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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: April 2010

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.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Live webcast: Saratoga boys lacrosse at Shenendehowa, 7 p.m. April 30

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ARCA race sponsorships available for Double H Ranch June 5

On June 5, 2010, Ed Pompa of Ballston Spa will once again Race for the Ranch in the ARCA race at Pocono Speedway. 

For the past 3 years Ed has participated in the race proudly displaying the Double H Ranch logo on the hood of his car. Over the past several years Ed and his wife, Nancy, have raised funds and awareness through this program to help send children dealing with a life-threatening illness to camp. 

All programs at the Double H Ranch are free of charge. Ed has designed sponsorship levels for others to support the Double H while advertising their own corporation or business. The cost for the camp to host one child for a week is $1,800. 

Ed will once again offer sponsors the opportunity to have their name and company logo featured on his race car, with possible TV exposure live on race day on Speed TV. Make a donation to the Double H Ranch of $100 or more before May 15th indicating “Racing for the Ranch” and your name, your company name, or your company logo will be featured on Ed’s car.

100% OF YOUR DONATION GOES TO THE DOUBLE H RANCH
 Several sponsorship levels are available based on a $1,800 camper sponsorship.
(All information must be submitted by May 15, 2010.)
 -for up to 1/3 camper sponsorship, names will be put on the trunklid.
- for 1/3 to 1/2 camper sponsorship, names or logos will be put on the ‘B’ posts.
-for 1/2 to 1 camper sponsorship, names or logos will be put on doors, ahead of rear tires.
-for 1-2 camper sponsorships, names or logos will be put on the ‘C’ posts.
-for 2-3 camper sponsorships, names or logos will be put on lower rear fenders.
-for 3-4 camper sponsorships, names or logos will be put on the hood, and company will be listed in race press releases as co-sponsor of the car. Includes 2 race tickets.
-for 4+ camper sponsorships, names or logos will be put on rear fenders, and company will be listed in press releases as primary sponsor of the car. Includes 2 race tickets plus 2 pit/paddock passes to the ARCA race.
Donate today at www.doublehranch.org or by check to the Double H Ranch, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1378, Williston, VT 05495. Please indicate in Comments section online and by check “Racing for the Ranch”. For questions and additional information please contact Ed Pompa at (518) 857-3928, or by e-mail at bedrock5@nycap.rr.com

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Let Saturday be a Crappie fishing tournament day

The first annual Adirondack Crappie Tournament sponsored by the Adirondack Bass Club will be held 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 1 on Saratoga Lake, coming out of the South Shore Marina, 113 Route 9P.

The cost is $50 per boat and there is a 10 fish limit per boat, live bait is permitted.

Payout with 50 boats participating is $480 for first, $350 for second, $280 for third, $210 for fourth, $165 for fifth, $125 for sixth, $90 for seventh and $50 for eighth.

Registration and launch will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

For the more daring, the 10th annual Michael D. Ciccolella Memorial Pike Tournament will be held May 23 out of the South Shore Marina on Saratoga Lake.

Entry fee is $100 per boat for a two-man team. $5 from each entry will be donated to the Red Cross in the name of Michael D. Ciccolella. There is also an optional $10 lunker pool with 100 percent payback.

Fishing will be held 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a three-fish limit per boat with any combination of Pike, Pickerel and Walleye. Live bait is permitted.

Expected payout with 50 boats registered is $1100 for first, $800 for second, $640 for third, $480 for fourth, $380 for fifth, $280 for sixth, $200 for seventh and $120 for eighth.
 
For more information, contact Joel Marcotte at 654-7210, Scott Franck at 632-5232 or visit their website at www.adirondackbassclub.com.

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Extra Innings headlined by local talent at summer camps

Extra Innings in Saratoga features former college and professional coaches at their upcoming Summer Camp programs.

Fastpitch Softball camps are headed by Oneonta’s Michelle Norwich; Skidmore pitching coach Jackie Hall; Castleton’s Laura Rodgers, along with former Shen standout and current Syracuse pitcher, Angie Sagnelli, among others.

The Baseball camps are headed by former Cortland SUNY/AC player of the year, Coach Michael Hubbs, with former professional players, Will Groff (Cardinals) and Jimmy Dougher (Blue Jays), along side Castleton’s Oliver Aldrich, and SUNY Albany’s Chris Hackett, among others.

Camps include play at Extra Innings and DoubleDay Park in Ballston Spa for June 28th – July 2nd, July 5th – July 9th, and August 9th – 13th.  Enroll in the Rookie Camp Ages 6-9; Advanced Youth Camp 9-12; and Senior Division/Big League Camp Ages 13-15.

The camps will provide instruction in all areas of the game.  Extra Innings invites you to the only camp in the area offering a 20-hour camp with your choice of specialized instruction in Catching, Infield, or Pitching.

Junior EXPRESS announces Summer Indoor Baseball
Extra Innings – Saratoga announces its instructional Summer Indoor Baseball programs.  Both the T-Ball Division Ages 4-6 and the Rookie Division Ages 6-9 will meet twice weekly throughout the summer.  All players receive instruction every week with games,  and skill contests every Friday.  All aspects of the game including hitting, throwing, catching, fielding, and base running are taught.

Extra Innings announces Summer Pitching Clinics
Both Fastpitch and Baseball summer pitching clinics are now registering at Extra Innings.  Fastpitch clinics are every Wednesday from 4:30 – 6:00pm beginning May 5th and continuing throughout the summer with instruction focusing on speed and control.  Summer.  Baseball pitching clinics will begin July 12th and with a 12 session program that meets on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30.  Ages 9-15 are welcome in both programs.

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8th annual Mad Dog Mania College Showcase June 26 and 27

NY Elite FC will host the 8th Annual Mad Dog Mania College Showcase Tournament, which will take place in 2010 on June 26th and 27th at Gavin Park in Wilton.

Some of next year’s most talented high school junior and senior soccer players will take part in this event.  With ninety boys and girls soccer teams expected to participate, the tournament will host approximately 1400 athletes during the weekend.

Over 100 college coaches attended this event in 2009. Many of these coaches have reported that this Showcase is a wonderful resource for identifying potential student athletes.

The event also receives outstanding reviews from participating teams and their coaches. After last year’s tournament, Coach Bernie Quinn (Syracuse Fusion) wrote, “The facilities were top-notch - great fields in great condition and the organization at the event was flawless”.

For more information, visit the organizer's website at www.maddogmania.com.

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Ballston Lake's Marge Rajczewski wins USAT Duathlon National title

Marge Rajczewski of Ballston Lake captured the women’s 70-74 age group national title Sunday at USA Triathlon’s 2010 Duathlon Age Group National Championship. Rajczewski covered the course in 2:27:40 en route to the age group victory.

In addition to earning a national title, Rajczewski qualified to represent Team USA at the 2010 ITU Duathlon World Championships September 3-5 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sunday’s race was a part of USAT’s 2010 National Duathlon Festival, which featured a record field of nearly 1,800 competitors over two days of racing in scenic downtown Richmond. 

Duathlons are run-bike-run events, and Sunday’s Age Group National Championship was contested on a 5k-38k-5k course.

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CCRC 5k run/walk/bbq May 15th

The fourth annual CCRC 5k Run/ Walk/ BBQ and 1k Kids' Run will be held on Saturday, May 15th at 3 p.m. at Christ Community Reformed Church, 1010 Rte. 146, Clifton Park. Day of registration begins at 1 p.m.

The flat, fast course winds through a quiet development on roads and bike paths, around the Clifton Commons park, and back to the church. 

Awards will be given to the top two males and females, and everyone else will be eligible for raffle awards regardless of place. The 1 k Kids' Run will start at 4 p.m. All kids' finishers will receive an award. 

Giffy's BBQ will be providing the complete meal. Entry fee for adults is $25 including the race, t-shirt (for the first 100), and BBQ dinner. $15 covers the Kids' Run with T-shirt and meal. There is a maximun family rate of $80.

Proceeds go to benefit Captain Youth and Family Services. For more information or to register on line visit cccrc-cpny.org or call 518 371-7654.

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Dear diary: Another day, a new website (re-launched) and more work

Dear diary,
Important memo: Prepare for more work...the day ends in 'Y'

Today is a great day as the Community News website www.cnweekly.com is re-launched with a new look, a new platform but most importantly with a lot more attention being paid to it in the offices at 20 Lake Avenue.

For a long time we used a platform called Zwire, it was basic, it was older and I tried to fill it for both the news and sports sections as much as I could. Meanwhile, properties across the company, starting with the daily paper were getting the new and improved platform. It made sense and I waited patiently, but then the other weeklies started getting the new platform. Then I started to stew...

Well, here it is here.

It's similar across out company, but is brighter, more interactive and of course, more work.

The Community News editor, Donna Bell has blog on the front page, much to her chagrin and so does our managing editor Barbara Lombardo. As for my blog ...well, I'm in the sports section. My wife did remind me that I don't have to be the center of attention on every web page in both papers and it stems from my being an only child...Great, to be married to a psychologist is really paying off.

I had a simple response...."Well, Reda, sometimes a blog is just a blog."  Ya, she didn't think it was funny either.

So a new day, new stuff like MyCapture, added to Twitter and Facebook duties, daily video mandates become a part of my day, but the Barbara Lombardo did remind the staff of The Saratogian that if it happens in Southern Saratoga County, then it needs to go on the www.cnweekly.com website immediately. So check back often as a whole lot more hands have been called on deck for our reader and that can only be a good thing.

Thanks for reading in the past and in the future.

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Dear diary: Wild web broadcast weekend success

Dear diary,
Well the "soft opening" of our first-ever live web-broadcast from the shores of Fish Creek were a total success. I spent the weekend testing out CoverItLive combined with UStream, offering a live internet feed of the finish line during the Saratoga Invitational Regatta.

After a successful five-hour test in the newsroom watching people type, we decided to give it a go.

With little fanfare or publication it went off without a hitch and the views began to grow slowly. After three hours of uninterrupted success, I sent out an e-mail blast to the invited coaches courtesy of Chris Chase from the Saratoga Rowing Association. With help from Steve Shoemaker telecommuting over the weekend with web help on The Saratogian web-site things began to gain momentum on Sunday.

We had kudos from a set of grandparents in Vero Beach, Florida and a huge thank you from a woman who wrote "My mother has never seen my son row because she cannot walk...she just did." That just sent me over my chair. I was grateful for her kind comments and it can only propel me to do even more.

We had "good jobs" from the gang at 20 Lake Avenue and the boss, publisher Mike O'Sullivan was truly impressed with the work, something hard to do. If he's happy, then we're ALL happy.

Out of the 18 hours broadcast over the weekend, we were only down for 13 minutes total on Sunday when I lost the video connection. A few on/offs and re-embed and I was back on the air.

Another accomplishment was integrating the results out of the timing system, into my laptop and spitting out an almost newspaper-ready file. In 15 minutes I had 53 race results ready to send to the office, previously it was all hand typed (not by me, Reda usually got that task) beginning at 9 a.m. for the duration. Wendy Stein came through with the file and now I'm ready for every weekend of rowing.

I did learn a lot. People near the camera don't like a live microphone for 18 hours, but it kept the timing tent clicking, so I'll take it. We do want to improve the overall audio and timing of information on CoverItLive to keep our watchers more informed.

Next up is going to be a live stream of Friday's (April 30) boys lacrosse contest between the Shenendehowa boys lacrosse team and Saratoga at 7 p.m. I'll be up in the booth and Reda will be my sound person on the ground (live mic coaches, so be mindful) through www.saratogian.com and www.cnweekly.com. Look for taped quarters from the event and post-game interviews too.

See you and hear you 7 p.m. Friday via CoverItLive and UStream.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Horse racing panel event April 25 at Racing and Hall of Fame

Capital Region handicappers and racing analysts Nick Kling, Seth Merrow and Jeanne Wood will be featured in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s annual Countdown to the Triple Crown program at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 25.


The popular program in the Museum’s Hall of Fame Gallery includes video highlights from important prep races and audience-driven discussions with the panel.

Admission is free and each person attending will receive a complimentary issue of the Triple Crown past performances issue published by Daily Racing Form, a complimentary copy of the Thoroughbred Times’ Triple Crown Preview issue and a complimentary copy of the most recent edition of the Blood-Horse.

The 136th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 1. The 135th Preakness is scheduled for Saturday, May 15. The final leg of the Triple Crown series, the 142nd Belmont Stakes, will be run on Saturday, June 5.

Kling has been the Thoroughbred columnist and handicapper for The Record newspaper in Troy since 1998. Prior to that he held the same position with the Amsterdam Recorder. He has been the co-host of Capital OTB’s Trackfacts since 1992. In addition, he has written for The Saratogian, Post Time USA, Horseplayer Magazine and Wizard Productions.

Merrow is the founder and publisher of Equidaily.com, recently called “the single best source of horse racing news on the Internet” in an article listing Web sites of interest to racing fans. Merrow is a regular contributor to Capital OTB-TV as an analyst and handicapper. He also appears weekly on Sirius Satellite Radio’s “At the Races with Steve Byk.”

Wood began working with and riding horses as a child. An employee of Capital OTB since 1998, Wood has more than 25 years of experience with horses. She has hosted numerous handicapping seminars and has previously served on the National Museum of Racing’s Countdown to the Triple Crown panel.

Brien Bouyea, the Museum’s communications officer, will be the host of the program. Video of the key prep races is being provided by Capital OTB.

Check our the museum's website at www.racingmuseum.org

Monday, April 12, 2010

No Pulitzer, but an award just as special

Another year, another non-call from the Pulitzer Prize committee for me, but my night was just as rewarding.

I was invited to the 2010 Shenendehowa wrestling program's annual banquet as their guest of honor and was awarded the 2010 Media Award. It is without a doubt the largest award I have ever received (this being the second from a local organization, both that I will cherish forever).

It states: "Shenendehowa Wrestling Proudly Acknowledges the Media Coverage of Mr. Stan Hudy of the Saratogian. Thank You for your constant coverage of Shenendehowa Wrestling."

While I was one of the honorees on the night, I was the one left speechless as my award was preceeded by the senior's speeches. Each senior wrestler and their one female manager, took time at the microphone speaking from notes, notecards, their iPhone, but all from the heart.

For 45 minutes you could hear a pin drop as these athletes who have dedicated their lives, not just a season, to a sport where there are no excuses. The scale doesn't lie and no one else is responsible if you are pinned or out-pointed. They spoke of the moments that they felt the most fear, the moments that made them proud and thanked the men and women who have stood by their side through the years.

I spoke briefly in a quick thank you about their dedication to the sport that I most admire. The level of committment is incredible and they should all be commended for their efforts.

For me, I was truly honored to receive their 2010 media award, but what a night it was to hear these young people speak so eloquently about the people, almost all educators, about the impact they had on their lives. I was the one honored to be there, fortunate to hear them speak, grateful to be paid to see them wrestle and truly humbled by being honored by my own Pulitzer Monday night...the 2010 Shenendehowa Wrestling Media Award.

Thank you one and all.
Stan.

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Hudy Head book review: The Big Field

Daily News syndicated columnist and accomplished author Mike Lupica continues to hit his stride with “The Big Field” delighting young readers with another stellar account of youth baseball ideal for fans young and old.

“The Big Field” was released prior to this year’s young reader’s best seller “The Batboy” but remains timeless as the reader follows 14-year-old baseball player Keith Hutchinson as he looks to find himself during his summer baseball season.

“Hutch” as he is called has always been comfortable at shortstop, that is his position, but he makes way for the latest phenom to grace the field with his Boynton Beach Post 226 Cardinal squad, Darryl Williams. Hutch makes the move to second base voluntarily, even referencing New York Yankee acquisition Alex Rodriguez’s move to third base, honoring the skills of his new captain and teammate, Derek Jeter at short.

There are similarities between Hutch and Jeter, both are great players, both want the ball hit to them in key situations and both are captains of their teams.

The second situation causes the first rift between Hutch and Williams, one not being pleased with the team voting, but things escalate.

Hutch ends up being upended during practice due to a late flip by Williams and the two have words. Things spill over into a quick tackling drill between the two at a practice and one of the players earns a night off during the regional playoffs.

Throughout the story both players have challenges with their fathers. Hutch fails to find a way to communicate with his father, former top baseball player, Carl Hutchinson, but is not comparison to Williams’ living without a father figure in his life.

The goal of the Post 226 American Legion team is to advance to the Florida regional championship and play at Roger Dean Stadium, in Jupiter, Fla. the spring home of the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. While the field measures the same as the Boynton Beach team’s home field, it is the waterfalls, bleachers and televised broadcast of the American Legion regional that makes it a goal for the players.

Hutch spends much of the book attempting to make peace with Williams so that the top two hitters and stars on the squad can focus on winning a championship. Any sort of peace comes at a slow pace as the squad grinds its way through its playoff baseball schedule.

Lupica allows the book to move quickly, using play-by-play to advance the storyline when needed and then pausing like a seventh-inning stretch as the book reaches its climax.

“The Big Field” has lessons for all of its young readers as the drama for the Cardinals and its two stars unfolds.

Hutch learns to appreciate the father that he has and the work that he puts in to help his son succeed while Williams learns to appreciate his teammate. Readers are taken on a roller coaster ride of wins and losses, hits and errors all in the name of learning how to deal with life’s obstacles.

Lupica hits another home run in his young reader series, offering lessons in life on and away from the diamond in “The Big Field.”

4 Hudy Heads out of 5

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Five Saratoga County girls hoops players named to All-State teams

Averill Park standout Katie Duma and her coach, Sean Organ were named player and coach of the year by the New York State Sportswriters Association in Class A to lead the Capital Region honorees.

Saratoga County had five players earn New York State honors:

Shenendehowa sophomore Emily Weber was named a Class AA fourth team selection.
Shenendehowa senior Allie Setter was named a Class AA fifth team selection.
Shenendehowa senior Marissa Ray was named a Class AA ninth team selection.

In Class C Saratogian and Community News Player of the Year sophomore Dani DeGregory from *Greenwich was named to the third-team all-star selections.
Senior Abby Hanehan from Stillwater was a fourth-team selection.
Senior Jackie Sorensen from Waterford-Halfmoon was a seventh-team selection.

To view the entire list click NYSSWA Girls All-State team.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Saratoga Pop Warner spring golf outing May 14

The Saratoga Pop Warner program will host its 2-person scramble at Saratoga Lake Golf Club beginning at noon, Friday, May 14.

The $85 entry fee includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, a light lunch along with contests, prizes and giveaways.

For more information, contact Matt Riker at matthew.riker@gmail.com, Kay Cairns at kcairns3@nycap.rr.com or Dave Karcher at davekdesign@aol.com.

Here is the entry form for the golf outing, including sponsorsship opportunities with the Saratoga Pop Warner program.

Pop Warner Golf Outing_Registration

It's also never too early to register for Pop Warner, that registration form is also attatched.

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Saratoga's got a new skipper...Dean Bailey

Well, spring has officially sprung with the baseball and softball players have finally been freed from their gymnasium purgatory with the blessing of Mother Nature and along with unblemished records for all the Saratoga Springs varsity baseball squad has a new head coach, Dean Bailey.

I caught up with Bailey prior to the Blue Streaks scrimmage against Lake George Thursday afternoon.
in a quick video and you can read the full story in today's Saratogian.

Bailey has been with the school district and the baseball program for the past nine years and brings a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm to the program. He will be joined by former head coach, Rich Lofink, who stepped down to spend more time with his family, but applied for the assistant position to remain close to the program.

A win-win for everyone.

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No April Fool's Saratoga Lake Golf Club open for season


Duffers couldn't be any happier to see the calender change yesterday as finally for April 1 it wasn't about practical jokes, it was about practical swings on a real golf course.

Saratoga Lake Golf Club opened on April 1 and to celebrate the course is offering it's "Buck-a-Hole" rates from Monday through Thursday for the next two weeks.

For those who are mathematically challenged regarding their wallet and golf score "No, I think that was a four", here are the rates:
18 holes of golf: Monday through Thursday, $18. Friday through Sunday, $26.
Golf with cart: Monday through Thursday, $32. Friday through Sunday, $40.

9 holes of golf: Monday through Thursday, $9. Friday through Sunday, $15.
Golf with cart: Monday through Thursday, $17. Friday through Sunday, $23.

Book your tee time now, especially with some of the greatest weather to hit the northeast in April for some time at 581-6616.

If your favorite course is open, just let me know and I'll more than happy to give them a post as we look to help make 2010 "The Year of the Duffer." (unofficially of course.)

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