For the fourth time in the past 11 years, the Biglerville High School girls’ basketball program has been named a winner of the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Sportsmanship Award.
It's joined this year by the New Oxford boys’ program, a first-time Sportsmanship Award winner in the annual polling of the York Chapter of the PIAA Basketball Officials.
At the conclusion of each regular season, York area basketball officials vote to recognize a boys’ and girls’ program after observing the season-long conduct of York-Adams League players, fans, faculty, students, managers, coaches and cheerleaders from the junior high to varsity level. Each winning school receives a traveling trophy in recognition of its accomplishment.
In May, the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Foundation board of directors will recognize up to four seniors from each winning program. Each will receive a scholarship, with awards of $20,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 potentially going to students from each program. All told, the board could award $100,000 in scholarships this year.
“I don’t recall ever having this many teams be in the running for these awards,” said Gordie Kauffman, president of the York Chapter of PIAA Basketball Officials and a member of the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Foundation board. “The pillars of sportsmanship are really being embraced by (York-Adams) member teams.”
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 honor her memory and sportsmanship.
With their fourth program win, Biglerville’s girls are second only to Susquehannock’s girls, who in 2016 were recognized for the eighth time in the award’s 17-year history.
The first scholarships — both in the amount of $1,000 — were awarded in 2001. More than $200,000 in scholarship money has since been awarded.