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Injuries Hinder Golden Eagles’ 2016 Season

Lack of durability played a big role in "Roller Coaster" season

Tyrone+players+pile+on+Brandon+Loose+following+his+game+winning+overtime+touchdown+against+Huntingdon.++
Tyrone players pile on Brandon Loose following his game winning overtime touchdown against Huntingdon.

Tyrone players pile on Brandon Loose following his game winning overtime touchdown against Huntingdon.

Alex Stehley

Alex Stehley

Tyrone players pile on Brandon Loose following his game winning overtime touchdown against Huntingdon.

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Rain or shine, the loyal fans of the Tyrone community will support the Golden Eagles football team. However, with support there is also the expectation to win. Despite finishing with a sub par 5-6 record, the 2016 team still managed some very memorable moments and maintain its streak of making the playoffs for an incredible 22 consecutive seasons.

Our offense was finally coming together; the line was blocking hard, Gary was running hard, and Denver was really starting to get relaxed in the pocket.”

— Coach Jason Wilson

The majority of the positives came at the beginning of the season, before the injury bug hit. 

In the season opener, Tyrone beat Bellwood in a very exciting Backyard Brawl despite being down at halftime.  The Eagle’s also won in overtime against Huntingdon, the first overtime win in the history of Gray Field.

“We beat two really good playoff teams,” said Coach Wilson. “Our offense was finally coming together; the line was blocking hard, Gary was running hard, and Denver was really starting to get relaxed in the pocket.”

That’s when the team got hit with injuries.

Tyrone’s offense slowly started to fall apart as each week a different piece was missing and a new player had to fill in.  The low point of the season was probably the one point upset loss to Bellefonte, the first time the Red Raiders defeated the Eagles in over 25 years.

“It seemed like we kind of lost that intensity and we lost those basic fundamentals,” said Wilson.

The injuries began when senior lineman Steve Coyler went down with season ending ACL tear in the second game of the season. Senior tailback Gary Weaver then went down with a similar injury. Weaver did make a come back for a few games late in the year and had great 126 yard performance against Penns Valley, but opted to get surgery following that game, the last of his high school career.

Although Weaver and Coyler were both key losses, the injuries allowed Coach Wilson to develop some depth for the future. The offensive and defensive line responded well and at times made seem as though no one had been hurt.

With Weaver down, junior tailback Brandon Loose had a breakout season. Loose rushed for 846 yards and eight touchdowns. He had five games over 100 yards rushing.

Junior Daniel Peterson and sophomores Aric Reader and Isaac Jackson also filled in nicely for Coyler on the line.

“I honestly didn’t expect to have that many carries, but when Gary went down I just did what I could,” said  Loose, “I never could’ve done well without the O-line though. They really opened up holes for me and made my job easy.”

But of all the impressive individual performances of 2016, junior Parker Mitchell’s was unmatched.

Mitchell finished the season with 48 receptions, 842 yards, and 8 touchdowns receiving along with a punt return touchdown. Mitchell had the second best performance ever by a Tyrone wide out when he reeled in 14 receptions for 235 receiving yards against Bedford. Defensively he logged 20 tackles, three interceptions, and one pick six. 

I think we have players that can step up; the commitment to the off-season will be the key.”

— Coach Jason Wilson

“Parker is just a great overall athlete. He can play multiple positions for us and has great football awareness,” said Wilson.

At most skill positions, the Golden Eagles are looking poised for a better season next year.  They will return Loose at tailback, Mitchell at wide out and Light at quarterback.

One big loss the team will have to deal with in the off season is depth and strength on the offensive and defensive line. Junior Daniel Peterson and sophomore Isaac Jackson will be the only starters returning but Coach Wilson has faith in his young core of lineman coming up.

“We lose some key players on the line that have had major impacts for us” said Coach Wilson. “ However, I think we have players that can step up; the commitment to the off-season will be the key.”

Tyrone will look to heal up in the off-season and will prepare to make another run at the District title with their core of returning talent.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Injuries Hinder Golden Eagles’ 2016 Season”

  1. Jamal Hicks on December 2nd, 2016 1:40 pm

    Change the name. It wasn’t parker who scored the game winner, it was brandon

    [Reply]

    adviser Reply:

    Updated. Sorry Brandon. Thanks Jamal!

    [Reply]

  2. Jamal Hicks on December 2nd, 2016 1:43 pm

    and dink had a passing td

    [Reply]

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Injuries Hinder Golden Eagles’ 2016 Season