About this series
Coming up with a short list and then ranking the 10 greatest athletes in the history of each YAIAA high school was a daunting task. For sure, there is no scientific approach. But after two years of interviews, research and roundtable discussions, we are presenting as fair an attempt as possible to create an objective list on a decidedly subjective topic.
OUR CRITERIA: 1. The only accomplishments considered were those achieved while competing in high school varsity athletics. If an athlete earned a college scholarship, that was also factored in. 2. Accomplishments outside the setting of high school varsity sports and accomplishments after high school were not taken into account. 3. Athletes who attended more than one local high school were only evaluated at the school where they had the most varsity success. 4. Female athletes were rated by how they dominated their own sports not how they would fare going head-to-head against male athletes.

Your turn
If you d like to comment or offer a differing opinion on this list, we d love to hear from you. Each Sunday, we ll present your feedback on opinions on page 2 of the York Sunday News sports section - The Rundown. E-mail your thoughts to Sports Editor Chris Otto at cotto@ydr.com or mail them to: Greatest Athletes, c/o Chris Otto, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408.

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Elaine Wolf had the ability, the passion, the smarts and the work ethic to be a great high school athlete.

She also had the nickname that made her a household name throughout New Oxford, where she was a two-sport star.

Wolf, known as "Bink," scored a then-school record 1,432 points in her four-year career on the Colonial girls' basketball team before her graduation in 1987 and -- 20 years later -- people still talk about what a great athlete she was.

"She wasn't the biggest player, but was an extremely hard worker," said her former coach, Bob Conrad. "Along with her very good athletic ability, you take her work ethic and competitiveness, and it made her a very good player, no matter what she did."

Making Wolf's point total more impressive is the fact that she played before the advent of the 3-point line. (Although she claims that wouldn't have made a difference.)

"(My scoring) was mostly inside. It would have gotten scary out far," she joked.

Conrad disagreed.

"From 15-16 feet and in she was pretty good," Conrad said. "She could put the ball on the floor and create things. She knew what the other team was going to do, having great anticipation. She was 5-foot-7, but could jump out of the building."

With Wolf leading the way, New Oxford won the 1987 District 3 Class AAA championship after marching through the Blue Mountain League in dominating fashion.

The trophy still sits in the high school trophy case. It's definitely a team award, but most people associated with the Colonials will tell you how much Wolf meant to that squad.

In fact, Conrad vividly recalled the district title game against Daniel Boone. His team trailed by 15 points early, and Wolf hit a nearly half-court shot that cut the gap to five at the end of the first half.

"I remember looking at her, and she had that look that as a coach you always felt secure," he said. "You knew that Bink was going to be able to do something. We came back and won the district title that night."

Wolf was a part of the program that won 55 straight Blue Mountain League games during the mid-1980s. According Conrad, she wasn't the type of player who would score 30 points in a contest; she would always contribute 14 to 16.

Consistency was her mainstay on the basketball court.

In fact, many New Oxford people consider Wolf and her teammates as the catalysts for the great runs and great players who followed -- like Leslie Honaker (1,448 points), Carrie Timmins (1,456) and Courtney Davidson (1,783).

It was Wolf's school record that Honaker broke in 1989, to be followed by Timmins in 1998 and
Davidson one year later.

NOW: Elaine Wolf works in the technical education department at Spring Grove Area Middle School.
NOW: Elaine Wolf works in the technical education department at Spring Grove Area Middle School. (Submitted.)

Wolf went on to play at Bloomsburg University for two seasons before -- as she put it -- she "grew away from the game."

Wolf also played three years of softball at New Oxford, which she said was a natural transition after playing Little League baseball as a kid.

"She was a great student, great person and great athlete. One of my favorite people I ever got to coach," Conrad said. "She was a coach on the floor. She understood the game, whether it would be basketball, softball -- whatever. She knew what needed to be done."

After several years at Biglerville, Wolf works in the technical education department at Spring Grove Area Middle School.

Wolf says she still has that nickname, by the way, even if she can't really explain how it came to be in the first place.

"I really don't know where it came from," she said. "It was just something I had since I was little from what they tell me. Most everyone outside of work calls me Bink, including family."
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