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LIVING THE DREAM: Dual-sport athlete Stoqua looking forward to football, basketball


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It has been a long 11 months since Sean Stoqua last played varsity sport for Acadia, and the Ottawa native can’t wait for the season to start.

Stoqua, 21, is in a unique position in terms of university sport, in this conference and maybe in the country. He plays two varsity sports - football and basketball - and has started for both teams.

Last fall, he was a starting defensive cornerback for the football Axemen before suffering a serious ankle injury in practice that cost him the rest of the football season and, as it turned out, the entire basketball season. Although he is entering his fourth year at Acadia, he is likely going to get his year of eligibility restored.

“I’ve spoken to (athletic director) Kevin Dickie, and he says I should be getting my year back,” he said. “You need to play three football games to count as a year of eligibility, and I only played two.”

He wasn’t able to play basketball for the Axemen at all, which he says was “kind of a disappointment.” However, he is now “back to 100 per cent, with full range of motion back in my ankle,” and is cleared to play both sports.

 

Back on the field

Stoqua said he is anticipating once again being a starter in football, albeit at a different position, as a free safety as opposed to cornerback, where he played his first two years. “I don’t expect it will be all that different. I’m looking forward to it.”

He also plans to return to the basketball Axemen once football season is over. While football coach Jeff Cummins discourages him from practicing basketball during football season, Stoqua said he “practices on my own to keep my skills sharp.”

Stoqua, a five-foot, 11-inch point guard, has been playing basketball since he was eight years old.

“I picked up football in high school. In some ways, I wish I’d started football earlier. I enjoy them both.”

 

At Acadia

It was basketball that first brought him to Acadia in the fall of 2011.

“I was recruited as a basketball player,” he said. “I made the football team as a walk-on.”

He explained former basketball Axemen Anthony Ashe “lives just down the street from me in Ottawa. He had transferred to Acadia from Carleton, and he was telling me about the school. He told Coach Baur about me, and Coach Baur recruited me.”

His decision came down to Carleton and Acadia.

“I chose Acadia because I knew I’d have the chance to try out for football. Carleton didn’t have a football team then,” he said.

“I’ve never regretted my decision, and I’d make the same choice today.”

During his first year in 2011-2012, he was part of conference champions in both sports, and he added another AUS football championship in the fall of 2012. He played at the CIS basketball Final Eight in both 2012 and 2013, finishing fifth and then fourth.

“One thing that’s often overlooked,” he said, “is that my second year, I got to play in national semifinals in both sports.”

He adds that he feels “quite fortunate” to have been part of both programs.

“I came to Acadia at a good time, with both programs on the rise,” he said.

He feels this year’s football team “has lots of talent, and a lot of returning players. We’re all pretty excited.”

When it comes time for basketball season, “we’ll have a very different team,” with the loss of four graduated seniors and a new head coach in Kevin Duffie.

“It’ll be a bit of a transition, but I’m excited and looking forward to it.”

He will have something extra to look forward to come basketball season. His younger brother Brendan starts at Acadia this fall and plans to try out for the basketball team.

”It’ll be exciting and fun to have him here,” he said.

 

Looking ahead

Asked how long he planned to stay at Acadia, Stoqua admitted he wasn’t sure at this point, given the potential change in his eligibility status.

“My plan,” he said, “has always been to spend five years, and take advantage of my five years of eligibility.”

As for the longer term, “I’d like to continue to play sports as long as I can. Which sport I play doesn’t really matter. I like them both equally.”

Stoqua does have a bit of an incentive in trying to make the CFL. His father, Pat, played six seasons (1979-1984) as a receiver with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

This season was supposed to be Sean’s CFL ‘draft year’, but with the change in his status, “I’m entering my third year, eligibility-wise, so it gets moved back a year.”

It has been a long 11 months since Sean Stoqua last played varsity sport for Acadia, and the Ottawa native can’t wait for the season to start.

Stoqua, 21, is in a unique position in terms of university sport, in this conference and maybe in the country. He plays two varsity sports - football and basketball - and has started for both teams.

Last fall, he was a starting defensive cornerback for the football Axemen before suffering a serious ankle injury in practice that cost him the rest of the football season and, as it turned out, the entire basketball season. Although he is entering his fourth year at Acadia, he is likely going to get his year of eligibility restored.

“I’ve spoken to (athletic director) Kevin Dickie, and he says I should be getting my year back,” he said. “You need to play three football games to count as a year of eligibility, and I only played two.”

He wasn’t able to play basketball for the Axemen at all, which he says was “kind of a disappointment.” However, he is now “back to 100 per cent, with full range of motion back in my ankle,” and is cleared to play both sports.

 

Back on the field

Stoqua said he is anticipating once again being a starter in football, albeit at a different position, as a free safety as opposed to cornerback, where he played his first two years. “I don’t expect it will be all that different. I’m looking forward to it.”

He also plans to return to the basketball Axemen once football season is over. While football coach Jeff Cummins discourages him from practicing basketball during football season, Stoqua said he “practices on my own to keep my skills sharp.”

Stoqua, a five-foot, 11-inch point guard, has been playing basketball since he was eight years old.

“I picked up football in high school. In some ways, I wish I’d started football earlier. I enjoy them both.”

 

At Acadia

It was basketball that first brought him to Acadia in the fall of 2011.

“I was recruited as a basketball player,” he said. “I made the football team as a walk-on.”

He explained former basketball Axemen Anthony Ashe “lives just down the street from me in Ottawa. He had transferred to Acadia from Carleton, and he was telling me about the school. He told Coach Baur about me, and Coach Baur recruited me.”

His decision came down to Carleton and Acadia.

“I chose Acadia because I knew I’d have the chance to try out for football. Carleton didn’t have a football team then,” he said.

“I’ve never regretted my decision, and I’d make the same choice today.”

During his first year in 2011-2012, he was part of conference champions in both sports, and he added another AUS football championship in the fall of 2012. He played at the CIS basketball Final Eight in both 2012 and 2013, finishing fifth and then fourth.

“One thing that’s often overlooked,” he said, “is that my second year, I got to play in national semifinals in both sports.”

He adds that he feels “quite fortunate” to have been part of both programs.

“I came to Acadia at a good time, with both programs on the rise,” he said.

He feels this year’s football team “has lots of talent, and a lot of returning players. We’re all pretty excited.”

When it comes time for basketball season, “we’ll have a very different team,” with the loss of four graduated seniors and a new head coach in Kevin Duffie.

“It’ll be a bit of a transition, but I’m excited and looking forward to it.”

He will have something extra to look forward to come basketball season. His younger brother Brendan starts at Acadia this fall and plans to try out for the basketball team.

”It’ll be exciting and fun to have him here,” he said.

 

Looking ahead

Asked how long he planned to stay at Acadia, Stoqua admitted he wasn’t sure at this point, given the potential change in his eligibility status.

“My plan,” he said, “has always been to spend five years, and take advantage of my five years of eligibility.”

As for the longer term, “I’d like to continue to play sports as long as I can. Which sport I play doesn’t really matter. I like them both equally.”

Stoqua does have a bit of an incentive in trying to make the CFL. His father, Pat, played six seasons (1979-1984) as a receiver with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

This season was supposed to be Sean’s CFL ‘draft year’, but with the change in his status, “I’m entering my third year, eligibility-wise, so it gets moved back a year.”

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