By Taylor Alessi and Jim Ferchland
A windy Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium was home to the Stony Brook Seawolves football team practice on March 29th. The team is getting ready for the upcoming Fall of 2016 season after a substandard 5-5 record last season.
Coming into his 11th season, Stony Brook football head coach Chuck Priore arranged spring sessions to construct and develop consistency, helping improve player fundamentals.
“Spring practice is an essential time for all college football programs,” Stony Brook Athletic Director Shawn Heilbron said. “It is an opportunity to develop and learn. Whether a team is coming off of a 5-5 or 12-0 season, the work done in the spring is essential toward building for the fall.” Heilbron said.
The Seawolves football team is bringing back 17 players that started at least three games in the 2015 season. The team will hold practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, holding the team scrimmages on Saturdays over the next four weeks from March 24 to April 23.
Last season, the team started off winning their first two games allowing only 15 points setting the defensive tone. However, the Seawolves lost five games in a row later in the season with consistency proving to be an issue. On the Offensive side the team struggled after the first two games of the 2015 season, with a combined 51 points in their 3rd-7th games of the season. The defensive side the team had won their last three games with allowing a combined 18 points.
“We’re starting at the bottom and working to the top, we aren’t looking at it as if we’ve been here. We’re working like everyone else new or old.” Junior wide receiver Ray Bolden said.
Bolden led the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with 68 receptions and led the team with 782 all purpose yards according to the 2015 statistics. Bolden plans on focusing on execution this season.
“Spring practice is all about getting better each practice and trying to do our best individually and collectively, so I think right now we are doing a pretty good job of that.” Joe Carbone, Quarterback for the Seawolves, said.
The Seawolves came out of their 2015 season with a total 173 points against the opposing team’s. Carbone, thinks the team has room to improve for the upcoming season.
Aside from having strong tactics and plans to train harder, the chemistry of the team is a contributing factor in why the team starts training in the spring.
“When you have a lot of returning players it’s easier because you know the guys you are playing with, there’s a lot of chemistry that place, and we start getting to know each other better and spending time with them all day, its really helps out,” Carbone said.
“Continued investment in support areas such as academics, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and meals and nutrition are critical to our growth,” Heilbron said. “It’s all about recruiting outstanding individuals who will represent Stony Brook with class on and off of the field. The winning will be a byproduct of us building this program the right way.”
The Seawolves are anticipating the upcoming season, but acknowledge that their Spring practices will help advance them as a team. Coach Priore is hopeful the practices will prove success for the upcoming season.
“We’ll be ready when the time comes,” Priore said.