SPRING GROVE – The first varsity wrestling match that Tony Miller coached at Spring Grove seems like yesterday.
In reality, it was more than 20 years ago.
So it sometimes can take a night such as Thursday to put things into perspective. That's when Miller led his Rockets into a York-Adams Division I battle against Central York.
Sure, Miller knew that it would be a big night. It was billed as Spring Grove's Take Down Cancer Night well in advance.
It just turned out that there was a little bit more to it than that.
Entering the contest with 299 career coaching victories, Miller watched as his team took care of business against the Panthers. The Rockets raced out to an early 17-0 lead in the contest. By the time it was over, Miller’s club was celebrating the coach’s milestone after Spring Grove rolled to a 50-13 triumph.
“I was thinking about this last night,” Miller said. “That first one … it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. So I looked back and saw a list of the names of the kids I’ve coached over the years. And some of them were here tonight, so that’s really special.”
The Spring Grove Wrestling Booster Club had a banner made commemorating Miller’s milestone. It will adorn the walls in the wrestling room aside similar banners honoring his 100th and 200th career victories.
Shortly after the announcement was made at the conclusion of the match, the Spring Grove wrestlers huddled around the banner to sign their names.
For a guy such as Miller, the victories are more about the feats that his team accomplished both as a team and individually. Milestones are just another way of honoring those that he’s been able to coach over his two-decade career.
“I’ve been really blessed right here at Spring Grove,” Miller said. “A bunch of guys with 100 wins that I’ve coached and a bunch of (district and state) medalists that I’ve coached.”
Miller pointed out the school’s administration and the booster club as major keys to helping him to sustain a lengthy run of success.
“I’ve been very fortunate with the school administration and the parents and the community,” he said. “It’s a great place to be.”
That was readily apparent with the announcement that more than $23,000 was raised by the Take Down Cancer cause. In its seventh year, the annual event has raised more than $200,000 during that span.
“It’s a special night,” Miller said. “With Take Down Cancer and then this night for me, it’s great that it all came together. It’s a testament to our community. There’s a lot of people behind the scenes that do a lot of hard work and I’m not going to take credit for it.”
On the mat, the Rockets dominated by winning 10 of the 14 bouts against a team considered one of the stronger units in D-I.
“Our kids looked good tonight,” he said. “They’re getting better and better every week.”
Kennard-Dale 57, Eastern York 21: At Fawn Grove, the Rams put on a pinning display. Nine different wrestlers scored six points for K-D, with pins coming from Daemon Davis (113), Sam Stewart (126), Camron Miller (132), Nick Bradley (138), Andrew Barnett (145), Wade Rose (160), Austin McNamee (195), Ryan Goff (220) and Tanner Harkins (285). Eastern earned pins from Jonah Doughtery (120), Corey Rietscha (170) and Jahshim Snyder (182).
Dallastown 43, Northeastern 19: At Manchester, Drake Pew scored the Wildcats' lone fall, defeating Hunter Colon at 170 pounds. Dallastown also had the benefit of a trio of forfeit wins. Cole Wilson (113) and Dedrick Turner (220) each picked up pins for Northeastern. In a featured match of standout wrestlers at 285, Bryce Shields downed Blaine Yinger, 5-2. Shields bumped up from his normal weight of 220.
York Suburban 38, Dover 27: At Suburban, the Trojans dominated the upper weights, winning every bout but one from 152 through 285. Pearce Bloom (152), Andrew Frey (195) and Janner Torres (220) had pins for Suburban.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.