The basketball players were two of seven students from Hanover and Susquehannock to earn scholarships
Good sportsmanship has helped seven graduating seniors from York County earn college scholarships.
Four students from Hanover High School's boys' basketball program and three from Susquehannock High School's girls' program have been named this year's winners of the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Sportsmanship Awards. The scholarships are awarded annually to students from the two basketball programs that York-area officials feel best display sportsmanship and good behavior during the season.
The top two winners this year were Hanover's Kyle Krout and Susquehannock's Victoria Acton, who both were awarded $20,000 scholarships. The two students were selected after submitting applications with two recommendations, writing an essay and sitting down for a face-to-face interview with the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Sportsmanship board of directors.
Krout, who starred at quarterback for the Nighthawks' football team in the fall and was the YAIAA's second-leading scorer during the basketball season, will be continuing his hoops career at Juniata College. He was also a member of National Honor Society and finished in the top-10 of Hanover's 99-member 2016 class.
"It definitely takes some stress off," Krout said. "When people talk to you about college they talk about the debt afterward. I’m thankful for the organization and what they do to award a team and put so much money into it. Money aside, for them to reward me is pretty cool."
Like Krout, Acton was a member of NHS and competed in soccer, basketball and track at Susquehannock. She will be attending York College in the fall, where she is considering playing soccer and majoring in biology.
"It definitely was shocking when they announced I won," Acton said. "I was definitely surprised to get the top amount. I just tried to be myself in the interview, portray that I was a good sportsman. I'm really honored."
Gordie Kauffman, president of the York Chapter of PIAA Basketball Officials, said picking the winning students was "very difficult" because "all the applicants are top-notch kids." Eight students from Hanover's boys' program applied for the four available scholarships while Susquehannock only had three students associated with its girls team this year.
According to Kauffman, Krout and Acton stood out because of their work ethic and the quality of their interviews.
"You can tell when you interview all these kids that they will be very successful in life," Kauffman said. "It’s difficult, we love giving out the money and we wish we could give it to everybody. It’s very refreshing to see the talent that’s out there in the younger generation."
The remaining five winners were all awarded either $15,000, $10,000 or $5,000 scholarships. With Susquehannock only having three applicants, there was an extra $5,000 that will be kept in the fund until next year. Kauffman said the board of directors hope they can have $100,000 available to students every year.
The other five winners were:
- Will McQueen, Hanover ($15,000 scholarship): A co-captain of the Nighthawks' basketball team, McQueen was the team's starting point guard the past two seasons. He will be attending Saint Joseph’s University, where he plans to study business management and business intelligence analytics.
- Ben Hutton, Hanover ($10,000): The boys' basketball team's statistician the past four years, Hutton finished No. 5 in his graduating class and will be attending University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
- Saranda Gerlach, Hanover ($5,000): Gerlach was captain of the cheerleading team the past two years and was named an All-American by the Universal Cheerleaders Association. She also competed in volleyball and track at Hanover and will be attending West Virginia University.
- Ashley Stone, Susquehannock ($15,000): A National Honor Society member, Stone played basketball and soccer for four years and will be attending Shippensburg University.
- Lily Yoakum, Susquehannock ($10,000): Yoakum was the manager of the girls' basketball and soccer teams and played softball at Susquehannock. She finished in the top 25 of the school's graduating class and will be attending Philadelphia University.