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The Statesman

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The Statesman

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    Seawolves Blow Chance to Turn Rivalry Around

    This season was supposed to be different. The athletic department used these words to describe the 2008 football team: “Experience. Swagger. Anticipation. Confidence.”

    Maybe they should add one more-disappointment.

    When Chuck Priore took over the head coaching job in 2006, the Seawolves had no scholarship players. They had lost to Hofstra by a combined 116-21 score in the two years prior. However since then, the number scholarship players has been rising, and the games against Hofstra have been close, albeit defeats, 17-8 and 33-28.

    But this year they were on even ground. The game was supposed to be a bona-fide rivalry game.

    “I think maybe this was the first time we’ve been on almost equal footing with them in terms of scholarships,” Hofstra coach Dave Cohen said. “In the past, it wasn’t really much of an equal rivalry.”

    Stony Brook had their chance to make it a rivalry, but failed miserably.

    This year the team went up from 35 to 55 scholarships. They only lost six players from a 6-5 team last year. The team was poised for success this year.

    “Unlike the past two years we’ve got great experience on this team,” Priore said in the preseason outlook. “We have 22 seniors and I think any time you have that type of experience on your team it’s going to allow you to be successful from the leadership standpoint, the work ethic standpoint, and the understanding of the x’s and o’s certainly has to do with experience.”

    Unfortunately it hasn’t turned out that way. It has been a rough year for the Seawolves.

    They have converted only 25% of their third downs. They have been outscored 144-85, and in the first quarter 54-21. They have not scored a touchdown in their last 11 quarters. Teams cannot win playing catch-up-especially when they can’t convert on third down.

    The Hofstra game was marred by mistakes. Two lost fumbles. Two interceptions. Snap over the punters head. Dropped touchdown pass.

    “If you’re a good football team you could overcome some of those things,” Priore said.

    The team could not overcome those mistakes-so does that make them a bad team?

    “We’ll get better,” Priore said. “And as a team they believe in that and we believe in that.”

    But do the students believe it? Will prospective athletes believe it? If this losing streak continues, it could put a damper on future recruiting.

    Picture this scenario. Meet Bob-a local athlete deciding between two schools, Hofstra and Stony Brook. He looks at Stony Brook and he sees nice stadium, good academics, and the team plays in a major conference. Then he looks at Hofstra and sees the same thing, but something sticks out-Hofstra’s 12-0 record v. Stony Brook. Which school is Bob going to pick? Probably Hofstra.

    This was finally supposed to be rivalry. And if it doesn’t become one soon, it might never be.

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