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Each season, the York Chapter of the PIAA basketball officials pays attention to the season-long conduct of players, fans, faculty, students, managers, coaches and cheerleaders from junior high to varsity at YAIAA schools.

It's an important task because at the end of the campaign, they vote on which programs earn the annual Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship awards.

This season, the York County Tech boys and the Biglerville girls basketball teams were named the winners for the award named in honor of Swartz.

Swartz was a York County basketball official from 1981 to 1995, and a fan of the game for even longer, before her death from leukemia in 1997. In 2001, her fellow officials created the memorial and scholarships to promote and honor the sportsmanship she so effectively displayed.

For York Tech, the award signifies a positive first step under new head coach Jim Collins, an English teacher and a former assistant coach at the school.

His Spartans won only four times this winter but had "seven or eight" other games come down to the final few minutes, Collins said.

"It's about respecting our opponent but playing a really hard basketball game," he said. "Don't talk, just play. That's one of the things we want to make a big change with at Tech.

"It's a big award for us, it really is. I want us to win, but I know it's baby steps in order for us to get to the point where we can have winning season year in and year out."

As for the Biglerville girls, they also won the sportsmanship award in 2011 under coach Rob Moore. They also won in 2007.

Moore's girls are the ones who surprise officials with gestures such as stopping a game to pick up an opponent's pair of glasses that repeatedly fell to the floor.

"I know a lot of teams would have taken advantage of that and wouldn't have stopped the flow of the game. I use that as an example," Moore said. "It's picking up another kid when they're down. It's a give and take. Make it fun. Our kids like to reach out to other teams."

York Tech and Biglerville each receives a traveling trophy in recognition of the accomplishment.

In May, members of the scholarship's board of directors will award $7,500 scholarships to two seniors from each of this year's winning programs. Applicants can be players, team managers or cheerleaders, but they must be seniors.

This year's $30,000 in total scholarship awards reflects a significant increase over 2014, when one member from each winning team won a $7,500 scholarship, and another from each won a $2,500 scholarship.

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