Yarmouth senior Jon Groothoff, joined by his parents, Earhardt and Grace, brother, Luke, sister, Ehryn, coaches Mike Hagerty and Dale Wing, and many teammates, signs his National Letter of Intent Thursday to attend and play soccer at Messiah College, a Division III powerhouse, in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Groothoff, who moved from California to Yarmouth prior to his senior season, suffered an ACL injury midway through the 2015 campaign, but Messiah stuck with him and helped him fulfill his dream of playing in college.
“I committed back in the fall and this confirms that I’ll be back next year and will be able to play,” said Groothoff, who plans to study bio-psychology. “I knew D1 wasn’t a fit for me because of what I wanted to study. Messiah is where I wanted to be. They’ve won (10 NCAA national titles since 2000).”
“Jon’s a fabulous young man,” Hagerty said. “He’s a reflection of his family and he reflects what we think is great about our program. He fit in seamlessly. It was frustrating when he got hurt, but he was an important contributor. He’s a bright kid and a bright IQ soccer player. He has a huge upside. He can play simple, fast and clean. He has a great first touch. He’s very pro-active and kids like that usually do well at the next level.”
Groothoff said he enjoyed his short stay with the Clippers.
“Playing at Yarmouth, I learned mostly character development,” Groothoff said. “I enjoyed seeing how supportive the guys were of each other. I came from a town (in California) of 170,000 to Yarmouth and learned what a tight-knit community is like.”