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Stony Brook football prepares for spring season

Stony Brook quarterback Tyquell Fields drops back to

Stony Brook quarterback Tyquell Fields drops back to pass during the Seawolves' annual spring game at LaValle Stadium on April 27, 2019. Credit: Daniel De Mato

They’ve heard of spring practice, but how about a spring season? That’s what the Stony Brook football team has to look forward to this year, as the group is only a week away from opening an untraditional training camp ahead of the most untraditional season.

Camp will open Feb. 5, one month and one day before the Seawolves open a six-game Colonial Athletic Association schedule against Villanova at LaValle Stadium on March 6. When that happens, it will be over a year since Stony Brook played a game because the conference moved the football season to the spring over concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Certainly, like I’m sure every other coach feels, it’s been a long time from when you really had to think about playing a football game," Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said on a CAA Football Media Day zoom call Wednesday morning. "But our overall process from last March to today has been to keep the kids informed, be organized, and be real efficient in everything we do."

Priore continued: "This has been a team that has attacked it with a passion for success. I think it built great team moral when we got back here in the fall after being apart."

Stony Brook was able to hold 11 official practices over four weeks in the fall. Priore thinks that the intensity of those sessions will help with any in-game rust .

"We treated fall ball very differently than spring ball would have been," Priore said. ". . . We stayed within the guidelines of what type of contact we were allowed to have, but we certainly did it more, extended the whistle more, and asked them to be more physical. Because, that’s the part of the game that you really lose."

Stony Brook returns five starters on offense and seven on defense from a team that went 2-6 in the conference in 2019. Priore said he expects redshirt senior quarterback Tyquell Fields to transform into a more accurate passer this year. Fields completed 51.4% of his passes in 2019 and completed fewer than half his passes in six of 12 games in 2019. During that season, Fields threw for 2,471 yards, 16 touchdowns and had 11 interceptions. He also ran for 338 yards and four touchdowns.

"He had the opportunity all spring and summer to study himself," Priore said of Fields. "His play-action game was lights out for us, his ability to throw the ball up the field and yards per reception. But he needed to become more accurate and I think those are the things we worked on and saw great improvement."

Fields will also be returning for the fall season, Priore said.

"It’s a win for all of us," said Priore.

New York Sports