said Adirondack Thunder President Jeff Mead.
“Cancer has hit close to home for our team during the past two seasons and our players stand with Shane, Jake and the greater Glens Falls community in the ongoing fight against the disease.”
“Stick it to Cancer Weekend” will kick off on Friday night when fans are invited onto the ice following the game for Paint the Ice Night, presented by Colorize. Fans who donate $10 to the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital will be eligible to paint a message on the ice to a loved one affected by cancer. Donations will be accepted at the Glens Falls Hospital table in the main lobby (cash only).
The messages will be iced over on Friday night and the Thunder and Growlers will skate on the painted ice during Saturday evening’s game, which will commence with a ceremonial puck drop by U.S Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st District.
After the completion of Saturday’s contest, fans will have the opportunity to take home one of the Thunder’s purple cancer awareness jerseys during a live auction on the ice rink. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the C.R. Wood Cancer Center. Fans interested in bidding should report to Section C following the game’s conclusion.
A special “Paint Pack” ticket package is available for both “Stick it to Cancer Weekend” games at ECHLthunder.com/stickit. The $40 package includes one ticket each to the Friday and Saturday games; one Paint the Ice voucher; and a commemorative Stick it to Cancer puck.
Individual tickets for either Stick it to Cancer Weekend game or future games can be purchased at the Cool Insuring Arena Box Office or online at ECHLthunder.com.
The Adirondack Thunder is a proud affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. For all the latest Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.
Climbing to the Top
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Alex Lowe, a famous rock climber, once said: “There are two kinds of climbers, those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.”
Speaking with Saratoga Springs senior Vincent Sablich, you can immediately tell which type of climber he is.
“As a kid, I was always wanting to travel the world, enjoy different cultures, see new places, and I became really obsessed with the Himalayas and Mount Everest. I mean, climbing Everest I’d consider to be a whole other sport, but that's where my heart started for this type of passion. Eventually, I just kept begging my parents to let me climb mountains and they became overwhelmed and ended up signing me up for the Rock Sport summer camp. And that's how I found rock climbing,” Sablich explained.
Sablich is sponsored by Beta Labs Athlete, a chalk bag company.
"I competed with the owner's son,” he explained.
He reps their gear and products at competitions and at the gym. Sablich has competed all over the world: he is an 8-time USA Climbing Youth Nationals Competitor; a 3-time USA Climbing Sport Youth Nationals Finalist; Junior Psicobloc Champion in Montreal, Canada; USA Climbing Sport and Speed Youth Regional Champion; and Team USA Competitor, Youth World Climbing in Moscow, Russia.
"Moscow was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was incredible to be able to go overseas to a very foreign and unique country and be able to represent my own nation amongst the top climbers in the world,” he reminisced.
"The main thing I got out of it was personal growth in terms of learning a lot about myself through climbing and where I see myself in the future,” he said.
Sablich also spends time assistant coaching at Rocksport Indoor Climbing Facility and Outdoor Guiding Service; he is also a routesetter there. As an assistant coach, he designs training workouts and activities and gives private lessons. As a routesetter, he designs and installs boulder problems and sport routes on climbing walls.
“Ever since I stepped foot in there for that very first day of summer camp, I became obsessed. I joined the climbing team there and after that, it just took off,” he explained.
Sablich is also the founder of Jessica’s Hollow Haunted Trail Charity Event. They have raised $10,000 for Cindy’s Comfort Camp. He designs and builds the annual haunted trail where he manages 40 volunteers. He is Vice President of National Honor Society, on the high honor roll, and secretary for the Club for Advanced Historical International Studies. He also traveled with Education First in 2019 to Italy.
His parents, Sherry and DJ, are his biggest supporters.
“They've been through everything for me. Climbing isn't a sport that they can go and drop me off, it's somewhere they have to drive 30 mins and back three times a week. When I get off the wall on a bad day, they're the ones who are there to comfort me. My parents have always pretty much been my coach,” he said.
Sablich has qualified for Nationals in June, taking place in Oregon. He plans to pursue rock climbing in college.
National School Choice Week
NATIONWIDE — January 26 – February 1 will be National School Choice Week; this special week offers families around the country a look at all of their children’s options for education.
Several options in New York State exist and they are: Traditional public schools, which is free for all children; Charter public schools, these are also free to attend, they provide traditional education with freedom to innovate; Magnet schools, also free to attend and they tend to focus on specific themes such as performing arts or mathematics; Online public schools, not free and parents considering this option would have to go through a private institution; Private schools are rarely free to attend but some offer scholarships, they may be faith-based; Homeschooling is permitted in all 50 states and does not cost anything.
There will be 2,300 statewide events happening during National School Choice Week to highlight each education option.
For more information visit www.schoolchoiceweek.com for a list of events in the area.
Ballston Spa Teachers Receive VFW Teacher of the Year Awards
BALLSTON SPA — Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 358 in Ballston Spa honored two Ballston Spa teachers during a recent awards ceremony. The Veterans of Foreign Wars offer a variety of nationally accredited awards and scholarships for both students and teachers.
Megan LaRowe, a fifth-grade teacher at Gordon Creek Elementary School, and Dan Hornick, a Social Studies teacher at Ballston Spa High School, were awarded the Smart/Mahar VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year Award from the local post.
The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America’s history and traditions effectively. Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime candidates for this award.
Congratulations to the Ballston Spa teachers receiving this notable recognition. Information about all of the scholarships and programs the Veterans of Foreign Wars have to offer can be found at VFW.org.
Launching Pad Presents Frozen Jr. in Ballston Spa
BALLSTON SPA — Launching Pad Productions, the Ballston Spa Middle School drama club, presents the musical Frozen Jr. as this year’s annual production. It is perfect for families of all shapes and sizes.
Frozen Jr. will be performed by a cast of over 50 students with another 60+ crew members putting the show together behind the scenes. Performances will be held on Friday, January 31, Saturday, February 1, Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 at 7 p.m. There will also be a matinee performance at 1 p.m. on February 1 and 8. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased at the door before each performance.
In conjunction with Launching Pad Productions, the Rotary Club of Ballston Spa will be in the lobby before each performance collecting non-perishable food items for their annual Spread the Love Food Drive to benefit food pantries in Ballston Spa. Please consider bringing a few non-perishable food items with you when you come to enjoy Frozen Jr.
The show is directed and produced by Middle School teacher Joseph Shaver; choreographed by Sarah VanAernem; music directed by Laurie Huck; scene and lighting design by Patrick Ferlo; and costumes by Melissa Glastetter and Dawn Nolan. Please contact the Ballston Spa Middle School for additional information at 518.884.7200 or visit the website at www.bscsd.org.
BSHS Student Artwork Featured at the Saratoga All Stars Exhibition
BALLSTON SPA — Ballston Spa High School students were recently selected to exhibit their work at the annual Saratoga All Stars Art Show. Their work is on display from January 11 – February 8, 2020 at the Saratoga Arts Center with the work of other students from throughout Saratoga, Fulton & Montgomery counties.
Students who had their artwork selected for the show include Mason Malpass, Leah Thimineur, Lindsey Warner, Shelby Whitney, Alexys Donnley, Brandy Walosin, Savannah Ingram, Lexi Lumley, Sarah Helly, Mallory Czimbal, Anna Harmon, and Sabrina Hu.
Additional information is at www.saratoga-arts.org/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/.
Vocal Scholarship Competition
CAPITAL DISTRICT — The Burnt Hills Oratorio Society (BHOS), under the direction of Dr. William Jon Gray, will hold its 23nd annual vocal scholarship competition for high school seniors. Two scholarships will be awarded to the top two competitors along with an opportunity to sing in a BHOS concert. Applicants need not plan a career in music, but the scholarships are intended to facilitate the continued study of singing in college. This year's audition will be held on Sunday, April 5 at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills. Details and applications can be found a www.bhos.us/award. Deadline is March 7, 2020.
Athlete of the Week: Joe Amodio
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “First of all, be a good teammate. Try to do anything that helps the team, then the teammate, then yourself. Team first. That’s something to go by,” Joe Amodio, a senior ice hockey player at Saratoga Springs High School said.
Amodio has been playing ice hockey since he was nine after playing soccer and baseball before that.
“My dad was always a big Rangers fan, so I just gravitate towards the sport. Eventually, it took over as my number one and it’s all I ever do now,” Amodio explained.
Amodio is an assistant captain for the varsity team and plays center, wing, and “whatever coach tells me to.” Mostly, he plays forward.
Amodio takes his leadership position on the team, and in life, seriously. He is the oldest of five; he has four younger sisters that range from age 15 to six months.
“Being a leader is something that is hard to teach, it’s hard to learn. It is developed over time. I’ve had a lot of good mentors, former captains, coaches, my parents are really involved with me. I have a really big family that taught me a lot about being a leader by example and what it really takes to be a leader,” Amodio said.
The two older sisters also play hockey and he thinks the two younger girls will also.
On the ice, Amodio is there to score and set his teammates up for success. He stresses being prepared for whatever the game throws at them.
“At the end of the day, you’re trying to put the winning effort out there,” he said matter of factly.
Amodio knows the team’s record this season so far but he really doesn’t think it shows how good of a team they are.
“Overall, the boys are going really well, we’re very happy and working hard every day at practice to get better,” he explained.
Amodio also plays travel hockey before and after the high school season, as well as participating in camps. He has been accepted into multiple colleges, including Sienna, which is his top choice, but he hasn’t made a decision yet. He wants to go for accounting and become a CPA, following in his dad, Charles’, footsteps. He has a girlfriend of a year and a half, Shannon Thomas. He is also proud to call Kimberly DeMarco-Amodio his mom. DeMarco-Amodio was a student at Saratoga Springs also and was an All-American player for soccer and lacrosse.
His advice to anyone thinking about trying ice hockey is “just get out there and have fun!”
We look forward to seeing how your season pans out, Joe!