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Biglerville, New Oxford win sportsmanship scholarships

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For the second straight season, a first-time winner and a repeat selection are the recipients of the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Sportsmanship Awards.

The Biglerville girls’ basketball team won for the fourth time in the past 11 years, while the New Oxford boys’ team captured its first award. The winners are picked by York-area basketball officials, who vote at the end of the regular season after observing the behavior and conduct of teams and their fans.

Last season, the Susquehannock girls' team won for the eighth time, while the Hanover boys' team won for the first.

Four seniors from Biglerville and New Oxford's programs are now eligible to receive scholarships of $20,000, $15,000, $10,000 or $5,000. The Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Foundation board of directors will choose the winners in May, after reviewing the applications of students that apply. Players, cheerleaders and student managers are all eligible.

Gordie Kauffman, president of the York Chapter of PIAA Basketball Officials, said in a news release that there was more competition for the awards this season than in any previous year. He also praised first-year Biglerville girls' coach Jeff Kahlbaugh and fourth-year New Oxford boys' coach Sean Bair for being "class acts."

"More teams garnered votes this year than in any year the award has been in existence, which is refreshing," Kauffman said in the release. "It tells us that schools are starting to get it and focus on sportsmanship. Players follow the lead of their coaches and these coaches are role models."

The New Oxford boys' program finished the regular season 11-10 and will play in District 3 Class 5A playoffs. The Biglerville girls finished at 3-19.

This is the second straight year the available scholarship money totaled $100,000. Last year, the available funds increased from $30,000 in 2014-15. Students must fill out an application, get two letters of recommendation, write an essay and have a face-to-face interview with the board of directors to be awarded the scholarship.

The board doesn't have to pick eight total winners, but Kauffman said he expects both schools to have at least four students apply and get selected.