After wrapping up his soccer career at Elizabethtown College, Mitch Groh charted a course back to his alma mater.

"When I got out of college, my intention was coming back to York and trying to get a job in the school district I intended," Groh said. "That's what I did."

Groh scored a job as a first-grade teacher at Loganville-Springfield Elementary School in the Dallastown School District -- the same district in which Groh cut his soccer teeth, becoming a four-year varsity letter winner.

Two years later, in 1996, he picked up a job coaching the Wildcats' junior varsity boys' soccer team, and five years after that, he snagged the varsity gig.

And now, Groh is one win away from his 100th as Dallastown's head coach. He'll go for that milestone Thursday at South Western.

"One of the coaches that coached with me years ago said the age when coaches stay at the same school for 10-15 years is over," Groh said. "It means a lot to me that I've been able to stick with it as long as I have."

Groh credited not only his former players, but also his administrators at Loganville-Springfield. Because of his coaching duties, Groh leaves a half-hour before the kids at Loganville-Springfield are dismissed every day during the fall.

"I've thought of this so many times over the years," Groh said. "I'm so fortunate that my school district and my principal allow me to do that. I don't know that every school would be willing to let me do that."

The players have made it easy, too. Groh's had some good years at Dallastown. The Wildcats finished 17-5 and made districts last year, and are off to a 3-0 start this season.

"The more I think about the years I've coached, I think about all the kids that have been through the program," Groh said. "I think about all the games, the wins and the losses. But I think mostly about the kids that have come through our system and our program."


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