Athlete of the Week: Knaffle lifts Sharks to new heights

sjgolf-knaffle2Smith Knaffle hasn’t yet attended St. James High, but she has already had a huge impact on the school’s girls golf program.

The eighth-grader led the Lady Sharks to a runner-up finish in the Class 3A state tournament, finishing tied for third individually to capture all-state honors. She also helped St. James claim its second straight Lower State championship this season.

In fact, Knaffle and the Lady Sharks are on target to win the program’s first state championship next year, in her freshman year. They finished third in the state in 2013, second in the state in 2014, so logic follows that next year could be THE year.

“We knew we were going to have a good team, but I honestly thought it would take a couple of years to get where we are,” said Knaffle, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “As long as we keep building on what we’ve started every year, we should get there.”

Knaffle has been a bit of a golf prodigy since deciding to put away other sports interests and focus on golf. She stopped swimming and plans to skip basketball this season so she can put in more time on the course in hopes of making it in golf.

“My dad is superintendent at the International Club so he always had clubs for me since I was 8,” Knaffle said. “I liked swimming and basketball and tried to play them all, but it’s hard to put down the clubs for two months and pick back up where you were. My goal is to be one of the best in the state and play college and professional so I need to work on my game year-round.”

Especially in the upcoming year, when Knaffle expects St. James to have its best shot at a state title. With junior teammates Kelli Smith and Steely Hays entering their final seasons, the Lady Sharks hope for a state title in 2015 with Knaffle leading the way. She knows she has four years to reach the goal but wants her friends and teammates to experience it too.

“That would be awesome because we all want state championship rings,” Knaffle said. “We;re losing Kelli and Steely after next year and we’ve all come together as a team this year so it would be great to win it with this group. Hopefully, next year is our year.”

And many years to come.

Photo by Rancier Photography

Comments

comments

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourney

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourneyAfter posting back-to-back shutouts, Coastal Carolina's Chris Datallo has been [more]

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto Preview

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto PreviewThe three-time defending state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openers

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openersMetrolina Christian Academy of Indian Trail (N.C.) swept the Chief [more]

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youth

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youthOne year after a breakthrough season, the Christian Academy of [more]

Close loss closes curtain on long season for Pelicans

Close loss closes curtain on long season for PelicansIn the final game of the 2018 season, the Myrtle [more]

A Day at Darlington: Rain doesn't halt racing, revelry

A Day at Darlington: Rain doesn't halt racing, revelrySunday's Bojangle's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway started with a [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach