Gretchen Wolf Swartz sportsmanship team honors handed out for 2021 season

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
Red Lion High School head basketball coach Steve Schmehl.

The Red Lion High School boys' basketball team has proven that great success and great sportsmanship don't have to be mutually exclusive.

The Lions, after one of best seasons in program history, have been named the boys' winner of the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Sportsmanship Team Award for 2021. 

Hanover High School won the 2021 girls' honor.

Both programs are first-time winners of the award.

Red Lion, under the direction of longtime head coach Steve Schmehl, won the York-Adams League Division I championship this season at 17-3 overall and 12-2 in the division. It was Red Lion's first D-I crown since 2008.

The Hanover girls, meanwhile, finished 9-9 overall under head coach Denny Garman.

In May, members of the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Foundation Board will recognize some senior members from each team with scholarships. Last year, the board awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to members of the Gettysburg High School girls' team and the York Suburban High School boys' team.

The winning programs are determined by a poll of members of the York Chapter of PIAA Basketball Officials.

This year, according to a news release announcing the 2021 winners, voting was extremely close, and every member school received at least one vote for either their boys' team or girls' team.

At the conclusion of each regular season, the officials vote to recognize a boys’ and girls’ program after observing the season-long conduct of York-Adams players, fans, faculty, students, managers, coaches and cheerleaders from the junior high through the varsity level. Both winning programs receive a traveling trophy in recognition of their accomplishments.

Gretchen Wolf Swartz was a York County basketball official from 1981 to 1995. Following her death from leukemia in 1997, her fellow officials created the memorial team awards and a scholarship fund to promote and honor sportsmanship.

When South Western earned the first Gretchen Wolf Swartz Sportsmanship Award in 2001, only one $1,000 scholarship was awarded. Since that first year, $652,000 in scholarship money has been awarded.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.