VARDEN—The Western Wayne Girls Basketball Program was honored at the district School Board of Directors meeting earlier this month for receiving the 2018-2019 Donald L. Klee Sportsmanship Award from the Scranton Chapter of PIAA Basketball Officials.

“Sportsmanship goes a long way beyond the wins and losses,” said Western Wayne Athletic Director Robert Black at the meeting. “It's how we represent ourselves.”

Addressing the Board last week, Black added, “I want to commend the coaches and the players for a great job in the way they behave.”

Presented annually, the Donald L. Klee Sportsmanship Award commends athletes and coaches in a district from Grade 7 through the varsity level for how well they conduct themselves both on and off the court.

“It's the coaches' conduct on the sideline. It's the players' conduct on the court and how they treat opponents, officials and each other,” explained Head Coach Natalie Winters in a later interview.

Winters added, “The fact that they recognized our girls' efforts to conduct themselves in a positive manner on and off the court I think was really special.”

This year's commendation marks the third time Western Wayne has received this accolade.

They were granted the award in 2009-2010 and 2012-2013, Black explained.

Assistant coach Shannon Nolan had the unique honor of being a member on the team for a previous sportsmanship award and now on the coaching staff for this year's recognition.

“I'm very proud of the girls because I know what it takes to earn it,” Nolan said. “It speaks volumes for them and how they conduct themselves.”

Assistant coach Chelsey Frazier added, “Everyone has to buy in what we do, and it's definitely a team effort.”

Reiterating that the award honors all levels of the program, Winters acknowledged the efforts of junior high coaches Todd Pauler and Brian Hodorawis.

Black and Winters were invited to a banquet in February to receive the award, at which time they were presented with a commemorative banner to hang in the gym.

It will be hung in the gym along side the two banners from previous years in the near future.

“Now the challenge is for the boys to get it!” said Black. 

CUTLINE—Congratulations to the Western Wayne Girls Basketball Program for their thrice-recognized superlative sportsman-like conduct. Pictured left to right: Shannon Nolan, Natalie Winters and Chelsey Frazier. [Photo by David Mazzenga]