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

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp Luke Doty’s Myrtle Beach legacy already includes some gaudy numbers, [more]

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination Thursday

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination ThursdayCoastal Carolina baseball surrendered eight runs over the last three [more]

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debutEighteen members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrage

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrageSimilar to the two teams' first meeting back on March [more]

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach John Ed Cahill queued up an old voicemail from his [more]

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourney

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourneyThe Myrtle Beach High boys golf team is tying its [more]

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state final

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state finalLL Coach. The somewhat cryptic rallying cry (Long Live Coach) was [more]

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinals

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinalsMyrtle Beach’s season came down to about three minutes. In that [more]

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title run

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title runThe closest thing to a blemish South Aiken had on [more]

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State opener

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State openerIn any other game, St. James coach Robbie Centracchio may [more]

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semis

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semisThe Socastee High boys soccer team crushed Cane Bay 5-0 [more]

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title match

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title matchEven after his death earlier this week, longtime Myrtle Beach [more]

Illing steps down as Socastee football coach

Illing steps down as Socastee football coachDoug Illing struggled with the emotions. He even fought himself trying [more]

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourney

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourneyIt took a little longer than St. James fans may [more]

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeat

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeatHeading into the playoffs, Carolina Forest’s girls soccer team hoped [more]

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch John Edward Cahill III occasionally glanced at a spot at [more]

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semis

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semisFor all of the dominant results, all the blowouts and [more]

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor Lynch

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor LynchCookie Goings was barely a teenager, an eighth grader running [more]

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring Classic

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring ClassicMore than 400 teams from six states completed in the [more]

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pick

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pickFormer Socastee High and Clemson standout Hunter Renfrow was selected [more]

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champs

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champsWhen Katie Kulick drove the ball past the West Florence [more]

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia State

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia StateThe relentless Chanticleers scored a run in each of the [more]

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019The Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club will host open [more]

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate opener

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate openerTwo errors, two wild pitches and two runs. And that was [more]

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp Luke Doty’s Myrtle Beach legacy already includes some gaudy numbers, [more]

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination Thursday

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination ThursdayCoastal Carolina baseball surrendered eight runs over the last three [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach