Back-to-back golf titles add to buzz of busy week at SJ

sjgolf-smithjordanIt’s a hectic homecoming week at St. James High, but the Sharks are never too busy to add some hardware to their ever-expanding trophy case.

The Lady Sharks kicked off the week by winning their second straight state championship in girls golf, blowing away the field by 38 strokes at the Hackler Course in Conway. Smith Knaffle’s back-to-back 69s led St. James to the back-to-back titles.

“We were confident we could win it again because we have such a talented team,” said Knaffle, who also won individual state champion honors by 10 strokes. “We have a young team too, so we hope to win more in the years to come.”

Indeed, the Lady Sharks had no seniors on this year’s squad, and their top four scorers included seventh-grader Adrian Anderson and eight-grader Amanda Meno. The team’s elder statesman, junior Jordan White, has helped build the St. James dynasty.

“I’ll speak for (Knaffle) since she won’t brag about herself, but she is an awesome player and a great leader for our team,” White said. “We have some good young players and I expect them to carry on the tradition after we’re gone.”

Perhaps more impressive than their golf scores are their GPAs, which are both over 4.8 on a 4-point scale thanks to straight A’s and AP honors classes. With all players returning enxt season, it’s safe to say the smart money is on a St. James three-peat.

* Despite the excitement of the girls golf state championship, playoff games in girls tennis and volleyball, and a big homecoming game and festivities scheduled for Friday night, St. James athletics director Paula Lee found even more reason for excitement Wednesday.

Before departing for a tennis match in Chapin, Lee got word of the arrival of the No. 1 item on her wish list for the school’s sports program – a souvenir trailer that was donated by the Murrells Inlet chapter of the Rotary Club.

The 8-by-16 foot “Shark Shed,” as the words under the shark fin appear on the side of the trailer, was purchased and outfitted by the Rotary Club as a pet project for the school. Lee was thrilled with the trailer, and the thought of not having to carry around so much merchandise by hand.

“I can’t say enough about what the Rotary Club has done to help our school and our sports programs, and this is just awesome,” she said. “This was a real community effort and it’s going to be a huge help for us. We’re so thankful for our St. James family.”

Photo by Terry Massey

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