SARATOGA SPRINGS — Joseph Bokan, an 18-year-old, recent graduate from Saratoga Springs Central School District has his sights set on Fordham University in the fall, which is a different view for him after spending the last six and half years rowing through Saratoga Rowing Association (SRA).
“A mutual friend of my fathers’, Jordan, brought me to the boathouse for the first time. I got shown around, I met a few kids who I’m still friends with, from then it just grew on me. Then I joined as a varsity rower,” Bokan said, explaining how he got involved with SRA.
His parents were happy to jump on board when he decided to join after finding out how many opportunities the sport presented to him; “we found out how you really become friends with your buddies in your boat for so long, and she was all for it as well,” he said.
Spring and fall are the main racing seasons with winter training indoors and summer training out on the water.
“In the summer, it’s a bit less competitive but it’s more so to keep fit throughout the summer and have some fun. For the most part, it’s pretty much a year-round sport. I think spring is our most competitive with the fall being a bit less competitive,” he explained.
As a kid, Bokan played the typical sports: basketball, baseball, and soccer. Once he joined rowing, he lost the excess time to devote to any other sport.
“It’s so important to be there for every practice and it’s basically a year-round sport, I really didn’t have time to play any other sports, but I’m happy I just rowed because it was hard enough and there was so much time committed to it that it just worked out anyways,” he stated.
Since Bokan is so aware of the time commitment it takes to succeed on the water, he has elected not to pursue the rowing club at Fordham his freshmen year, “because rowing ended on such a great note this spring,” to mainly focus on his academics.
Bokan cannot declare a major until his sophomore year but he is looking to major in finance with a minor in economics.
Though he does realize, “at any point I can join the team at Fordham if I end up missing it too much and there’s a good chance I will end up doing it,” he laughed.
“Over the past four years I have made it to Scholastic Nationals. In my freshman and junior year, we ended up winning nationals. Freshman year was in a two-person boat and in junior year I won in a four-person boat, and this last year we ended up not winning, but it was just so great to get to Scholastic Nationals for the fourth time, especially the seniors, since it’s so competitive in senior events. It really just ended on a high note because I was still with all my friends and it was kind of a last hoorah for all of us before we go off to college,” Bokan reminisced.
SRA has the Head of the Fish and the Tail of the Fish Regattas each year and Bokan prefers the Head of the Fish because it is “a much larger regatta than the Tail of the Fish, and I think it was the largest high school junior rowing regatta in the entire U.S. It’s just such a great time because I’ve met a lot of people from other crews that are from Seattle or Los Angeles that are coming to this regatta from all the way across the U.S. and it’s just a great time to meet new people. Just the magnitude of the regatta itself, it’s like a parade practically,” he explained.
Bokan credits both of his parents for being the most supportive in his rowing career. His mom would work the regattas and make sure everything went smoothly behind the scenes while his dad always volunteered his time in the boathouse if there were ever any maintenance issues.
“At every single one of my races, they were there supporting me over the bridge, rooting for my boat,” he explained.
Rowing is clearly near to Bokan’s heart, he describes it as a great sport with amazing opportunities attached and the opportunity to make life- long friendships.
SARATOGA-WILTON YOUTH BASEBALL (SWYB) LEAGUE WRAP-UP
Pitch Hit & Run Sectional Competition
SARATOGA SPRINGS - In May, SWYB hosted approximately 100 families from the area to participate in the MLB Pitch Hit & Run. Although none of their home players advanced to the next round at Yankee Stadium this year, it was a great rain-soaked afternoon for those who qualified to come here from their local competitions.
Said SWYB President, Joe Rigabar “It’s really an honor for our league to host folks from all over the NorthEast on behalf of Major League Baseball. We had a great group of volunteers who pulled off a successful event for these youth athletes in pretty horrendous conditions."
Spring Rec Ball Championships
SARATOGA SPRINGS - SWYB completed their most successful Spring Rec season yet with over 500 kids participating at all age groups. Teams played a regular season of 12 games before entering a bracket style playoff run. On Saturday, June 16, the Championship Games were held at Gavin Park.
In the 12u Majors Division, Ben & Jerry’s coached by Richard Oliver-Goodwin beat out Logistics One by a score of 9 - 7.
In the 10u Minors Division, Coach Erik Geckler and the boys of Mirabito Energy edged out Saratoga Spring Water by a score of 6 - 5.
Steve Arpey Sportsmanship Award Winners
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Presented to players who exemplify our ideas of sportsmanship, leadership, and teamwork in honor of Coach Arpey’s passion for baseball and dedication to our League.
Players honored with this award included Rodell Evans, Addison Sperry, Ethan Ford, Jordan Garafalo, Macallan Gange, Kihl Kelly, Jack Lowery, Jesse Dunn, Daniel Hancock, Daniel Romei, Justin Mullis, Luke Manuel & Tyler Kaste.
Summer All Stars
SARATOGA SPRINGS - SWYB is sending six SWYB Blue Sox teams to the Cal Ripken All Star District Tournaments this summer, from ages 8u to 12u.
From June 28 - July 1, they will host the 9u District Tournament at East Side Rec with teams from Clifton Park, Ballston Spa, Burnt Hills & Queensbury as well as our own Blue Sox.
They will also be hosting the NENY State Championships here at East Side starting on July 5th.
SARATOGA SPRINGS LITTLE LEAGUE
SECOND ANNUAL ADIRONDACK CUP
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Minors AAA team, Gateway Dermatology, defeated the Glens Falls team, Talk of the Town, 7 to 6 in extra innings. Our team (Gateway) was down 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, and they rallied to score four runs to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Big hits from Jackson Covell, Colin Mack and Conner Macaluso led our rally in the sixth inning. After a quick top of the seventh inning, their offense went right back to work by scoring the game winning run on an RBI single by Jackson Covell.
SARATOGA STRIKE ZONE FOOTBOWL
SARATOGA SPRINGS - WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS, JAGUARS REMAIN WINLESS:
On a stormy Monday night, thunder struck for Rick Bogholtz as he fired 257,235,246 for the high series of the night with a 738. The Dolphins were electrified as they stormed through the Jaguars leaving them winless on the season at 0-6. Colin Tschantret bowled his new high score of a 216 and Kevin Ngo threw the ever popular 276 in his first game of the evening. The league will have a make-up on Thursday, July 21, so be prepared for double the news next week!
Other high scores for the night were:
Gus Pakatar 234,277,206 =717
Ryan Seymour 237,223,258= 718
Chris Smith 248,211,256 = 715
Steve Hall 220,236,241 = 697
Joe Gatzendorfer 188,256,246 = 690
Chaz Senecal 243,209,237 = 689
Christian Baitinger 221,232,227 = 680
Press release contributed by Chaz Senecal.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature) is back this summer and fall with their Yoga Along the Trail event. Pre-registration is required, class size is limited, and it is $15 per class. Only sneakers and stretching clothing is required, no yoga mat needed.
“We thought maybe yoga would be a good one to try because our trails lend itself well to it and the activity of using nature as an inspiration for either poses or just natural processes that you might witness out there can be used for some of the getting unstuck or getting rejuvenated,” explained Maria Trabka, Executive Director at Saratoga PLAN.
Trabka thought of the idea after attending yoga at the YMCA with a, “really great instructor. I just had the idea that it would be a fun way to introduce people to our trails and also our preserves that are open to the public,” she said.
Dana, a Saratoga PLAN employee, is also a yoga instructor, so she was able to help with the planning and instructor search.
“It’s fun for the teachers as well to get out and use a different space. You don’t bring a mat or anything like that... This is really just utilizing the spaces out there along the trail,” Trabka said.
“This is for people of all ages and abilities. You don’t have to feel like an expert or anything like that. If you’re interested in seeing a new place or having a new experience along the way, it’s just quite a nice experience for people,” Trabka said.
Trabka stated they have considered doing a self-guided yoga tour, in which they create stations along the trail with a yoga pose and suggested meditation on a sign.
“It’s just nice to have air and sounds and breezes and all of those things that if you slow down a little bit, a lot of times I think people use the trails and maybe don’t take the time to really observe and slow down, but more like march down that trail and get it done and check it off your list,” Trabka said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — As part of its popular ongoing farm tour series, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will present special tours of Old Tavern Farm and McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds. The tour of Old Tavern Farm will take place on Saturday, June 30 at 11 a.m. and the McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds tour will take place on Tuesday, July 10 at 11 a.m. The tours cost $25 each for Museum members and $30 each for non-members. A catered lunch is served on both tours. The tours will cover the grounds and facilities and provide an opportunity to meet the resident thoroughbreds and foals at the farms. Transportation is not included with these tours. Reservations are required for these events and space is limited. Please call the Museum’s tour line at 518584-0400 ext. 120 to reserve your spot or 518-584-0400 ext. 118 for additional information.
Following lunch at the McMahon tour, participants can choose to visit the Museum for a guided tour for $5 per person or receive a free pass to visit at their convenience. Everyone in attendance for the Old Tavern Tour will be given a free pass to the Museum to be used at their convenience. Old Tavern Farm is located at 45 Brown Rd., Saratoga Springs, while McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds is at 180 Fitch Rd., Saratoga Springs. To learn more about the farms, please visit: oldtavernfarms.com and mcmahonthoroughbreds.com. For more information about the Museum, including special events and program offerings, please call 518-584-0400 or visit our website at www.racingmuseum.org.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Lynn O’Rourke, the K-2 reading teacher at Lake Avenue School, has been integrating therapy dogs into her curriculum for over 10 years, ending each year with a celebration.
“I actually started it earlier than 10 years ago when I worked at Caroline Street School and then when I went to Lake Ave, I brought it with me, so, it’s just been something that I’ve done every year to congratulate the kids on all of their reading efforts,” O’Rourke explained.
When she first started, after an inquiry many years ago from a student’s parent who had a certified dog she wanted to bring to the classroom, O’Rourke only had the one therapy dog, so she only ran the program once a week. This last school year, at least four to six therapy dogs sat in with the second graders at least four times a week. O’Rourke strives to run the program at the end of every day in her classroom. The reaction has always been extremely positive with the kids. At the end of the year, students are asked to recall their events from the past year and the majority of them always say that reading with the dogs is the best part of second grade.
“Sometimes I’ll reach out to other grade levels because the upper grade level students miss it so much and the younger kids see it happening, so if the second graders can’t do it that day I usually try and tap into one of the other grades,” O’Rourke said.
While O’Rourke and her husband do not have any dogs personally, due to traveling commitments, she loves running the program.
“The kids always want to read with the dogs. They become attached, they see the dogs in the hallway. One of the dogs actually spent the last two weeks in the library so when the kids came to the library, all k-5 students, got to read with the dogs,” she said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Katelyn Ginley, a Saratoga Springs High School junior, has a set of different extra curriculars than most 17-year-old girls. Ginley has been singing for seniors longer than she can remember and is sometimes accompanied by her 14-year-old sister Jane, 12-year-old sister Ava, and 8-year-old sister Ryann.
“Since my great-grandparents were in senior homes, I’ve been singing in senior homes and performing for them and I have continued that since my greatgrandmother’s death in 2014. I go almost every week to either the Home of the Good Shepherd or other nursing homes in the area,” Ginley explained.
Ginley’s program, Sisters for Smiles, started at The Wesley Community, a nursing home in Saratoga Springs, migrating to the Home of the Good Shepherd when it opened near her home. While entertaining, Ginley plays her acoustic guitar and sings a wide range: everything from John Denver to Johnny Cash to recent radio hits, depending on her audience. When Ginley plays at children events, she learns all of the Disney songs for them.
“She plays a crazy amount of variety,” said Jennifer Ginley, Katelyn’s proud mom.
“I also play for special needs children and at Double H Ranch. I also play shows, I played in Caffe Lena last summer, and I did the Victorian Street Walk,” Ginley elaborated.
Though Ginley has taken guitar lessons since second grade, singing has always come naturally to her. Now, however, she is taking singing lessons to perfect her talent.
“I’ve always loved singing since I was a baby. I sing constantly, and I think it started from my love of princesses. I just would watch the movies,” Ginley explained.
“From years of visiting grandparents, I have learned that you can never visit often enough or stay long enough. An unplanned visit from kids coupled with a song or two can really brighten someone’s day,” Ginley said.
Though it will be an extremely busy summer for Ginley, she will be looking at several colleges and managing her families’ parking lot by Kings Tavern for track season. She also works part-time at American Eagle Outfitters. Ginley plans to perform as much as she can.
“I’m going to focus on the music whenever I can, as much as I can, hopefully every week,” she said.
Ginley hopes to pursue a biology or science-related field with a minor in music once she graduates from Saratoga Springs High in 2019.
“I will definitely find time in college to continue my community service,” she said defiantly.
“She’s looking for more gigs this summer,” her mom laughed.
“If any of the readers are interested in having me play, I’d love to,” Ginley continued.
To schedule a musical visit from Ginley, organizations may call 518-893-0686.
Saratoga Strike Zone Bowling Scores - Monday, 6/11
SARATOGA SPRINGS — COMPANION FIRES 814, RAMS STAY UNDEFEATED Monday night proved to be one for the books as Kenny Companion Jr shot 279,289 and 246 for an 814 triple. A solid bowling night for him helped his rams stay undefeated. The Bills were the only other team with a perfect record but that ended
Monday night when they tied the Steelers.
Other great scores for the night include:
Larry Hayes: 258,278,257 =793
Bob Forbes: 268,216,269 = 753
Ross Boone Jr.: 243,258,244 = 745
Neil Gahl: 258,227,235 = 720
Justin Young fired a 280 on his last game
Saratoga Regional YMCA Basketball Playoffs [ OVER 25-YEAR-OLD LEAGUE ]:
TEAM LOMBARDO 78 – TEAM REED 59
In the first quarter of the final play-off game, Alex Ventre exploded for a game high 41 points, teammates Dwayne Hazel 18 points and Ryan Ventre 10 points also helped in the win. Team Reed got 12 points apiece from Joe McLaughlin and Garris Ramsdell in the loss.
TEAM SIKORA 64 – TEAM EMERY 55
In the second game of the play-offs the feisty play of team captain Renny Sikora who was all over the court playing defense, grabbing rebounds, diving for loose balls and scoring seven points contributed to an upset win for Team Sikora over Team Emery by the score of 64 to 55. Camdon Spenser led his team in scoring with 17 points, along with 15 points from Rick Sicari, Kevin Lindsey and Zach Manrique each contributed 12 points in the victory. Andrew Armstrong scored 20 points, Travis Ramsey 17 points and Blake Rizzi had 14 points in the loss.
Saratoga Honda Donates to SRYMCA Summer Basketball League
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Honda has donated to the SRYMCA summer basketball league again. “We partnered up when I first came back to the Y in 2015. I had left and when I returned, I came right to Tim, the owner of Saratoga Honda, and asked him if he would help sponsor the league and he kindly donated. Tim was really kind and he said, ‘yeah sure!’ I didn’t even have to give him a big spiel,” Mike Laudicina, basketball league coordinator, laughed. “Without sponsors, we would obviously have to raise the priceand that’s hard especially for the folks on scholarship,” said Andrew Bobbitt, CEO of SRYMCA.
“It’s nice to find partners in the community that will help kids and this league,” Laudicina stated.
ROUND LAKE — Capital District Sport and Fitness (CDSF), the Capital Region’s new premiere sports performance and fitness facility, is hosting a grand opening event on Saturday, June 23, to benefit the It’s OK to Dream Foundation. The opening will support Capital District youth programs through the It’s OK to Dream Foundation. The grand opening will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Various hour-long classes will be offered throughout the day for those looking to experience one of CDSF’s world-class fitness programs or simply work out for a good cause. A minimum donation of $5 will be required for each class. All proceeds from the day will support the It’s OK to Dream Foundation, a charity founded by University at Albany football star and former NFL player Rashad Barksdale. The foundation benefits youth organizations and programs in the Capital District.
CDSF GRAND OPENING CLASS SCHEDULE: 9 a.m. – Adult Group Training Met-Con Class 10 a.m. – Youth Athletic Development Class 11 a.m. – High School and Youth Athlete Q&A/Meet and Greet with Rashad Barksdale 11:30 a.m. – Sports Performance Class Following the classes, CDSF will be providing the community food and drink from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Those who attend will receive special promotional offers for CDSF memberships, the chance to win CDSF apparel, and the opportunity to explore the facility and talk with CDSF staff. Raffles will also be available to support the It’s OK to Dream Foundation.
The following local businesses generously donated their products for the event: Death Wish Coffee - Gift Basket Tri-City Valley Cats- Tickets Colorize Inc.- 2 Gallons of Paint of Your Choice CDSF is located at 21 Wood Rd #100 in Round Lake, NY. Capital District Sport and Fitness is a sports performance and fitness facility designed to increase strength and improve quality of life for residents of New York’s Capital District. CDSF provides members with fitness training, a supportive community, and education to help get them out of their workout rut, performing their best, and seeing results that last. CDSF was founded by Mike Sirani and Dan Jones, two Capital Region natives who’ve returned home to provide the community with a gym that supports, motivates, and educates its members. Mike and Dan have trained hundreds of athletes, from motivated high school students to established professionals, at world-renowned training facilities across the U.S. They’ve worked with players from the MLB, MLS, and MiLB, learning how to best support athletes looking to reach the next level.
To learn more, please visit capitaldistrictsportandfitness.com.
Its Ok to Dream was founded by Rashad Barksdale, who grew up in the small city of Hudson, NY. Sports have always been a big part of his life, keeping him busy and out of trouble. Rashad played varsity basketball, baseball and football at Hudson High. He had the privilege of continuing playing baseball and football in college at the University at Albany where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. After four years of baseball, Rashad walked on to the University at Albany football team and quickly became a starting cornerback. His success was rewarded at the 2007 NFL draft, during which he was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 6th round. He was the first player in UAlbany history to be named to a 53-man roster and play in an NFL game. Rashad says it was a blessing to continue his football journey in the NFL, but it also enabled him to fill another passion of his— community service. To learn more, please visit itsok2dream.org.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Katie West, a 17-year-old recent graduate from Saratoga Central Catholic is no stranger to chasing her goals; she was a cross-country and track and field star with plans to run her first half marathon in October, where she’ll be attending Loyola University in Maryland and majoring in English. The reason she became so invested in running? That’s easy.
“Honestly, just having something to do every day after school, I always loved that. Overall, just the team and being able to always have a group of kids to have your back and being a part of something,” West explained.
West transferred from Shenendehowa to Saratoga Central Catholic in tenth grade.
“Transferring gave me such a better opportunity to excel, not only in athletics, but in so many other clubs that I’ve participated in, and it gave me the chance to be a captain and a leader and learn so many things that I don’t think I could have learned at a bigger school,” West said.
West was a team captain for cross-country. Leadership responsibilities included a lot of little things; making sure all of the girls are doing what they’re supposed to do, making sure everyone is revved up and ready to go.
“Our team had a lot of younger girls so that was definitely something cool to be a mentor and a captain,” West explained humbly.
West’s inspiration to run came from her mother and grandmother.
“My grandma and my mom have always been huge marathon runners and just runners in general so when the time came in seventh grade to join a modified sport, cross-country was a natural fit,” she said.
“I like that it isn’t like any other sport. There’s no ref, there’s no time out, or penalty box, or benches. It’s an individual sport and it’s also a team sport and I think I really like that aspect of it. It’s all on you but it also can affect your teammates,” West stated.
Spa Catholic is widely known for their charity work and encouraging their students to follow suit.
“Spa Catholic is very big on charity work so when I first came, it was a little different for me, but I love being able to do so many charities through Spa Catholic and to see how motivated all of the teachers are and how many community service programs and opportunities they have for everybody. Besides that, my family has always been really big on giving back and my parents of course are huge on giving back so I think that’s really inspired me,” she said.
West was a part of Peer Ministry, which is an organization mainly focused on connecting and helping the younger students at Spa Catholic; Community Service Club; President of the student government, where she did a lot of work with Code Blue, Shelters of Saratoga, Ronald McDonald House, and more; the Fresh Air Fund; and last year she went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with the Foundation of Peace. West cites her family and coaches, Damian Fantauzzi and Bryan Halligan, as her biggest supporters throughout her high school athletic career.
“Definitely my family, they’ve never missed a race or a track meet. And of course my coaches, Damian Fantauzzi and Bryan Halligan, have always supported me and given me so many opportunities,” she said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — With summer break just around the corner, kids and families who rely on free and reduced lunch programs during the school year often become more vulnerable to food insecurity during school vacations. That’s why Fingerpaint, a marketing agency headquartered in Saratoga Springs, New York, is asking people to embrace their inner lunch lady this summer to help combat hunger in the communities surrounding each of their offices. Fingerpaint launched Operation Lunch Lady in partnership with The Pack Shack on April 16. Knowing that kids often face an increased risk of hunger during summer break and food pantry donations often dwindle, the team came up with a creative way to raise awareness and funds using the beloved unsung hero, the lunch lady, to get people excited to help.
With a commitment to matching up to $15,000, Fingerpaint will raise the necessary funds to purchase nutritious and easyto-prepare meals from The Pack Shack to donate to three hunger relief organizations in the communities surrounding Fingerpaint offices in Saratoga Springs, NY, Conshohocken, Penn., and Scottsdale, Ariz. The effort marks Fingerpaint’s second annual company-wide Philanthropy Day, during which its offices will close on June 29 to allow employees to work together simultaneously at each location toward a common goal. Last year, they raised more than $11,000 to help kids in foster care. This year, the company hopes to raise a total of $30,000 (including the company match) to tackle food insecurity, which will end up providing more than 65,000 meals across the country. The Pack Shack, a Midwest-based humanitarian organization, will send crews to each Fingerpaint office to host “Feed the Funnel Parties.” Fingerpainters will get their lunch lady on, donning hairnets, aprons, and gloves, cranking up awesome music, and creating thousands of meals from dry ingredients in an assembly line. The assembly line will include: funnels (where ingredients are poured into a funnel to fill a bag), scales (where bags are weighed for accuracy), heat sealers (where bags are sealed), and boxes (where the bags are put into cases). Once packed, the meals will be given to local hunger relief organizations in New York, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
“We know that the risk for food insecure families goes up during school breaks, so we wanted to find a way to raise awareness and work together to feel like we can make an impact. We figured a Feed the Funnel party would be both fun and productive, and we can make sure it feeds families in our surrounding communities,” said Bo Goliber, who heads up Philanthropy efforts at Fingerpaint.