SARATOGA SPRINGS — Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake head coach Brian Bold has made it to the Class A state semifinals seven times in his nine seasons coaching the team. A Spartans win this Saturday would put them in the finals for the first time since 2003. To do that, they will have to go through the No. 2 team in the state, Long Island’s Garden City, who ousted Burnt Hills, 2-1, in the Final Four en route to their last state championship in 2010. “Their style of play was pretty quick, pretty physical and very direct,” Bold said. “In my homework that I’m doing, that style of play is still their style. We expect to see what we see in the Suburban Council—at that level or higher. I believe Long Island has one of the best leagues down there, but I also believe the Suburban Council is one of the best leagues in the state.” While the Suburban was a grind for the Spartans, who were unable to win more than two regular season games in a row, the team hit a turning point on October 19 against Niskayuna. After losing to the Silver Warriors in September, 4-0, Burnt Hills responded with a 2-0 win in the regular-season finale. It was the only time the prominent Niskayuna offense was held scoreless this season, except for their regional loss to Cicero North Syracuse last Saturday. “It was like the lights came on for us that day,” Bold said. “Everything sort of came together. We had pockets of greatness throughout our season. The night against Niskayuna, all those little pockets came together as a whole.” It was also the first of the Spartans’ current six-game winning streak that claimed yet another Section II Class A title and the chance to reach the finals on the 10-year anniversary of the program’s last state championship. “The learning curve of this season has been a little bit longer, but we are a completely different team between now and then,” Bold said. “We’ve moved kids around, our back four is finally settled in, we’re a completely different working team, we have a winning personality and we have kids right where they need to be. They understand their role and we’re peaking right now.” Bold had to puzzle the pieces together all season. Moving Angelina Giorgio from midfield to the back and putting Kylee Babcock at right back, in the second half of the season, to join Michael Hitt and Eleanor Muller at center back and left back, respectively, has paid dividends. The Spartans have nine shutouts in 2013. Eight of them have come in the season’s second half, including three of the team’s last four playoff games. The decision to take Meghan Malone away from playing up front with the school’s all-time leader in goals and assists, Morgan Burchhardt, may have been the most pivotal move of them all. After playing the two side-by-side last year, the move was made to take further advantage of Malone’s physical presence and athleticism. “[Malone]’s a junior who plays like a senior because she’s had so many years of experience,” Bold said. “She’s an absolute leader in the midfield. This year she’s really become vocal in demanding things and expectations. Meghan was originally a target striker. We wanted her to touch the ball more. She has grown and matured in that role and is really taking on the personality of an attacking central midfielder.” The coaching moves don’t end there. Splitting time between sophomore goalkeepers Haley Schultz and Erin Petrillose, with Petrillose starting games and Schultz finishing, has been both a “luxury” and “blessing” for Bold. But throughout the postseason, the two have played based on the opponent’s offensive style. “They both have their strengths and both have their weakness,” Bold said. “If I could push them together to be one goalkeeper, they’d probably be one of the best keepers in the state. We’ve been moving them around based on what we need.” In a rematch of last season’s regional loss, the Spartans’ win against Section III Jamesville-DeWitt came down to penalty kicks. Schultz was inserted between the posts, making three straight saves and getting her hand on a fourth to ensure the win. “Last year, that game showed us how cruel soccer could be,” Bold said. “We out-shot them. We did everything we could do, but we could not score. I think the kids that returned had a bitter taste in their mouth from last year’s match and wanted this one on their home turf.” After taking the next game 5-0 over Peru, the Spartans continued what has been a dominant Section II run since Bold has been head coach. In that time, they have never lost a playoff game at Stillwater. In fact, they have never lost in the postseason in Section II in the last nine years. The only losses have come in the state tournament and in last year’s regional play. But although Bold was on the 2003 team that won the Class A state tournament, as an assistant coach, and has said he’s been fortunate to get this far before, this weekend’s game is one he has never won. “For our program, it would mean a great deal because there was a great deal of kids in my nine years here that have worked very hard and come very close, so I think for our program and past players it would be a rewarding thing because we’ve been so close and it would be a relief,” Bold said. “I would like to get one. You go and work hard and get so close. Everybody knows this time of year you have to be good, but you also have to be a little lucky and we’re hoping that these two things are in our favor this weekend. I’d like to look back on it and say, ‘We finally got one in 2013.’” As Garden City makes its second trip to Cortland for states in the last four years, the No. 3 ranked Spartans will have their hands full. The winner of Saturday’s game, which starts at 5 p.m. at Tompkins-Cortland Community College, will play the winner of Section IX’s Goshen Central and No. 1 ranked Honeoye Falls Lima (Section V), who is undefeated. The championship game will be at SUNY Cortland, Sunday at 2 p.m.
SARATOGA SPRINGS —The second annual Saratoga Mom Prom—a ladies night out—to benefit Saratoga County Children’s Committee is April 26 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Saratoga Hilton. Pull out your old prom gown or bridesmaid dress (or head to a consignment shop), accessorize in your era of prom and come join the fun. There will be dancing, lite fare, raffle baskets as well as prom activities.
Register for $55 and learn more at www.saratogamomprom.com or call (518) 587-5392. Benefit a great cause and have fun reliving your prom memories. Age 21 and up are welcome and you do not need to be a mom to attend.
Saratoga County Children’s Committee serves the needs of children throughout Saratoga County. It is a completely volunteer organization and without a paid staff, 100 percent of monies donated are spent to provide relief to children in need.
The SCCC’s greatest effort is The Empty Stocking Project that provides over 800 children with holiday gifts. Requests are received from agencies such as Domestic Violence Services, EOC, Franklin Community Center, Project Lift, Saratoga Early Intervention, Saratoga County Social Services as well as Nurses in Saratoga County Schools. Throughout the year, the Committee provides such items as clothing, cribs and baby supplies, school supplies and sports equipment, along with special needs such as medical supplies and equipment and dental work.
New members are always welcome. At this time, there is a need for volunteers willing to sponsor a child for The Empty Stocking Project. To volunteer for membership or to sponsor a child, call (518) 587-1236.
SARATOGA SPRINGS —At last weekend’s opening of the indoor Saratoga Farmers’ Market at the Lincoln Baths in Saratoga Spa State Park, vendor tables displayed the broad diversity of products being grown and produced in this region.
Outside the building, on either side of the circular driveway, several vendors sold a wide range of produce, fresh fish and décor items including pottery, autumn-themed floral centerpieces and evergreen swags. Inside the building, more than three dozen additional vendors and farms loaded their tables with everything from apples to duck eggs to handmade soap to pasture-raised Angus beef.
The steady stream of cars arriving at the park made it clear that local residents are fond not only of farm-fresh vegetables and handmade crafts, but also tasty Saturday morning market traditions such as fresh-baked pastries and muffins, steaming hot cocoa and coffee, warm egg sandwiches, cold-pressed juice and filling burritos.
Inside the building customers were shopping on two levels. The upper level showcases many vendors with prepared and ready-to-eat foods, including pastries, bread, cookies, smoothies, jam, crackers, pickles, olive tapenade and peanut butter. On the lower level, farms sold a variety of produce, milk, cheese, meat, honey, apples and handmade items including soap, goats’ milk lotions, herbal tick repellant and pottery.
With gift-givers already preparing for the upcoming holidays, here are some ideas for “buying local” this year and supporting the region’s farms and producers:
The market sells many items that make great gifts and are relatively small and easy to ship: handmade soap in a variety of scents and fun shapes that kids and adults adore; lotions made of goats’ milk; herbal tick repellant; beeswax candles; handcrafted pottery that is both functional and a work of art.
In addition to baked goods such as small cakes, pies, tea breads, cookies, pastries and brownies, vendors sell gift-ready breakfast items including granola, jam, honey, maple syrup and peanut butter (plain and with mixed-in extras).
Gifts from Nature
For Thanksgiving, local flowers, gourds and pumpkins at the market make a welcome gift for anyone you visit. Looking ahead to December, the market is already featuring evergreen swags and other small décor items and in a few weeks will have garland and Christmas trees. Unique glass terrariums in a range of sizes will last through the winter with a minimum of care.
Fresh Food and Market Gifts
For someone who would enjoy selecting their own fresh produce, special cheese or dairy items, fresh fish and locally-raised meat, a market gift certificate can be the perfect choice. Combine it with an insulated shopping bag or stainless steel mug, or a decorative pouch with wooden market tokens that can be spent like cash and your gift recipient will be ready to shop on Saturdays this winter. These items are available at the Market Table in the front lobby of the building.
When I am giving lessons to new students, more times than not I have to adjust how far or close they stand to the ball when they are hitting their irons. Almost always I find golfers stand too far away, so let’s focus our attention on that.
Most golfers don’t have a clear understanding of what is correct. They just do what is comfortable. Their arms, especially the right arm on right-handed golfers, are rigid and locked in a stiff, un-athletic manner.
This is one of the root causes of poor swing mechanics. Extending the arms so far away from the body creates a myriad of problems. “Reaching,” as I call it, throws everything off—it changes the optimum swing plane, which creates a poor swing-path; it throws your balance off and makes it difficult to make solid, consistent contact with your irons.
In addition to that, being too far away from the ball and over-extending your arms actually reduces your club-head speed so you won’t hit the ball as far and certainly not as straight.
Your address position is the foundation for the entire golf swing and if you begin in an improper position, you greatly decrease the odds of hitting a good golf shot.
Hopefully this photograph will explain and make it easy for you to understand how to get into a proper set-up position. It’s pretty simple. I really only look for one thing: I want to see the toes, the butt end of the grip and the center of the shoulder on the same vertical line.
If those three things are touching that line, you’ll be in great shape!
I know, when hitting a ball your view isn’t from the same angle as shown in the photo, so how do you know if you are set up properly?
All you have to do is let your arms hang straight down. Don’t reach.
There needs to be a little softness in the right arm. If you set up like this, you’ll find a lot of your swing issues will be diminished. Many of you will feel, at first that you are standing too close to the ball but I can assure you, you are not. If you feel that way it’s because you got into a bad habit and were too far away from the ball to begin with.
As Byron Nelson said, “You can never stand too close to the ball.”
I find that many older golfers I have given lessons to don’t have their hands on this vertical line. Want to know why? Because as many men age, their bellies gets bigger. As the belly grows bigger, the arms naturally reach more away from the body because their gut is in the way.
Hey, no shame, it happened to me too.
Again, this causes the swing plane to change and golfers then will swing more with their arms and less with their torso, and that’s the reason many of you wonder why you don’t play golf as well or hit the ball as far as you used to. If you are conscious of this fact and do a little maintenance and make sure you are not “reaching,” you can continue playing awesome golf even though your body is no longer so awesome.
Remember, this relates to irons only. With your hybrids and woods, your arms need to extend away from the body somewhat because the clubs are longer and you hit these clubs with more of a sweeping motion.
Try this and your swing will feel more fluid and athletic. Your path will be better. Your contact will be better. The ball will fly longer and straighter. You’ll once again get that great feeling of hitting your irons in the sweet spot.
Fred Fruisen is the coachofgolf. Fruisen is a PGA Professional and the head golf coach at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. For more lessons, go to the website coachofgolf.com. For personal instruction, call (518) 565-7350.
TROY—The Hudson-Mohawk Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, in conjunction with the New York Solar Energy Society, awarded Clean Tech ECHS student Brian Pfeil the 2013 “Dr. Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy Energy Innovator” award.
This award is presented to an outstanding high school senior from the Hudson-Mohawk Section geographic region who has demonstrated academic excellence in STEM-related subjects and who plans to continue his/her studies after high school in an energy-related field.
Brian, a senior from Burnt Hills High School, attends the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School at Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART in Malta. Brian was recommended for the award by his Photovoltaics Theory and Design college instructor as well as by faculty of the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries ECHS. Brian’s junior year capstone project focused on a system designed to capture energy from vehicular traffic.
ASME, initially established as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is a world-wide, non-profit, professional organization with the mission to serve diverse global communities by advancing, disseminating and applying engineering knowledge for improving the quality of life, and communicating the excitement of engineering. The Hudson-Mohawk Section serves the upstate New York region and includes Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Clinton, Essex, Warren, Washington, Schoharie, Delaware, Montgomery and Fulton counties.