[Photo by SuperSource Media, LLC]
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ashton Capone, a senior at Saratoga Springs High School, recently reset the school’s record for number of touchdowns in a game with six, following up with five touchdowns the game afterward.
“Honestly, it felt like a big accomplishment but like I’ve said before, all of the credit has to go to the line, obviously, because without them the hole wouldn’t open up,” Capone said.
Capone has been playing football since he began Pop Warner in sixth grade; he is a running back and outside linebacker. Before his record-setting game, his most touchdowns in a game this season was two. He recently decided to stop playing baseball in order to focus solely on football and the sport that would help him succeed the most at football, track. He runs in the winter and spring.
“Growing up, I really enjoyed baseball and looked forward to it and then eventually, I played it for the school, and then after that I decided to just play travel. After travel, I’m coming down to where it’s, you know, getting later in my years and I’ve got to start focusing on football,” Capone said.
He cites track as “playing a big role in building speed for football.”
“I found out that I did fairly well in spring track and managed to take a sectional title, so I’m focusing on that in spring and winter,” he explained.
He played shortstop and was a starting pitcher on the baseball field.
“I already knew my plans in what I wanted to pursue, and that was football, I’ve always had a passion for football. So, it has basically come down to what is going to help me for football and baseball wasn’t really that. I knew my weakness going into this season was going to be speed because I worked all summer on building strength; and so I knew that I had to compliment it with speed. So I knew I had to give up baseball because it came around the same time as track and when it came down to it, my main priority was to build speed,” he stated.
Capone plans to continue playing football in college, he just explored SUNY Cortland and is visiting Pace soon. He wants to study physical training. To him, this football season isn’t all about winning. His team is a group of friends who get together every Thursday night to play video games, eat dinner, and talk.
“Everyone’s friends. It’s all about bringing each other up and never bringing each other down,” he explained.
He credits his parents, Fahren and Patrick Capone, as his biggest supporters. The Longest Yard is his favorite football themed movie.
“That’s a favorite from my younger days,” he explains.
Local Athletes Excel on National Level
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A number of kids from our area are making a name for themselves in the world of Ninja Warrior competitions. One will appear on the reality TV show American Ninja Warrior Jr., and five others will head to the National Ninja League World Finals. Ollie Huss, a fourth grader from Saratoga Springs, is a local TV star now. Huss will be featured in the inaugural season of American Ninja Warrior Jr., airing Saturdays at 7 p.m. on Universal Kids.
On how he was chosen, Huss said this: “they asked a certain amount of people to submit a video to cast on the show and if they got picked, they got a call back telling them they were on the show. The call back for me to be on the show felt really good. Especially knowing that this is something I’ve been dedicating my entire life to,” said the 9-year-old.
Huss and his family traveled to Los Angeles for three days, so he could compete for the show.
“I liked LA, it was really hot there,” he said.
Huss says his best ninja skills come from his upper-body strength. He wants to improve his balance, though.
“I’m trying to balance on skinnier ledges to help me improve,” he explained.
Huss practices daily for three to four hours. He also enjoys competitive climbing, playing the piano, and skiing.
“I’m really good at skiing,” he stated.
Huss has decided he wants to be a national climber when he grows up. continued from front page...
“When I first saw American Ninja Warrior, everyone that did it usually had a background of gymnastics and climbing… I’ve done gymnastics, I wasn’t exactly the best at it,” he laughed, “but it was fun to try.”
Huss said that seeing himself on tv is “hard to believe.”
Saratoga Ninja Lab has five athletes qualified for the National Ninja League World Finals this February in Connecticut; Keegan Daly and Rya Torres both took first place their divisions at Action Athletics National Ninja League Competition. Georgia Boggs also placed in her division; Joey Barr also qualified for finals; and Leah Torres powered through her run after a small stumble early on.
“I’m just so incredibly proud of them,” said coach Randi Cowper.
“These kids have been training here since we opened, they came to summer camp and we knew when we were talking about a ninja team that these guys and girls definitely had to be a part of it. They work so hard and it shows in their training,” Cowper continued.
So far, the Saratoga Ninja Lab has had five kids compete in two different competitions and four of the five competitors have qualified for the world finals.
“That’s unheard of, and I know we’re going to have more as the season goes on,” Cowper stated.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs City School District continues its communityfocused mission of supporting families and community members through Parent University, a series of free, informative programs.
Parent University recognizes that behind each successful student are supportive families, teachers, school staff and community members who actively participate in a student’s education.
Upcoming programs include:
• Tuesday, October 23: “Why Kids Give Up Too Easily, Lack Grit and Fail to Take Initiative!” presented by Dr. Cale. This program will be held in the Dorothy Nolan Elementary School Cafeteria at 9:30 a.m. Kids today give up when things get tough, choosing the easy path instead. Learn about raising kids with GRIT, which contains the power of resilience, persistence and passion. These tips will teach your kids the value of “giving it your all” in order to reap deep rewards in life.
• Tuesday, October 30: “Supporting Our LGBTQ+ Loved Ones” presented by James Shultis. This program will be held in the Maple Avenue Middle School Large Group Instruction room (on the second floor) at 6:30 p.m. Join our community for a interactive evening to bolster our support for youth who identify as LGBTQ+. Learn about gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and the resources available to ensure youth and their families are supported and connected in their identities and experiences.
• Wednesday, November 7: “Right Under Your Nose” presented by the Prevention Council. This program will be held at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Would you know what to look for if you suspected your teen of using drugs or alcohol? Walk through our mock teen room and see if you can spot cause for concern.
• Thursday, November 8: Sweethearts and Heroes Parent Program. The parent presentation promises to be as engaging and value packed as the student presentations. The focus is for attendees to gain new perspective on many topics related to technology, cyber bullying, bullying vs. conflict, adolescent brain science and best parenting practices. This program will be held at Lake Avenue Elementary School at 6 p.m.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Saratoga Casino Hotel reached a monumental achievement in the history of the 77-year-old property: since expanding the harness track into New York State’s debut VLT facility in January 2004, the casino has officially contributed one billion dollars to New York State Education.
Saratoga Casino Hotel contributes 48 percent of their total gaming revenues to New York State Education on a weekly basis, where the funds are then allocated across the region and state accordingly. With only nine gaming facilities across the state that are a part of the New York State Gaming Association, Saratoga Casino Hotel is only the third property to surpass the billion-dollar threshold for education contributions.
“Since opening the doors to our casino in 2004, we’ve worked diligently to develop an historic harness track into a strong entertainment destination for our region and New York State,” said Daniel Gerrity, President of Saratoga Casino Hotel.
“This is something we’re very proud of, and we could not have achieved this without the commitment of our team members, unions and trades staff,” Gerrity continued.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — From 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 13, Steve Remis will be using his brand-new hand cycle to take on the 18th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge at Spa State Park. This will be Remis’ second Great Pumpkin Challenge and the first race he’s done with his new handcycle. Remis, 47, began racing via his hand cycle in 2016, the year in which he did a whopping six races.
“I don’t believe in the words ‘can’t or don’t.’ After doing all of the races I’ve done, I don’t feel like anything is impossible.” Remis says, of all components of his life, not just racing.
Paralyzed from the waist down from Spina Bifida, Remis carries on.
“I have an upper body that is like King Kong,” he said.
Remis does 10Ks using a handcycle, which is a humanpowered land vehicle powered by the arms rather than the legs.
“My assistant manager and I, from my group home, would take one of the vans and drive each course, so I would know where the hills were. My old handcycle had no power, just three speeds. It went down to two because I lost second gear. I don’t know how that happened,” he laughed.
Remis’ sister purchased a new handcycle for him this year, “to the tune of four-thousand dollars,” and now he is ready to race again. His new handcycle has five speeds, reverse, a parking brake, and a hand brake.
“I surprise people because they think I’m going to do the 5k and I’m like ‘5k? no, 10k!’ I’ve had people collapse in shock. That was with my old hand cycle which was like 40 years old,” he explained.
Remis’ first handcycle was purchased for him in 1978 by his mother after she saw an ad for one in the newspaper. He had been using a six-wheeled vehicle called a Well-Rider that was as low as a car’s headlights. He used that handcycle until just recently, it lasted 40 years. All of the money raised through The Great Pumpkin Challenge goes back into the programs and services provided by Saratoga Bridges, so Remis and his friends are directly affected by this race.
“[Racing is] very fulfilling, I enjoy it and have enjoyed it for the last few years that I’ve done it. It was a no-brainer, I’m doing The Great Pumpkin Challenge again this year,” Remis said.
He was hesitant about The Great Pumpkin Challenge at first though, because he hasn’t raced at all this year, then when he learned he was getting his new handcycle via
the mail on time, he was ready to go.
“Back in 2016 I said, ‘I don’t race to win, I race to finish.’ so as long as I get across the finish line,” he said.
All of the money raised through The Great Pumpkin Challenge goes back into programs and services provided by Saratoga Bridges.
SRYMCA Over 50 Basketball League 2018-2019 Announcement
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Regional YMCA Over 50 Basketball League will begin its 13th season. Signups are now open at the Membership Desk of any SRYMCA Branch, or online for YMCA Members at srymca. org. New Player Evaluation will be October 17, First Game schedule for October 31. Games are played Wednesday nights. Dues are $130 for members and $260 for non-members. Sponsors and Team Captains are needed. For additional info call Paige Minear at 518-583–YMCA (9622), ext 120.
Spa Catholic Volleyball
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Central Catholic hosted Hoosic Valley in league play Saints won 3-0; scores 25-22,25-19,25-21. Highlights for the Saints: 10-1 league, 11-2 overall; Elise Browell 9 service points, 2 aces, 23 assist; MaryClare Pikus 4 kills, 5 digs Kennedy Murphy 5 kills, 4 digs; Grace O’Reilly 12 service points, 4 aces, 8 kills, 4 digs; Molly O’Reilly 10 service points, 6 aces, 3 digs. Highlights for the Indians: 3-9 league, 3-10 overall; Samantha Finkle 3 kills, 1 ace; Shannon Brown 3 kills, 5 assist; Olivia Smith 3 kills, 1 ace.
Saratoga Field Hockey
Saratoga at Nisky - Oct. 5
Scores made by: Kylie Folts; Lindsay Frank (3), one assisted by Katelyn Ginley; Haley Waghorn. 5-0 Toga
Saratoga at Glens Falls - Oct. 8
Scores made by: Haley Waghorn assisted by Lindsay Frank; Lindsay Frank assisted by Anna Dennett; Lindsay Frank assisted by Olivia Vukelic; Haley Waghorn; Grace Sablich assisted by Katelyn Ginley. 5-0 Toga
Oliver Huss Featured on American Ninja Warrior Junior
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Oliver Huss, 9, whose family owns Saratoga Ninja Garage, will be featured on the brand-new season/show American Ninja Warrior Junior. Huss was cast for the show after submitting videos in his local garage and becoming a nationally ranked ninja star through competitions. The local ninja garage and the city of Saratoga Springs has hosted the TV show’s most famous stars, and now boast their very own local ninja celebrity. You can watch Huss compete to be the first American Ninja Warrior Junior Champion on Universal Kids, premiering October 13 at 7 p.m.
St. Michael’s College Volleyball
The Saint Michael’s College women’s volleyball team lost 3-1 to 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifier Saint Anselm College on Tuesday before taking Merrimack College to five sets and falling 3-2 on Thursday. Both matches were in Northeast-10 Conference play. First-year Grace Fornabia, of Saratoga Springs/ Saratoga Central Catholic, had six kills and a block.
Saratoga CSD Varsity Golf
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Wednesday, Oct. 3, Saratoga Springs took the Section II Class A Golf Championship at McGregor Links Country Club, shooting 290 to win the team title over Albany Academy’s 315.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Chris Veitch, a freshman at Saratoga Springs High School, has been a star polo athlete for the last four years and is even playing for the Yale intercollegiate team this year from October through March after they recruited him. After meeting Cuko Escapite, a polo player, at the Saratoga Polo Association through his grandmother, Annamaria Bonar and taking a lesson with Escapite, Veitch became enamored with the sport.
“I like the fact that you get to do a lot [with the sport]. You get to meet cool people and it’s fun to play. It’s a tough sport. The most challenging thing is learning how to start and there are a lot of rules that are involved with it,” Veitch said.
Veitch plays polo on his own horse, Honey, whom he purchased in April of this year. She is housed at Bloomfield Farms.
“We had owned a horse before Honey, but he wasn’t good [at polo] so then we went to Florida to buy another pony and we sold him,” he explained.
Veitch does not play any other sports. He is happy to be in high school instead of middle school now, because he is enjoying having more “independence.”
He cites his parents and his grandmother, Annamaria Bonar, as his biggest supporters in his polo journey. His grandmother even pays for most of his polo dues. Veitch worked at the Saratoga Polo Association this summer, grooming the horses and helping the players get ready. He plans to play polo as a career.
“There are a lot of opportunities that polo creates for jobs as well, between the people you meet and the fact that you can say you play polo,” he stated.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — After weeks of debate, the Saratoga Springs City School District board of education voted 5 to 4 on Tuesday, October 9, to end the practice of school hallway monitors carrying firearms. In a public forum in the beginning of the meeting, several community members, parents and students alike, came out in favor of voting no, while another community member and teacher urged the board to vote yes to keep the guns.
The people who spoke out against the guns reasoned that the school has not done enough research on the matter, commenting that there was “no task force, no committee, no public forums, no question-and-answer periods.”
Michelle King, a member of Saratoga Conservative Chicks, was in favor of a yes vote, explaining that the hallway monitors are there to protect their children and “they can’t do it without the tools.” Superintendent Michael Patton reminded those in attendance that the district’s main concern is the safety of the students and staff.
SARATOGA COUNTY — Jim Mangano, a licensed high school varsity girls’ soccer referee for the last 20 years, is involved with the S.T.O.P. Movement, which stands for: Stop Tormenting Officials Permanently. S.T.O.P. was started over a year ago by a referee named Brian Barlow, from Tulsa, Oklahoma whose goal is to decrease the incivility, violence, and referee abuse in all sports.
“The environment itself… Either it’s winning is everything or it’s the only thing that will make you happy is if you win,” said Mangano.
Mangano appears in all games that he refs wearing his S.T.O.P. vest. He spends time at each game talking to fans, players, and families about what the movement is and how they can help.
“When it comes down to a ref being on a field, we’re held to a standard where we can’t turn around and say anything, because for one, we’re licensed, we recertify every year in every group that we’re in. Then people look at us and say, ‘but you get paid to do this.’ So, it’s like I get paid to take the abuse. That just doesn’t fly,” Mangano explained.
Mangano has refed games where he’s taken it to the extremes. If he sees a player who is knowingly aggressive, he’ll blow the whistle before they actually do something to someone because from watching them, he knows they’re going to hit that person, which then puts him in a conundrum because the parents say there was no contact.
“One of the things I’ve also had to do over the years is intervene between parents and players on the field. I’ve had to say, ‘by yelling at them, you’re taking your child’s head out of the game.’ That’s a dangerous situation for them because they’re not focused, they might get hurt. Then that also leads to what comes back to us as refs is when they say, ‘you’re not looking out for the safety of our players,’” he explained.
As Mangano explains it, there are four different groups while refereeing a game: the coach, the parents, the players, and the refs.
“Everybody comes to the game, except the referee, because they want the win and they also point fingers. You call a foul on a player; the parents want revenge, the coach wants revenge,” Mangano said.
The bottom line is: Mangano has seen it all over the last 20 years. Parents physically fighting each other; parents and coaches threatening him and other refs; police officers having to escort refs off the field for their own safety. While he doesn’t imply that it’s every parent or coach who is volatile, it’s the few that are who put a damper on the environment for the rest.
“I haven’t refed a game in five years without having a cell phone in my pocket,” he explained.
Because he believes that if he can catch the bad behavior on video, parents and coaches alike would be too ashamed to act that way again.
For more information on the S.T.O.P. Movement, visit www. facebook.com/youreoffside, the original site for the movement created by Brian Barlow.