Dallastown boys' volleyball fought through some of the best teams in the state to reach the final of the Koller Classic at Central York High School Saturday, April 22, 2017. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Last year, when Peter Groncki sold the second-most T-shirts on the York Suburban volleyball team to raise money for charity leading up to the program's annual white out match, he made it his goal to come in first place in 2017.
Groncki accomplished that mission this season, and the Trojans reached their own goal of winning the annual match. On Thursday at home, York Suburban swept Red Lion, 25-14, 25-21, 25-21, on a night when the two programs celebrated their joint effort to raise money for charity. The Trojans and Lions raised approximately $8,200 for Suburban's ninth annual white out event, which honors Clark Fisher and John Yorgey Sr., two York Suburban volleyball fathers who both died following battles with cancer.
"I wanted to raise as much money as I can because it's such a great cause, and the last year it was a competition back-and-forth," said Groncki, who sold 91 T-shirts a year after selling 35. "I was shooting for 100, but hopefully that's next year. We want to keep raising higher."
The Trojans raised money for the Cancer Patient Help Fund and the Clark Fisher Memorial Scholarship, a Penn State York scholarship for students studying engineering. The Lions raised money for Brave Like Brooks, which supports the family of Brooks Argento, a 2016 Red Lion graduate who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year.
Red Lion head coach Rick Torbert said he was enthusiastic for the Lions to take part in the event because of his friendship with Fisher, who died in 2009 following a battle with lung cancer.
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"I used to play volleyball with Clark, so when (York Suburban head coach) Jamie (Evans) asked me if I would be a part of it in the preseason, I told him I would love to," Torbert said. "What a turnout. What a crowd. It was great tonight."
While Evans has been a part of the event for years, he said it hasn't lost any of its meaning for him. He added that it's encouraging to see the players get involved on their own when it comes to raising money.
"We tell them, 'You must sell five, but we'd like you to sell more,' so it shows that there is a bigger picture and it means a lot that they want to give back," Evans said. "We started the first year with $500, so every year it gets a little bit bigger. There's more to life than just school and sports. Everyone has a connection to cancer, and this night is something special."
As for the actual match, Suburban was challenged by the Lions in the final two sets but was still able to come away with a sweep. Zach Weinstein had a strong night for the Trojans with 16 digs, nine assists, four kills, two blocks and one ace.
York Suburban improved to 6-3 on the season while Red Lion fell to 4-5. The Trojans are currently ranked fifth in District 3 Class 2A, while the Lions are currently outside the playoff picture in 3A.