The Stony Brook Seawolves gave it their all Tuesday night against the St. Bonaventure Women’s Basketball team, only to have the night end in a devastating five-point double-overtime loss.
Surrounded by deadlines and expectations, students often forget to give themselves time to let loose. With finals week fast approaching, many can be found binge drinking coffee and calculating grade point averages, all while trying to get through their 12 remaining Biology 203 ECHOS.
Attending games allows for time-outs or breaks from the overwhelming pressures that consume students. These pressures can be felt all around, with student-athletes carrying the extra burden of having to balance academics and athletics. Even so, they must exercise control and focus when attempting to put on the best shows that they possibly can.
With fewer supporters in the stands than were present during the team’s last game, the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band did its best to rouse up the crowd.
“The crowd’s energy wasn’t very exciting at first,” junior atmospheric and oceanic sciences major Nicole Casamassina said. “There weren’t that many people there, but there were a decent amount of students that had a lot of Seawolf pride, which definitely [made] me feel better.”
Casamassina, who plays the piccolo for the band, attributed the crowd’s change in energy level to the band and spirit squad, both of which largely influenced the players’ spirit as well, she said.
“Because we are the spirit of the university, we really try to make an empty arena feel like it’s packed with people,” Casamassina said. “The main goal is to always spread positivity to all the Seawolves in the arena, both the team and the fans.”
Despite the team’s loss to St. Bonaventure, there was no shortage of amusement. Trumpets blared and drums roared in excitement over each Seawolves score, with band members grinning ear to ear.
“We support the team until the very end of the game, and sometimes that means going into double overtime and continu[ing] to cheer for them,” Casamassina said.
Teasing St. Bonaventure in between pep tunes, the band maintained a positive and exciting aura, giving Stony Brook supporters a taste of what the Seawolves are all about.
“We make a lot of noise to distract the other team, but we never say anything negative toward them,” Casamassina said. “It sometimes inspires the crowd to make noise and bring up the volume.”
Some instances of this innocent mockery included band members engaging in tactics meant to distract in cases where referees failed to call the other team’s fouls. Instances at previous games included members of the band counting–in Spanish–the number of times a player making a foul shot bounces the ball, so as to augment the intensity and pressure on that player.
For those who did attend and immerse themselves in this sports-oriented subculture, community and togetherness were common sentiments. Going to a game alongside fellow Seawolves provides a sense of unity and the feeling of being embraced by school spirit.
“Seawolf spirit means that you love Stony Brook and everything it has to offer,” Casamassina said.
Casamassina also mentioned that the band always does its best to bring spirit and energy to every game played, whether the team is in first place or last. The closing tune for each game is the Stony Brook Alma Mater.
Students were made to feel welcome the moment they entered the Island Federal Credit Union Arena. Through the chanting of positive cheers and the personified sounding of instruments, the band managed to encourage spectators to shake, shimmy and tap along.
Last night’s game was fittingly called a “game to remember,” as the Seawolves fought to the end. But the band’s support is unwavering regardless of whether the team wins or loses.
“No matter what the outcome is,” Casamassina said, “we support the team.”