TA coach reflects on season
BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Tunkhannock Area’s varsity football team wrapped up a 2-8 season on Nov. 2 with a 42-21 loss to Carbondale, but despite some struggles throughout the year, coach Rod Azar thought the team made progress.
Azar, who just finished up his second season with the Tigers, said the Tigers initially went into the season thinking they would win a few more games.
“I expected us to win more games this season,” Azar said. ‘But I knew it would be very tough.”
However, Azar said the team did a great job rebounding from tough losses and playing at 100 percent each week.
“The players never quit,” Azar said. “And they fought back all season long.”
Azar said he felt the Tiger team was competitive in more games this season than last.
“We were competitive in more football games this season, but there were still some big blowouts,” Azar said. “And those are hard.”
He said the Tiger offensive and defense lives were banged up all season, which ended up hurting the Tigers against bigger and better teams on the schedule.
However, the year had many bright spots, and Azar attributes that to the hard-working nature of the Tiger team.
“The players worked their butts off all year,” Azar said. “And there were some times this season when it really showed.”
When it didn’t show, it took a toll on the morale of the team.
“We didn’t protect our quarterback consistently,” Azar said. “And we couldn’t stop the run.”
Azar pointed out that most of the Tigers’ struggles came from not being big and strong enough up front.
“We also just made way too many mistakes offensively,” Azar said. ‘That’s something we definitely need to fix this offseason.”
With the 2012 season in the books, Azar said one fond memory he will take from the season is the Tigers winning their homecoming game on Oct. 19 with a 35-14 victory over Williamsport.
“We won our first homecoming game in many, many years,” Azar said. “And our 11 graduating seniors are great young men and were an honor to coach.”
Given some time to reflect, Azar is developing a strong offseason plan for the Tigers to continue to grow the program.
“We need more players in general,” Azar said. “And we need a great offseason in the weight room, especially from our linemen.”
Azar’s goal remains to bring excitement and a winning tradition back to Tunkhannock football.
“We haven’t won six regular season football games in Tunkhannock in 20 years,” Azar said. “Progress is a very tough and tedious process, but I remain excited and optimistic that a winning season isn’t far away.
He said Tunkhannock has some great young players coming through the system, and the district had a competitive freshman football season this past year.
“This year’s graduating seniors moved the varsity program forward,” Azar said. “And I’m excited to get back to work in the offseason.”
Tunkhannock’s full season results are below:
Aug. 31, 28-0 loss at Coughlin.
Sept. 7, 38-6 home loss to West Scranton.
Sept. 14, 28-18 win at Montrose.
Sept. 21, 47-0 loss at Pittston.
Sept. 28, 27-20 home loss to Crestwood.
Oct. 5, 49-0 loss at Berwick.
Oct. 12, 48-7 loss at Wyoming Valley West.
Oct. 19, 35-14 home win over Williamsport.
Oct. 26, 60-0 home loss to Dallas.
Nov. 2, 42-21 home loss to Carbondale.