Decade’s best No. 6: Muncy’s Sean Tetreault helped Indians achieve greatness
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the latest in a series looking back at the top 10 football teams, coaches, games and players from last decade
This reporter stood at midfield following last year’s Week 6 Canton-Muncy game as both teams held their post-game meetings. The Muncy huddle was close enough that I could hear and coach Sean Tetreault remained positive despite Canton winning, 27-13. This game was over, Tetreault said. It was on to the next challenge and Muncy would reverse the result if these teams met again.
I have not played football since 1991, and I was ready to run through a wall, so just imagine how his players felt.
Tetreault has helped Muncy achieve greatness during his five years there and his ability to motivate and get the best out of all his players is a major reason why. Six week after suffering that loss to Canton, Muncy earned a rematch on the road in the District 4 Class A championship and won, 23-19.
“It’s an amazing feeling. We never gave up all season,” two-way starter Nate Palmatier said following the win. “We always believed we could do this and it’s great coming out and repeating as district champions.”
That really has been the Muncy story under Tetreault. The Indians might experience some setbacks here and there, but when it matters most they often elevate their performance. Tetreault has them believing they can conquer any challenge and then puts them in the best positions to make that possible.
Muncy has won three district championships the past our seasons and the one year it did not win districts, it captured the NTL-II title. It has been quite a run for Muncy since Tetreault took over in 2015.
Ironically, Tetreault once loved beating Muncy. He was a standout lineman on some super Hughesville teams, including the 2005 squad which went 9-2 and won a share of the CSC-II championship. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound left tackle became a Division III All-American at Lebanon Valley in 2009 and was a three-year starter who helped fuel a dramatic turnaround there. Tetreault was a first team league all-star twice before playing two years in the Indoor Football League.
After arriving at Muncy, Tetreault quickly started building a team in his image. The Indians have featured some excellent quarterbacks the past five seasons with Coleman Good, Kolby Moyer and Branson Eyer all being 1,000-yard passer. The foundation for Muncy’s success, however, starts up front. The offensive line has been a strength each year and has paved the way for those championship runs. It is a similar tale on defense. The Indians give ground grudgingly and have featured some dynamic linebackers and defensive backs with defensive end Hunter Poust, linebacker Mike Kustanbauter and cornerback Dylan Wilt all earning all-state honors.
This was not an overnight success story, but strides were made during Tetreault’s debut season. Muncy reached districts for the first time since 2010 and played eventual champion and top-seeded Wellsboro tough in a 14-0 semifinal loss. In defeat, Muncy offered a glimpse of things to come because the first time those two teams had played Wellsboro won, 33-12, building a 33-point second-half lead.
That was the last time Muncy lost to the same team twice in one season.
Over the next four seasons, Muncy continued peaking at the perfect time. And during those three district championship runs, Muncy has gone 5-0 against teams which had defeated it in the regular season, winning four of those games on the road.
Muncy captured its first district title of the 2000s in 2016 when it beat Wyalusing and top-seeded Sayre on the road. This was the first of three times in four years that Muncy exacted revenge on Sayre, blanking the high-scoring NTL-II champions, 13-0.
Following a league title in 2017, Muncy put together a 7-3 regular-season campaign. It then set out on what it called its “Redemption Tour.” The Indians again paid back Sayre after suffering a regular-season defeat, beating it 19-7 after allowing 28 points the first time. Muncy completed the tour when it went to Canton and beat the top seed, 9-7.
“When we lost to Canton and Sayre we looked at the rankings and we said, ‘We’re going to get them both again and we have to be ready to go,'” Tetreault said following the championship. “We termed it The Redemption Tour and our kids took onus of it and it’s great to see them win another title.”
Few expected Muncy to add another championship in 2019. Muncy was hit hard by graduation, lost most of its starters, had few seniors and dressed fewer than 30 players each week. There were several promising young players, but it was the future which seemed bright. Tetreault, however, convinced his players that the future was now. The Indians kept improving each week and won three of their final four regular-season games, entering districts as the No. 3 seed at 6-4.
It was time for Redemption Tour 2.0
The path was the same, except this time Muncy had to go on the road for both games. No problem. Muncy’s offensive line surged, all-state running back Ethan Gush scored four touchdowns and Muncy won, 26-20. A week later the tour ended with another championship celebration at Canton as the Indians used a long and punishing fourth-quarter drive to rally for a 23-19 win.
Muncy jumped on the top seed early and used plays it had saved all season for this particular moment. Whatever Muncy had in its arsenal, it unleashed and it helped it produce one of the more memorable championship wins in program history.
“This one is really special to me because it’s three in four years for these seniors,” Tetreault said. “We had some rough spots at the start of the year and some questions, but we never wavered and they believed in themselves and it’s great to see them get another one.”
The team that so few outside the locker room overlooked was not finished. Muncy won its first state tournament game the following week, blasting District 3 champion Millersburg, 49-0 and reaching the state quarterfinals. The Indians lost to Lackawanna Trail in the Elite 8, but return a strong core next season and might just be getting started under Tetreault.
“These seniors want that legacy to last at Muncy and it’s great to see them pushing the younger kids to get better every day,” Tetreault said last year. “They are playing Muncy football.”
And they have quite a leader showing them how.