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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: January 2008

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Saratoga’s outside ice rinks now open

If you are looking for more fun outdoors this week during Winterfest, the Saratoga Spa State Park has announced that the warming hut outdoor ice rink and the Victoria Ice rinks are now both open for recreational use.

Hockey may only be played on the warming hut ice rink so for the casual ice circlers, the Victoria Rink is for you.

Night skating will also be a highlight, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 1 during the Winterfest Candelight Ski and Snowshoe activities.

For more information, go to

Friday, January 25, 2008

On Tap for the weekend Jan. 29

Here's a look at where the staff will be this weekend in the sports community.

Friday night Jan. 25

  • Shenendehowa (9-0-1/15-1-3) at CBA (3-4-3/4-7-0) ice hockey, 7:45 p.m.
    This could be considered a Saratoga County showdown with the amount of residents competing for Ron Kuhl at CBA. Expect this to be a high scoring affair as senior Adam Hitchko goes after the Plainsmen career scoring mark, he's only four goals away. If Shen gets up early, look for that first line to be on the ice a lot in front of a packed house.

  • Stillwater (7-2, 12-3) at Greenwich (5-5, 6-7) girls basketball, 7:30 p.m.
    Jeff Scott has the call on this one tonight as these two Wasaren League powers collide.

  • Schuylerville (8-2, 10-5) vs. Tamarac (5-4, 8-6) boys basketball, 7:30 p.m.
    Brendan O'Meara is on the road for the boys showdown for our Saratoga County readers and helping out our counterparts in Troy at The Record tonight.

  • Colonie (5-5, 6-8) at Saratoga (4-6, 7-7) girls basketball, 7:30 p.m.
    Colonie is a traditional powerhouse with a tough pressing game, but the Blue Streaks are tenacious in their own right. Ian Pickus has this game tonight.

    Saturday Jan. 26

  • Suburban Council track championships
    The inside runners and throwers take to the University at Albany RAC and bubble facility. It's a long day, but a good chance to catch up with some of the fastest runners in the Capital District.
    Look for a full story and possible photo gallery out of this one since I may be there most of the morning and afternoon.

  • Wasaren League Invitational wrestling
    Jeff Scott looks in on the grapplers from up North in this all-day event. Hoosick Falls hosts the event and expect the finals to be full of Schuylerville and Johnstown wrestlers.

    Sunday, Jan. 27

    Cheers and high hopes
  • The early afternoon is a stop by the Shenendehowa cheerleading clinic where the young hopeful spirit sprites learn some new cheers and stunts. They get to face the crowd on Tuesday when the Plainsmen host Guilderland in a boys Suburban Council showdown.

  • The night will be spent with the pros at Hayner Brothers Baseball Academy where the public hears right from the horses mouth about what it takes to make it into the professional baseball ranks.

    Tuesday, Jan. 29

  • Burnt Hills at Shenendehowa swimming, 4:30 p.m.
    This is another showdown of unbeatens, this time at the Plainsmen's recent home at the University at Albany.
    Look for some record setting times, both school and potential state qualifiers to come out of this meet.

  • Guilderland (10-2, 12-2) at Shenendehowa (7-3, 8-6), 7:30 p.m.
    Can the Plainsmen upset the Dutchmen's perfect Suburban Council season? Without the student section torn between a night of hockey and hoops, look for the Shen Army to be out in force for a loud home court advantage.

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  • Monday, January 21, 2008

    First helmet-cam go a bust

    Well, now I know what the Wright Brothers went through.
    We found a willing skiier, Liz from Saratoga High, but our challenge was getting the camera secured to her helmet. It took several tries and about 30 minutes before we sent her down the slopes.
    Nothing to report on the camera, we missed the "On" button direction and it only lasted through a few gates.
    A friend is grabbing his duct tape from down the hill and Saratoga coach Cindy Parker has volunteered one of the varsity boys to take a run through the slalom with it.
    Don't worry Reda, the camera is advertised as shockproof and waterproof and passed with flying colors.
    The old timing shack was open to my surprise, so I ducked in while the coaches change the course from the giant slalom to the slalom.
    Time for some water, fruit and trail mix. Since I just treked halfway up Mach earlier, I guess I can officially call myself a health nut!
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    MLK Day live from West Mtn.

    I have a dream too today at the Saratoga Invitational at West Mountain...the mountain was flatter, the wind was less brisk and I don't end up with frostbite.
    It's an annual trek halfway up Mach to watch the downhill daredevils race in the giant slalom and slalom, take pictures and then dread the walk back down.
    No luck with the helmet-cam yet
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    Sunday, January 20, 2008

    State football standouts finally released

    The New York State Sportswriters Association released its All-State football squads over the past two weeks, releasing the Class B-C-D last week before announcing the Class AA-A selections this week.

    Saratoga County selections

    Class AA
    Third-team defense
    LB – Jim Schwendtner, Sr., Shenendehowa

    Class A
    Second-team defense
    L – Alex Palkovic, Sr., Burnt Hills
    Third-team offense
    L – Jeremy Jordan, Sr., Burnt Hills
    QB – Paul Layton, Jr., Burnt Hills

    Class C
    First-team offense
    L – Sean Patrick, Sr., Schuylerville
    First-team defense
    L – Henry Evans, Sr., Stillwater
    Second-team defense
    HB – Dylan Stout, Sr., Greenwich

    Capital Region selections

    Class AA
    Second-team defense
    HB – Andrew Smith, Sr., Guilderland
    Third-team offense
    L – Gary Chrys, Sr., Niskayuna
    L – Devin Van Auken, Jr., Guilderland
    Fourth-team offense
    RB – Marquis Terrell, Jr., Troy LaSalle
    Fourth-team defense
    LB – Pete Stanish, Sr., Guilderland-2

    Class A
    First-team offense
    RB – Kenny Youngs, Sr., Lansingburgh
    First-team defense
    LB – Chris Sawyer, Sr., Lansingburgh
    HB – Vinnie Nicosia, Sr., Amsterdam
    Second-team defense
    K – Joe Flint, sr., Amsterdam
    Third-team offense
    RB – Nyquan McGirt, Sr., Lansingburgh
    Third-team defense
    HB – Bundka Kargbo, Jr., Bishop Maginn

    Class B
    Second-team offense
    E – Jimmer Bennett, Jr., Albany Academy
    Second-team defense
    LB – Brian Paeglow, Sr., Ravena
    Third-team offense
    L – Kevin Duffy, Sr., Cobleskill
    E – Kevin Hanson, Jr., Fonda-Fultonville
    QB – Josh Keller, Sr., Cobleskill-2
    RB – Mike Hayes, Sr., Broadalbin-Perth
    Third-team defense
    LB – Jared Thurber, Sr., Bradalbin-Perth
    LB – Aaron Christman, Sr., Cobleskill
    K – Andrew Bartholomew, Sr., Cobleskill

    Class C
    First-team defense
    HB – Zack Kraham, Sr., Chatham
    K – Sean Kenny, Sr., Chatham
    Second-team defense
    LB – Abe Andrew, Sr., Cambridge
    Third-team offense
    E – Zayquan Dupree, Sr., Troy Catholic
    L – Sean Fitzmaurice, Sr., Voorheesville
    L – Quinten Herrington, Jr., Cambridge
    RB – Pat Jones, Sr., Voorheesville
    Third-team defense
    L – Brandon Chrysler, Sr., Chatham
    HB – Chris Bouchard, Sr., Troy Catholic

    Class D
    First team-offense
    E – Matt Thibodeau, Sr., Fort Edward
    First-team defense
    LB – Vinnie D’Angelo, Sr., Fort Edward
    Second-team offense
    E – Alex Quigan, Sr., Warrensburg
    QB – Damian Tyler, Sr., Fort Edward
    Second-team defense
    L – Ray Renzi, Sr., Canajoharie
    HB – Tony Breeyear, Sr., Fort Edward

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    Hudy's Hardcovers: The Miracle of St. Anthony

    The Miracle of St. Anthony
    A Season with Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty
    By Adrian Wojnarowski
    Gotham Books
    390 pages

    Not since John Feinstein spent an entire winter with Bobby Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers has a book delved into the day-to-day lives of a coach, his basketball team and the lives of the players and delivered real-life drama in such a way that enraptures a reader as Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Miracle of St. Anthony” does.

    The 2005 release about the Northern New Jersey parochial school boys basketball powerhouse has the reader cheering for every win, weeping when coming face-to-face with factual challenges the players face every day, on their way to winning their 24th New Jersey State Championship.

    The miracle of the title isn’t limited to the basketball court; it surrounds the tiny parochial school.

    The dioceses eliminated its financial commitments to the school since 1981, one of its pillars, Sister Felicia began fighting cancer for the second time at the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year and its legendary coach, Bob Hurley, wondered if his most dysfunctional group of seniors could ever achieve greatness.

    “The Miracle of St. Anthony” is a rough and tough book, both its story, its coach and the lives of its players, but then again this is New Jersey. Every page screams underdog and the lessons learned about overcoming insurmountable odds, making it impossible to put down.

    Another miracle is one that stems simply from jealousy by the reviewer.

    For The Record of New Jersey columnist, “The Miracle of St. Anthony” was Wojnarowski’s first foray as a title author, having previously collaborated with Bob Klapish and Ken Davidoff in “’98 Champs: The Greatest Season, a Chronicle of the Yankees Amazing Journey to the World Championship.” Many authors, even best-selling authors, have an idea, an opportunity, but it was a rarity that the stars would align for Wojnarowski.

    Not only did he have a high school basketball legend in Bob Hurley willing to allow him full access to his program, but as fate would have it, the St. Anthony Friars would go on to win their 24th New Jersey State Title. Wojnarowski would be on hand for the practices, the games, the trips across the nation to cover the Friars demanding schedule and be there as Hurley captured his 800th career coaching victory.

    Hurley, the coach, is as much part of “The Miracle of St. Anthony” as any player. Without his endless dedication to the sport, the kids, the program and the school itself, the building wouldn’t exist. In one touching passage when Hurley is asked about who to make a check out to after one of his numerous speaking engagements his response was surprisingly typical, “Make it out to St. Anthony’s School.”

    The name Hurley should stand out to any basketball fan, it is Bob Hurley, father of St. Anthony, Duke University and draft pick of the Sacramento Kings. Basketball is part of the family business, Bob at the helm of St. Anthony’s, his wife, Chris, always there at the scorers table, Bobby Hurley staying active in the NBA as a scout and brother, Danny Hurley coaching at St. Benedict’s Prep.

    Wojnarowski takes the reader into the highs and lows of the Hurley family, Bobby Hurley’s rise on the court under his father’s tutelage, his national championship days with Duke and that fateful night leaving a Kings game and his subsequent accident, hit by a drunk driver.

    Hurley didn’t have to look for players for St. Anthony’s, they found him and like the fiery former Indiana University basketball coach, they knew what they were getting into.

    Hurley doesn’t curtail his language, every day attempting to get through his squad, whether it be the self-determined Division I prospect Sean McCurdy who commuted from Connecticut to play at St. Anthony’s or Lamar Alston that left the Friars on two separate occasions, testing the coaches fortitude for more than two years.

    The New Jersey probation officer, Hurley, has seen and heard everything, every excuse, every apology and hold his Friars to a higher standard, one that he and his squad’s every year have created into a legend.

    For Wojnarowski, the miracle continued as St. Anthony’s finished with a 30-0 undefeated season, its 24th New Jersey State title along with its ninth Tournament of Champions title. The miracle didn’t end on the court, as 11 of the 14 players on the 2003-2004 St. Anthony’s varsity basketball team went on to play basketball in college.

    5 out of 5 Hudy Heads

    NOTE: A miracle could again be in the work as St. Anthony current resides as the No. 1 team in the USA Today Super 25 boys basketball ranking with a 11-0 record. The Friars haven’t won a New Jersey state title since the miracle season of 2003-2004.

    The best 0-11 team in the CDHSHL

    Coaches often like to say "Our record isn't indicative of our team," whenever a squad is challenged as much in the standings as they have been on the ice.

    Ignoring the traditional "coach speak", after watching the South Glens Falls varsity ice hockey team against Burnt Hills-Scotia/Glenville Saturday night at Achilles Rink on the Union College campus.

    The Bulldogs (0-11 Capital District High School Hockey League, 1-14 overall) fell to their Division II Saratoga County counterparts, 6-2 and for the second time in a week, but I came away liking the South High squad.

    If you take away the seven Bulldog penalties and some of the extra curricular hits, elbows, shoves and one unnecessary plow of a Burnt Hills eighth-grader by a South High junior, you could easily rally around this team.

    On skills alone, its hard to see South High without a win in the CDHSHL, they showed tremendous speed on the ice along with some strong puck handling between players.
    This should be the standard, but its something that the Saratoga Springs team has lacked, but still have posted a 4-8-1, 5-10-2 mark.

    Bulldog coach Jay Condon is in his first year at the helm and the team is coming off an embarrasing year last year, so he has to be happy to be able to field a team. Mohonasen almost pulled its squad off the ice early in the year, but rallied enough players to fulfill its league obligations and post an equally non-hyped 0-8, 0-14 record.

    The two squads will meet twice before the year ends and South High will have a chance for two league points before the all-in playoffs start.

    Condon had high hopes, the Bulldogs were positive in the pre-season, but have been snake-bitten on the ice.

    Condon had to delay his implementation of a Russian-style hockey system and fall back on more traditional play, but the South High team could ruin someone's season when the playoff start mid-February.

    The Bulldogs are expected to face either Burnt Hills or Glens Falls in the opening round, something neither team should relish.

    It may have taken Condon four months to get his message across, but the tide could turn quickly if the higher seeds don't take this team seriously.

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    Shen sweeps North-South wrestling duals

    Plainsmen avenge last year's losses to Queensbury, look ahead

    SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Shenendehowa varsity wrestling team swept through the North-South Duals on Saturday, with an eye on a showdown with Queensbury and another eye on one of the adjoining mats.

    The Plainsmen handily defeated Glens Falls, 67-8, Hudson Falls, 54-17, South Glens Falls 80-4 and winning a showdown with Queensbury, 68-14. Saratoga Springs and South Glens Falls each went 1-3 on the day with the Bulldogs earning a 43-39 victory over the Blue Streaks in round three.

    In the afternoon’s four-dual contest format the South (Saratoga, Shenendehowa, Columbia and Amsterdam) faced off against the North (Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, Queensbury and South Glens Falls).

    Shenendehowa’s win over Queensbury avenged the only two dual contest defeats for the Plainsmen last year.

    “I told them before, that this was personal,” Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks said. “Queensbury is my alma mater and you always want to show people you know how well you’re doing.”

    Last year, Queensbury tripped up Shenendehowa by three points at the North-South Duals and again in the finals in the Section II duals.

    Shenendehowa saw Nick Kelley (96 pounds), Luke Popolizio (103 pounds), Juliano Pabon (112 pounds), Seth Hazleton (125 pounds), Austin Meys (171 pounds) and Hunter Meys (189 pounds) have perfect days on the mat.

    Saratoga Springs saw Eddie Davis (125 pounds) and Adam Winnie (171 pounds) each go 4-0 for the Blue Streaks. Three Saratoga wrestlers won three matches each Saturday: Rafael Lopez (96 pounds), Zach Mohan (160) and Ford Plowman (189 and 215).

    For South Glens Falls, Greg Carta had a banner day at 152 pounds, going 3-1 on the afternoon.

    The Plainsmen will be tested again this Tuesday, looking to grab a firm hold of the Suburban Council title and remain undefeated when they travel to also-perfect Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, before looking forward to the final dual contest of the year against Amsterdam.

    Shenendehowa 67, Glens Falls 8
    96 – Kelly (SH) pinned Nordquist, 3:35. 103 – L. Popolizio (SH) dec. Belanger, 8-3. 112 – Pabon (SH) win by fft. 119 – T.J. Popolizio (SH) pinned Davis, 1:11. 125 – Hazleton (SH) dec. Rios, 5-0. 130 – Fusco (SH) pinned Harrington, 5:11. 135 – Charuk (SH) dec. Lombardo, 12-5. 140 – Lashway (GF) dec. Smith, 15-3. 145 – Santos (SH) pinned Cleavland, 4:42. 152 – Bryant (SH) pinned Nichols, 1:00. 160 – Neal (GF) dec. Lampman, 12-0. 171 – A. Meys (SH) pinned Brown, 3:20. 189 – H. Meys (SH) pinned Murone, :30. 215 – Peyron (SH) dec. Long, 17-4. 289 – Geleta (SH) win by fft.
    Shenendehowa 54, Hudson Falls 17
    96 – Kelley (SH) pinned Valastro, 3:47. 103 – L. Popolizio (SH) pinned Ko. Harrington, :46. 112 – Pabon (SH) pinned Dudley, 3:45. 119 – T.J. Popolizio tech. fall Ki. Harrington, 4:00. 125 – Hazleton (SH) dec. Valastro, 8-3. 130 – Waytkus (HF) pinned Fusco, 1:42. 135 – Altimari (SH) dec. Humiston, 16-5. 140 – Smith (SH) dec. Miller, 7-2. 145 – Cross (HF) dec. Santos, 8-4. 152 – A. Barber (HF) tech. fall Bryans, 2:45. 160 – Colvin (GF) pinned Lampman, 1:30. 171 – A. Meys (SH) pinned T. Barber, :16. 189 – H. Meys (SH) win by fft. 215 – Peyron (SH) dec. Bucher, 1-0. 289 – Almaviva (SH) pinned Carlton, 5:04.
    Shenendehowa 68, Queensbury 14
    96 – Kelley (SH) pinned St. John, 1:38. 103 – L. Popolizio (SH) pinned Hamell, 1:56. 112 – Pabon (SH) pinned Hewitt, 1:00. 119 – T.J. Popolizio (SH) pinned Radigan. 125 – Hazleton (SH) dec. Campbell, 7-5. 130 – Mulclarry (SH) pinned Bodvic, :41. 135 – Charpentier (Q) dec. Altimari, 14-5. 140 – Smith (SH) pinned Fusco, 4:19. 145 – Santos (SH) pinned Breauct, 2:58. 152 – Bryans (SH) dec. Harris, 19-2. 160 – Comer (Q) dec. Lampman, 10-2. 171 – A. Meys (SH) pinned Hanchett, :30. 189 – Sean K (SH) win by fft. 215 – H. Meys (SH) win by fft. 289 – Bonet (Q) win by fft.
    Shenendehowa 80, South Glens Falls 4
    96 – Kelley (SH) win by fft. 103 – L. Popolizio (SH) pinned Mumblo, 3:34. 112 – Pabon (SH) pinned Harrington, 1:02. 119 – T.J. Popolizio (SH) pinned Havens, 1:56. 125 – Hazleton (SH) pinned Rivers, 1:52. 130 – Fusco (SH) pinned Carta, 3:43. 135 – Altimari (SH) win by fft. 140 – Smith (SH) tech. fall Ghulan, 4:42. 145 – Santos (SH) dec. Cook, 6-3. 152 – Carta (SGF) dec. Bryans, 13-2. 160 – Lampman (SH) win by fft. 171 – A. Meys (SH) pinned Ward, :28. 189 – H. Meys (SH) pinned Hundson, 1:20. 215 – Peyron (SH) pinned Nash, 3:45. 289 – Almaviva (SH) pinned Farnsworth, :55.
    Hudson Falls 40, Saratoga Springs 27
    96- Noah Valastro (HF) maj. dec. Rafael Lopez (SS), 13-0. 103- Kory Harrington (HF) dec. Zach Spencer (SS), 4-3. 112- Dudley (HF) dec. A. J. Rue (SS), 6-4. 119- Kirk Harrington (HF) pin Tom Schwartz (SS), 4:16. 125- Eddie Davis (SS) pin Nick Valastro, 2:15. 130- LaMont Washington (SS) dec. Waytkus, 3-1. 135- Jake Glover (SS) dec. L. Harrington, 13-7. 140- Waite (HF) dec. Shawn Coonradt (SS), 4-3. 145- Cross (HF) pin Eric Mercadante (SS), 3:46. 152- A. Barber (HF) pin Matt Bex, 2:50. 160- Zach Mohan (SS) pin Colvin, 2:30. 171- Adam Winnie (SS) win by forfeit. 189- T. Barber (HF) pin Jake Laing (SS), 3:07. 215- Ford Plowman (SS) dec. Bucher, 5-2. 275- Carlton (HF) dec. Brandon Mount (S)), 11-4.
    Saratoga Springs 55, Glens Falls 19
    96- Lopez (SS) dec. Nordquist, 8-2. 103- Belanger (GF) tech. fall Trey Horne (SS), 15-0. 112- Spencer (SS) win by forfeit. 119- Rue (SS) pin Davis, 1:05. 125- Davis (SS) pin Rios, 1:43. 130- Washington (SS) maj. dec. Harrington, 18-5. 135- Glover (SS) dec. Lombardo, 5-4. 140- Lashway (GF) tech. fall Mercadante, 18-2. 145- Coonradt (SS) dec. Nichols, 9-2. 152- Bex (SS) win by forfeit. 160- Neal (GF) dec. Mohan, 9-3. 171- Winnie (SS) pin Brown, 3:54. 189- Plowman (SS) pin Murone, 1:28. 215- Long (GF) pin laing (SS), 6:38. 275- Tyler Spaulding (SS) win by forfeit.
    South Glens Falls 43, Saratoga Springs 39
    96- Lopez (SS) win by forfeit. 103- Spencer (SS) maj. dec. Josh Mumbulo (SGF), 13-4. 112- Rue (SS) pin Andy Harrington (SGF). 119- Zach Havens (SGF) pin Schwartz (SS), 0:20. 125- Jon Rivers (SGF) pin John Russo (SS), 4:32. 130- Davis (SS) pin Brandon Carta (SGF), 1:48. 135- Washington (SS) maj. dec. Ryan Bartholomew (SGF), 11-1. 140- Josh Loder (SGF) pin Glover (SS), 1:57. 145- Gogee Ghulam (SGF) dec. Coonradt (SS), 10-5. 152- Greg Carta (SGF) pin Bex (SS), 3:07. 160- Mohan (SS) pin Craig Manning (SGF), 3:04. 171- Winnie (SS) tech. fall Steve Wood (SGF), 15-0. 215- Plowman (SS) pin Billy Nash (SGF), 5:55. 275- Tim Farnsworth )SGF) pin Spaulding, 4:27.
    Queensbury 53, Saratoga Springs 22
    Lopez (SS) pin St. John, 2:38. 103- Hamell (Q) dec. Spencer (SS), 9-2. 112- Huett (Q) pin Rue (SS), 3:09. 119- Radigan (Q) pin Schwartz (SS), 3:00. 125- Davis (SS) maj. dec. Campbell, 18-8. 130- Hall (Q) dec. Washington (SS), 1-0 (OT). 135- Bolduc (Q) pin Ethan Goss (SS), 2:53. 140- Charpentier (Q) maj. dec. Glover (SS), 16-1. 145- Fusco (Q) dec. Coonradt (SS), 7-4. 152- Ostrander (Q) pin Bex (SS), 1:04. 160- Mohan (SS) win by forfeit. 171- Winnie (SS) pin Hanchett, 1:33. 189- Myhrberg (Q) pin Plowman (SS), 2:28. 215- Elbert (Q) pin Mount (SS), 1:52. 275- Bonet (Q) dec. Spaulding (SS), 4-3.
    Columbia 59, South Glens Falls 24
    96 – Morgan (C ) win by fft. 103 – Wallace (C ) tech. fall Mumblo 15-0. 112 – Southard (C ) pinned Murphy, 2:30. 119 –Hulett (C ) pinned Rivers, 3:16. 125 – Angelo (C ) pinned Havens, 3:09. 130 – Latham (C ) pinned B. Carta, :40. 135 – Gargonpetek (C ) win by fft. 140 – Crain (C ) pinned Ghulam, 1:43. 145 – Cook (SGF) pinned Martin, :41. 152 – G. Carta (SGF) dec. Hutchins, 4-3. 160 – Manning (SGF) pinned Secor, 5:21. 171 – Faganas (C ) pinned Wood, :43. 189 – Hudson (SGF) pinned Jones, 1:03. 215 – Fish (C ) pinned Drew, 1:40. 285 – Nash (SGF) dec. Guild, 4-0.
    Amsterdam 66, South Glens Falls 8
    96 – Miller (A) win by fft. 103 – Mumboo (SGF) pinned Lanzi, 2:24. 112 – Siudy (A) dec. Murphy, 8-5. 119 – Dugrense (A) pinned Havens, :35. 125 – Palmerino (A) pinned Rivers, 2:32. 130 – Benton (A) pinned B. Carta, 1:18. 135 – Lanzi (A) win by fft. 140 – Cook (SGF) pinned Purcell, 3:52. 145 – Hastings (A) pinned Gaulam, 3:01. 152 – Seays (A) dec. G. Carta, 10-2. 160 – Morey (A) pinned Manning, 3:03. 171 – Paris (A) pinned Wood, 2:36. 189 – Hunson (SGF) pinned McNamera, 1:39. 215 – Pacheco (A) pinned Drew, 2:36. 285 – Piajeki (A) pinned Johnson, 2:31.

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    Friday, January 18, 2008

    On Tap Jan. 18-22

    Here's a quick look at where the Saratogian staff and I will be this weekend in the sports community.

    Friday night

  • Shenendehowa (6-1, 8-1) vs. Averill Park (5-4, 9-4)girls basketball
    The Lady Plainsmen continue their run at Suburban Council dominance as Shenendehowa coach Ken Strube goes after career win No. 502. The Warriors can be counted on to not roll over against the Plainsmen, so it should be an interesting match-up.
    I've got the call for that game tonight.
  • Shenendehowa (7-0-1, 13-1-3) at Saratoga Springs (4-6-1, 5-8-2) ice hockey
    This may be the end of the line for moral victories for the Blue Streaks. Saratoga has played well, but lost lately, but don't expect the Plainsmen to show any mercy on their Saratoga County rival.
    This could be a long night for the Blue Streak goalies, which could turn out to be a revolving door of netminders if the Shenendehowa top scoring lines of Adam Hitchko (18 goals, 13 assists), Jesse Elliott (14-17 31) and A.J. Mangino (7-19 26) has its way.
    A new-look Nate Rider has the notebook for this contest at the Saratoga Springs City Rink.
  • Saratoga Springs (3-6, 6-7) vs. Mohonasen (3-6, 5-8) girls basketball
    Since the boys have the night off, competing Sunday at the (Paper Not To Be Named) Center, the ladies take to the hardwood at Saratoga.
    This is an opportunity for Mike Hall's squad to be challenged and come away with a victory. This group plays hard and deserves a win.
  • Cobleskill (2-8, 3-11)at Mechanicville (8-2, 12-2)boys hoops
    Jeff Scott gets the call for this Colonial Council clash, sort of. The only thing that can happen is the Red Raiders come in overconfident and don't find friendly rims at home tonight.


  • Burnt Hills (1-4-2, 4-7-2) vs. South Glens Falls (0-9, 1-12) ice hockey
    This is a must see, more since both teams are in our coverage area than anything else. The Bulldogs entered the season with a lot of hope, but rumor has it that it has been lost and the squad has spent its fair share in the penalty box for some chippy play during an almost winless season.
    The Spartan/Tartans want to escape unhurt, but with another Division II win on their home ice at the Achilles Rink on the Union College campus.
    The bell, er, clock starts at 8:30 p.m. for this one. Yours truly will be in the stands.
  • North-South Wrestling Duals at Saratoga
    This one is still in the air with only Saratoga and South Glens Falls competing from our local area. Several squads are taking a weekend off and some are out of town.


  • I could spend part of the morning at the Saratoga Automobile Museum with this year's inductees into the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame.
    They will be officially inducted earlier Saturday night at the annual banquet and their plaques will be unveiled Sunday morning.


  • Saratoga Invitational skiing at West Mountain
    It's an annual rite for me to brave the snow, wind and cold and stand outside freezing to watch the lunatics go down Mach in the slalom and giant slalom.
    This is my one foray into skiing coverage prior to sectionals.
    It's always a tough day for me, two years ago, my wife and I lost our first cat together earlier that morning, Mac. He was 16 years old and a favorite. His sister is still with us at 18, in age and pounds, so we move on.
    Anyway, back to work, it could become a memorable day as the Hudy Helmet Cam could make its first appearance, taped to the helmet of some brave soul that promises not to wipe out with it.
    We'll see.


  • Shenendehowa at Burnt Hills wrestling
    It doesn't get any better than this.
    These two grappling powerhouses are undefeated in the Suburban Council and this will probably go down to the last match.
    Look for it to be a long night as a full host of JV contests will be held and the varsity matches could see more decisions than pinfalls.

    That's it for now, see you on the sidelines.

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  • Friday, January 11, 2008

    One for the ages, Strube wins 500th

    Here are the updates from my Blackberry Jan. 11 when Shenendehowa girls varsity basketball coach Ken Strube earned his 500th career win with a 51-40 victory over Colonie on the road.

    It was a special night, the Plainsmen coach winning his 500th win in the gym of his alma mater in front of Shenendehowa fans, friends as well as his own family.

    One for the ages
  • When the horn sounded it became official, Shenendehowoa girls varsity basketball coach, Ken Strube earned his 500th career coaching victory, 51-40.

    With the Shen fans chanting "five hundred" the coach was turned aroud by his players to the crowd filling the stands to a standing ovation.

    Congrats Ken.
  • 2 minutes to a milestone...
    With two minutes to go Shenendehowa leads Colonie 49-37.

    Shen pulling away, 41-26, in third
  • The Plainsmen may not need to pull out the AED before Ken Strube's 500th career victory becomes official.

    Shenendehowa's girls found the bottom of the bucket and each other, utilizing a 12-1 to open the third and extend its lead to 41-26 through three quarters.

    Colonie committed nine more turnovers and the Plainsmen converted three straight into buckets during the run.

    Senior Barb Shea was key with eight points, two steals and a rebound in the quarter.

    Shen surviving, up 21-16 at the half.
  • Ken Strube has said that the Shenendehowa against Colonie girls basketball contests bring out the worst in both squads.

    After 499 career victories, its hard to doubt him with a 21-16 halftime score at Colonie.

    The Garnet Raiders crept to within two points of the Plainsmen on three separate occassions in the second half, but Shenendehowa found the answer each time.

    With Shen ahead 18-16 with 2:13 left in the half, only points after came from the successful front end of three straight one-for-one's by senior Carey Turner, extending the Plainsmen lead.

    Here's a quick line for the second quarter: Colonie 9 turnovers, 3-for-16 from the floor. Shen: 8 turnovers, 2-for-9 from the floor and Carey's 3-for-6 from the free throw line. Shen up 21-16.

    Shen ahead, 14-8, first quarter
  • The pretty stayed in the locker room so far in this Suburban Council match-up.
    Quick line: Colonie 8 turnovers, 2-17 from the floor. Shen: 10 turnovers, 6-for-15 from the floor. Barb Shea 6 points.

    Strube to go for 500 in a packed gym
  • When the Shenendehowa girls varsity basketball squad tips off tonight as he goes for his 500th career coaching victory he'll have to do it in front of a packed gym on the road.

    The Colonie gymnasium stands are filled to capacity, at least for the side behind the team benches. The opposite side remains closed. This is still girls basketball.
    The Colonie boosters should be pleased with a busy concession stand taking advantage of the girls free admission policy.

    Strube looked serious as he took his team into their locker room late in the JV game and the assistants look as dapper as Section II's winningest coach, Strube, in dark suit jackets and ties.

    The JV squad set the stage for their varsity counterparts, winning 37-31. In the past three-plus years, Tim Minors squad is 71-1, the only loss in recent memory was to Columbia last week.

    Tip off is set to 7:45 p.m.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

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  • Tuesday, January 08, 2008

    Goose Gossage in Hall all by himself

    It is a moment I won’t soon forget, when moments, it was announced that Rich “Goose” Gossage was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on his ninth time on the ballot.

    Gossage is only the fifth major league baseball reliever to be named to the hallowed hall and it may be fitting that he enters it alone.

    There is a fondness in my heart for seeing Goose Gossage go in, meeting him just over a year ago in Clifton Park as part of the 2006 Babe Ruth World Series Banquet of Champions.

    Involved in the event as the media chairperson, I was part of the group that decided to track down the former New York Yankee reliever, his agent and discuss his potential appearance.

    Needless to say, he was worth every penny the committee and its sponsors paid to fly him from his home in Colorado Springs to Albany International for the opening evening’s festivities.

    Just like he did on television throughout his years, Goose carried himself with confidence, but what I found amazing was the kindness that he showed to everyone he came in contact with during his short stay in Saratoga County.

    I was at Albany International awaiting the Torrance, California squad to land from their long trip East and Goose was probably one plane in front of the eventual 13-15 year-old World Series Champions.

    Just like walking out of the television and into real life, there he was coming down the escalator. His size, amazing, and his signature Fu Manchu mustache unmistakable, just a little grayer than it had been during his playing days, there in front of myself and host president, Bill Butler, was Rich “Goose” Gossage.

    He came down with a big smile, carrying his own bag and an even bigger handshake. He truly is a mountain of a man.

    After a few quick hellos, greetings and of course, autographs from passing fans, he was ready for a quick bite to eat and then off to the hotel.

    With a few moments left, I was able to ask Goose to stop by and meet our charter bus driver from local business, Yankee Trails, who was making his sixth and final trip back to Clifton Park, hauling teenage baseball players from the airport to Clifton Common. He admitted being a huge Goose Gossage fan and it seemed only fitting that he too, have a thrill of a lifetime.

    He was shocked to see Goose walk right up to him and shake his hand and share a few memories as a fan and as a player. Our driver was in such awe that he almost forgot to get his autograph, but we made sure that happened before he left for dinner.

    The next day was a blur for most of the volunteers, but for the players, coaches and fans at the Banquet of Champions Picnic, it was something where time stood still and they remember fondly.

    Goose provided the World Series players with their own private autograph signing session, chatting with the players and their coaches before the picnic officially got underway.

    After a quick one-on-one with a local television affiliate (Roger, you still owe me!) he was our guest speaker underneath the enormous picnic tent. He was a gracious and quick speaker for our guests and looked forward to more hand-shaking and autograph signing.

    I’m not kidding when Goose signed for everyone, the fans, the players, the volunteers, the band and everyone else. He never flinched when we ran a little over his allotted time.

    Then as quick as he arrived, he was off. He had a 6 a.m. flight back home and we had a lot of baseball to play.

    Every time we think of the 2006 Clifton Park Babe Ruth World Series, Rich “Goose” Goosage’s name has come up, with all of us waiting for this day to come and all share in the memory of that day in August, under the tent in Clifton Park and how we spoke, laughed and shook hands with a Hall of Famer.

    Congrats Goose, from all of us.


    Davidson named girls XC senior of the year

    Saratoga Springs cross country runner Hannah Davidson has been named as the New York State Sportswriters Association girls senior runner of the year. The Blue Streaks harrier was joined by Suffern junior Shelby Greany, Roslyn sophomore Emily Lipari, Fayetteville-Manlius freshman Courtney Chapman and Ward-Melville eighth-grader Caroline O’Hea as this year’s individual class honorees.

    Lipari was also named the NYSSWA girls cross country runner of the year after winning the New York State Federation Championship as well as placing sixth at the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championship in San Diego.

    Davidson finished second at the Federation meet following-up a first-place individual finish at the New York State Class AA meet. She was the fastest girl at the Section II Class AA meet for the second year in a row, warmed up by her top finish in the Suburban Council girls contest.

    The Providence College-bound harrier decided to run with her teammates at the Nike Team National Cross Country Championship in Oregon over the Foot Locker Championships. She came in second at the New York qualifier and was the fourth fastest female in the nation a week later, leading her Kinetic Running Club squad to a third-place finish in the nation.

    Davidson is joined by sophomore teammate Cassie Goutos on the Class AA first-team along with freshman Sydney King, who earned third team honors and freshman Megan Conway who was named to the sixth-team.

    Saratoga County dominated the Class AA listing as three Shenendehowa runners were also named to the squad, the only representatives out of Section II on the list. Also honored on the Class AA squad were Shenendehowa runner sophomore Cara Janeczko, eighth-grader Lizzie Predmore and senior Morgan Roche.

    Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake saw its entire scoring squad earn All-State honors for the New York State Class A squad.

    The Spartans were led on the trails and in post-season honors by junior Sam Roecker, named to the Class A first-team. Eighth-grader Alyssa Drapeau and junior Meaghan Gregory were each named to the Class A third-team squad. Burnt Hills dominated the fourth-team honor roll with five runners: senior Martha Brown along with the freshman quartet of Rachael Cyrus, Molly Pezzulo, Rachel Stalker and Riley Wilk.

    In Class C the Greenwich runners earned spots in the top three teams on the New York State squad.

    Seniors Emily Fung and Caitlin Lane were joined by freshman Cady Kuzmich and sophomore Roxanne Henningson on the Class C first-team squad. Senior Ashley Fung followed her teammates on the New York State Class C second team and sophomore Brittney Lane was named to the Class C third-team.

    Other Capital Region runners honored:
    Class A

    Morgan Mueller, Queensbury, sophomore, first team
    Brittany Winslow, Queensbury, freshman, second team
    Danielle Winslow, Queensbury, freshman, second team
    Carly Wynn, Queensbury, freshman, second team
    Jordan White, Holy Names, senior, second team
    Christian Brambley, Queensbury, sophomore, fifth team
    Claire Hardwick, Holy Names, senior, fifth team

    Class C
    Emma D’Ambro, Hoosic Valley, junior, third team
    Samantha Watson, Schuylerville, freshman, third team

    Class D
    Ashley Jackman, Duanesburg, senior, third team

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    Monday, January 07, 2008

    Schuylerville's Johanson O-State Athlete of Week

    Oneonta State sophomore grappler Erik Johanson was named as co-Athlete of the Week by the college staff, sharing the honor with senior teammate Holland Patent.

    Johanson, a Schuylerville graduate, is currently perfect for the new year at 7-0 after two collegiate invitational meets.

    He started last week with a 3-0 record at the John Reese Duals in Wilkes, PA at 125 pounds.

    The biology/pre-dentistry major decisioned Centenary's Adam Christie, 6-0; decisioned Hunter's Evan Velez, 11-3 and earned a technical pinfall over Baldwin-Wallace's Tyler Erwin, 16-0.

    The Red Dragons are currently ranked No. 19 in the NCAA Division III wrestling poll.

    He went 4-0 during the North South Duals at Collegeville, PA with two decisions and two wins by pinfall.

    He decisioned Messiah's Brice Stever, 9-5 before pinning McDaniel's Tim Hall in 4 minutes, 30 seconds. He went on to decision MIT's Grant Kadekura, 7-4, and finished off his perfect meet and week with a 55 second pin of Trinity's Max Walk.

    Johanson posted a 21-14 record overall during his freshman season for the Red Dragons. He will hit the mat again this weekend at the Brute Adidas Invitational at Ursinus Jan. 12.

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    Saturday, January 05, 2008

    Hunter Meys sets national pin record

    Shenendehowa senior Hunter Meys added another milestone in his wrestling career, another at the expense of a competitor.

    Meys pinned Cathedral Central's Ian Morgan in 50 seconds for his 190th career win by pinfall, setting a new national record.

    The Boston University-bound grappler was delayed in his record setting mark after Ian was able to reach the outer circle and force a restart after a quick takedown from the neutral position.

    With Ian down, Meys quickly went to work on the restart, pulling him to the mat and securing his opponent's head and then it was just a matter of time before the shoulders followed.

    Look for more details about the win and his full day of wrestling in the Shenendehowa Invitational later today.

    Photos and pictures to follow, but still not sure if I got the record setting pin on video, but have it on stll camera.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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    Former players staying in the game

    Some of the top players in the area continue to be dedicated to their craft.

    Here is a photo of former Shenendehowa power forward Krystal Hammond (left) with the Niskayuna girls varsity basketball squad as an assistant coach to head coach Sarah Neely during a Jan. 4 contest at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

    It was Niskayuna that handed Suburban Council blue division leader and the No. 7 ranked Class AA squad in the most recent New York State Sportswriters poll its only loss to open the season.

    "If you look at Niskayuna's defense, they're tenacious," Shenendehowa coach Ken Strube said. "I bet a lot of that came from Krystal."
    It certainly was the key in the Jan. 4 contest, a 43-38, win on the road by the Silver Warriors.

    After graduating from Shenendehowa in 2003, Hammond played four years at Union College in Schenectady, where she finished with 878 points in her career and seventh all-time in rebounds with 641.

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    Injuries hamper boys and girls hoops squads

    It hasn't been a good start to the new year for local basketball stars.

    Saratoga Springs star shooting guard Jordan Stevens (right) broke his hand, taking him out of the Blue Streaks line-up for approximately six weeks and along with it the hopes of his team.

    No coach wants to admit that the team's hopes and dreams revolve around one player, but this is the case with Mitch Snyder's Saratoga squad.

    Surrounded by role players, Saratoga was a scrappy team, not world beaters, but contenders early on posting a 4-5 record and of their five losses were only by an average of eight points.

    Since his departure in 2008, the Blue Streaks are 0-4 through Jan. 18 with an average losing deficit of 20 points. Surprisingly, Stevens still leads Saratoga with more than 200 points, despite being out of the lineup since his injury.

    On the girls hardwood, one-half of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake "Super Sophomore" tandem of Emily Ostrom and Jenna Juron is out for the year with a torn ACL suffered in practice.

    Ostrom went down in practice and the Spartans are without their starting point guard, forcing coach George Dudas to juggle his lineup.

    The move puts junior Georgina Farrow (left) up to the point, from her power forward position and off the traditional wing spot where she was a constant safety valve for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

    The Spartans opened their year with four straight wins, followed by three straight losses. Since Ostrom went down, Burnt Hills is 1-4 with an average loss margin of 20 points. They rebounded Friday, Jan. 18 with a win over Shaker.

    The injuries aren't limited to hoops, the Shenendehowa gymnastics team has two tumblers nursing injuries. Sam Cook took a startling fall off the balance beam last week at the Saratoga Invitational and is caring for her left knee that struck the apparatus. Kylee Teague is also being treated for back issues.

    One of the more painful injuries belongs to Burnt Hills wrestler Max Miller who suffered a leg fracture, taking him out for the high school winter wrestling season.
    He'll join Saratoga Springs senior quarterback/skiier Jimmy Minogue who tore his ACL during the football season. It ended the hopes of the Blue Streak gridiron squad of having a strong season as well as taking him off the slopes this winter. He hopes to be ready for his final high school lacrosse season.

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    Erin Little New York Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year

    Erin Little, center stands flanked by her parents and holds up her Gatorade award with Burnt Hills coach Gary Bynon, principal Maryellen Smymer, Superintendent Jim Schultz and 2006-2007 honoree, Sarah Morton.

    For the second year in a row, a Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake senior volleyball star has earned New York State Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year honors.

    Spartan senior center, Erin Little, capped her senior season with a trip to the New York State Class A Final Four and followed Burnt Hills graduate Sarah Morton as the second player honored by Gatorade.

    Little followed in her former Spartan teammates footsteps, guarding the front of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake volleyball net and will reunite with Morton next year, accepting a scholarship offer to Division I Syracuse University.

    "I didn't even know I was considered until Coach Bynon called me and asked me about my community service," Little said after her Jan. 4 basketball game against Niskayuna. "I was surprised because I didn't think I would get it, but I'm excited."

    Part of the senior stuffer's excitement was the company she will now keep above the court at Burnt Hills.

    "First came Sarah Morton and you could always tell she was a person on the team I could turn to," Little said. "She made me the player I was. I can't wait to play with her again next year."

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    My New Year's resolutions

    As the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31, it was time to look ahead, ponder how to better ourselves in our personal lives as well as at work. With that in mind, I came up with a few New Year’s resolutions to share.

    Resolution No. 1 — I want you to see less of me.
    Not so much in these pages, but less of me in person. I’ve been on a downward slide from a pretty hefty personal high (which made me ineligible to wrestle at the high school heavyweight division), but now it’s time to really to slash some weight. The biggest hurdle is the exercise portion of my day, which is currently non-existent. My plan now is that if you get my voicemail, it’s because I’m on the treadmill.

    Resolution No. 2 — More technology!
    Our newspaper has made an investment into new technology and it is my obligation to exploit it to its fullest. More photos, more blog entries and more video is my motto during the “Ocho” (our hip phrase in the office for the year 2008). The only challenge is trying to squeeze it all into the regular work week. I’m hoping one of the presidential candidates will be willing to add a 30-hour day and an eight-day week as part of their platform. I’m might just be running a day behind by then.

    Resolution No. 3 — More of you.
    We would really like to make our “Home Team” page a weekly occurrence, but I need your help. If your kids, your nephews or nieces play ice hockey or basketball this winter, make sure they get their scores into us at the Community News so we can incorporate them into the “Home Team” page. Make sure to e-mail photos, we like photos. Then when the weather breaks, make sure to send in scores from your baseball, softball and soccer tournaments too.

    Resolution No. 4 — More newspapers for our readers.
    We received the green light from our circulation director that we can have additional Community News distribution boxes placed throughout the community (with the approval of the business owners). They are being refurbished right now, but need to know where you want them to be placed. Let me know where you thing would be a popular, high traffic spot to grab your weekly edition of the Community News.

    Resolution No. 5 — Dirt, is good.
    A lot of readers are surprised that I spend most of my Friday nights at Albany-Saratoga Speedway watching the best local dirt track racing in the Capital Region. I’m a convert and I hope to make you one too. If I can’t I hope that I can at least bring you the names and faces of your neighbors and co-workers who love the sport.

    Resolution No. 6 — Relax!
    This resolution if for myself, the readers or the person sitting next to you at a sporting event. Try to put yourself in my shoes. I’m just there to watch the game, watch what happens and hope for an entertaining contest. No screaming, no cursing, no second guessing the coaches (Okay, I’m a softie), but try it, you might like it.

    Here’s to hoping that all of you are successful with your New Year’s resolutions. Cheers!

    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    A car racing cure for a hangover

    Forget the Polar Bear Plunge in Lake George on New Year’s Day, celebrate in the comfort of your own vehicle, racing around Albany-Saratoga Speedway for 50 laps on a snow covered track.

    That’s what the annual Hangover 100 provides racers, co-pilots and those spectators willing to brave the cold Saturday, Jan. 5 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. The cold weather racing gets underway at 1 p.m. with two big 50-lap endure class races.
    The first race is open to any rear wheel drive vehicle and the second is open to any 4- and 6-cylinder front wheel drive racer. No turbos are allowed in any division.

    Race Director Bruce Richards has lifted the driver policy and this is the only endure race that is open to any driver in any class in any division. Professionals are welcome to try their hand on the extra slick surface Saturday afternoon.

    The fastest drivers, or usually, those lucky enough to finish the race after 50 laps will be awarded with $500 to the winner, $200 for second and $100 for third.

    The action is expected to be wide open as any tire will be allowed as long as they aren’t studded.

    The drivers also have a chance of staying warm as the interior of the car may stay in tact and the windows may also remain in place. The exterior head and tail lights have to be removed along with all the plastic trim that can fall off.

    Drivers can also have company if the passenger seat is a “racing style seat” and the car has bar doors for passenger protection.

    The entry fee for the drivers is $40 per vehicle and participants can enter both races with two cars. Pit fees remain $20 for everyone and grandstand admission is $10. All kids under the stick are always free at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

    The weather is expected to spectator friendly with partly cloudy skies and a high of 35 degrees with a low of only 30. The gates open at 11 a.m. with racing getting underway at 1 p.m.

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