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Brayden Renfrow scored 26 points, and the SJCS middle school boys basketball team cruised to a 50-16 victory over visiting St. Mary’s on Monday afternoon.

Renfrow scored 20 points in the first half, when the Knights took a 36-14 lead. St. Joe’s allowed only two points in the second half.

Johnny Jaraczewski, Gabe Nelson and Ned Murphy each scored six points for the Knights. Michael Poinsette scored four points and Walker Jones two points.

Middle School Girls

St. Mary’s defeated the SJCS girls 36-14. Hannah Moore led the Knights with six points.

Also for St. Joe’s, Taylor Scott scored four points, and Ava Elder and Jordan Pearse each had two points.

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The SJCS varsity cheer team placed fourth in Class 2A Saturday in the second South Carolina High School League Game Day Invitational at the USC Aiken Convocation Center.

The teams were scored on the fight song, band dance and a crowd-leading portition in the preliminary rounds. After three successful performances, the Knights moved on to the finals. During finals, each team was given three minutes to respond to different game day scenarios and to perform to the announcer’s prompts.

Congrats to Coach Jessica Reynolds‘ Knights for their outstanding performance!



Three SJCS wrestlers capped their seasons with outstanding performances in the Carolina Invitational — the state tournament for junior varsity and middle school competitors — on Saturday at Lexington High School.

Freshman Logan Dodge, sophomore Matthew Wilson and eighth-grader Hammond Fayssoux qualified for state for the Knights. Hammond won the area qualifier two weeks ago and placed third at Upper State last week. Matthew finished third in the area qualifier and second at Upper State and Logan third in both the area and the Upper State.

At state, Logan lost his first-round match and then won four straight matches in the consolation round — three by pin — and wound up taking third in the state at 106 pounds.

Matthew, wrestling at 120 pounds, won by pin in the first round, lost in the second round, won two in a row by pin in the consolations and took fifth in the state.

Hammond, wrestling in the middle school tournament at 120 pounds, won three matches — two by pin — and lost two and took fifth in the state.

All three went up against the best in the state, including Class 4A and 5A wrestlers from public school programs. Congratulations to Logan, Matthew and Hammond on their outstanding achievements!


Speaking of wrestling, it’s always interesting to see these Knights pick up their mats and take them outside for practice. They did this Monday in preparation for tonight’s home match against High Point, which begins at 5:00 PM. Come out and support the Knights!

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In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced SJCS senior Ava Dobson as its 2019-20 Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. It marks the third consecutive year she has received the honor.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Dobson as South Carolina’s best high school girls cross country runner. She’s now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award, which will be announced in February.

Dobson raced to the Class 2A individual state championship this past season with a state-record time of 16:58.3, leading the Knights to second place as a team. She took second at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 16:55 and finished 23rd nationally at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. She also won the Wendy’s Invitational and the Mike Moore Lake Murray Invitational.

Dobson has participated in a service-mission trip to Guatemala and has volunteered locally on behalf of Triune Mercy Center, helping the homeless and low-income residents.

“Ava came back this season stronger and faster than ever, and she had her best year,” said St. Joseph’s coach Marie Kernell. “She doesn’t rest on her laurels at practice. She works just as hard or harder than her teammates, while encouraging them to work hard, too.”

Dobson has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at the University of North Carolina this fall.

Keep in mind relatively few high school athletes are honored once by Gatorade. Congratulations to Ava for this incredible achievement!


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The first Mr. Knight event was held Saturday, January 25 in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the JP II Center as part of SJCS Spirit Week 2020.

The highlight of the night was the crowning of senior Mack Floyd as Mr. Knight. Senior Nick Crews won first place in the talent competition, and first place among Households went to Mr. Sean Chapman’s Household.

Mrs. Meby Carr and Mr. Jamie Swingle served as announcers for the event, and Ms. Michele Houmis, Mrs. Marj Malphrus and Mr. Bryan Haffey served as judges.

The best part of the night was that all the money raised went to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, the beneficiary of this year’s Spirit Week. The coming week is also Catholic Schools Week, which makes it all the more fitting that St. Anthony’s is the beneficiary.

For those wishing to donate directly, a GoFundMe account has been set up at the following link:


The SJCS varsity basketball teams both lost on the road Friday night against rival Christ Church in Region 1-2A games.

The SJCS girls were within striking distance in the third quarter before the defending Class 2A state champion Cavaliers pulled away for a 61-37 victory.

The Knights dropped to 6-2 in the region, with both losses coming against the first-place Cavaliers.

Brigid Stanton led St. Joe’s with 14 points, and Emily Meade added 10 points. Brittany Morris and Essence Thompson each scored four points, Mady Duwe three and Grace Ireland two points.

Varsity Boys

Christ Church broke the game open in the third quarter and went on to a 42-25 victory.

The Knights trailed 19-15 early in the second half, but the Cavaliers went on a 13-0 run and led by as many as 15 points the rest of the way.

Adam Rogers scored six points to lead the Knights. Kyle Lonergan had five points, Jalen Gibson four, Daniel Watson and Ben Saunders three each and Davis Satterfield and Gannon Stockton two points apiece.


SJCS Math Department Chair Mr. George Carr recently spent a few hours communicating with people from around the world.

Mr. Carr had the honor of serving as moderator for “What’s Going On in This Graph?”, a weekly online feature produced by The New York Times and the American Statistical Association.

Each week, The New York Times Learning Network publishes a new “What’s Going On in This Graph?” Mr. Carr served as moderator on Wednesday, January 15, when the subject of the graph was declining bird populations in different habitats.

Students in grades 7 through 12 are asked to make hypotheses and conjectures about what they think is going on in the graph and are given the opportunity to write a catchy headline. Three of the latter are chosen for everyone to see.

“The goal for the moderator is to encourage them to do a little more thinking,” Mr. Carr said. “This is up there for the world to see — literally.”

The graph’s release is updated each Thursday with the “reveal,” which includes the graph’s article, additional questions and stat nuggets.

Mr. Carr, who became involved through a connection with a fun run which he helps to time, said he enjoyed the experience and hopes to have another opportunity.

“It was flattering to be asked,” he said.

For more on the “What’s Going On in This Graph?” feature, click here.


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The SJCS junior varsity boys basketball team outscored Christ Church 14-0 in the fourth quarter to earn a come-from-behind, 38-35 victory over the visiting Cavaliers Wednesday night.

Jake Bailey scored all 12 of his points in the second half and Alex Gillespie added 10 points for the Knights, who trailed 26-14 at halftime and 35-24 after three quarters.

Tommy Sullivan and Sandon Brown each scored four points for St. Joe’s, and Jack Murphy, Luke Caudell, Andrew Walajtys and K.J. Haynes each had two points.

The JV girls also defeated Christ Church.

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The JV boys were coming off a runner-up finish in the Landrum Shootout on Saturday. The Knights lost in the championship game when Spartanburg Christian scored at the buzzer.

St. Joe’s defeated Chapman in the semifinals of the four-team tournament, 64-60, as Walajtys scored 25 points and Bailey added 13 points.

Varsity Boys

The SJCS varsity boys lost yet another close game Tuesday night, falling 53-49 against visiting Southside Christian.

The Knights, 2-5 in Region 1-2A, have lost three of those games by a total of nine points and the others in overtime and double overtime.

Varsity Girls

The SJCS varsity girls defeated Southside Christian 47-38. The Knights, 8-5 overall, are 6-1 and in sole possession of second place in the region.


St. Joseph’s Catholic School seventh-grader Margaret Turner was crowned Miss South Carolina Junior High School America on Saturday, January 11 at River Bluff High School in Lexington.

Margaret advances to the Miss Junior High School America Pageant, which will take place in Little Rock, Arkansas, on June 22-27, 2020. This competition, according to its website, “exists for the purpose of providing personal and professional opportunities for girls currently in 5th through 8th grade” and “to provide outstanding junior high school girls the opportunity to compete in a pageant system that has the highest of moral values.”

Margaret said her previous highlight where pageants are concerned was finishing as runner-up in the USA National Miss Preteen at Disney World this past summer. Now she’ll be competing for an even bigger honor!

Congratulations, Margaret, and good luck in Little Rock!!


Spartanburg Christian scored at the buzzer to defeat the SJCS junior varsity boys basketball team in the championship game of the Landrum Shootout on Saturday.

St. Joe’s defeated Chapman in the semifinals of the four-team tournament, 64-60, as Andrew Walajtys scored 25 points for the Knights, and Jake Bailey added 13 points.

Varsity Boys

The SJCS varsity boys, who lost in double overtime at Blacksburg last Tuesday night, lost in overtime against Greer Middle College Friday night, 60-58, in a game played in the auxiliary gym at Eastside High School.

Ben Saunders scored 13 points for the Knights, who trailed 27-17 at halftime and 40-35 after three quarters. Daniel Watson, Jalen Gibson and Gannon Stockton each had 11 points for St. Joe’s.

Varsity Girls

The SJCS varsity girls rolled to a 69-47 victory over Greer Middle College. The Knights improved to 5-1 in Region 1-2A and remained in second place.

Middle School Boys

The SJCS middle school boys rallied from a double-digit first-half deficit to tie the score but lost to Mitchell Road Christian Academy 41-37 on Thursday afternoon.

Johnny Jaraczewski led the Knights with 14 points, and Brayden Renfrow pitched in 12 points. Harrison Zinkann had six, Michael Poinsette three and Ned Murphy two points.

Middle School Girls

The SJCS middle school girls went down to the wire with Mitchell Road Christian Academy but came up short, 24-23, on Thursday afternoon.

For the Knights, Lola Kelly and Taylor Scott each had six points, Ava Elder had five, Hanna Moore four and Jordan Pearse two points.

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St. Joseph’s Catholic School welcomed Professor Mark Byrnes, the chair of Wofford College’s History Department, on Tuesday, January 14. Prof. Byrnes spoke at the Pope Francis Forum for Dialogue and Diversity meeting about the history and the current situation regarding U.S. and Iran relations.

Upon seeing that the room of PFFDD moderator Mrs. Jennie Neighbors was filled during the lunch hour with students and members of the staff, Prof. Byrnes said, “I am shocked and impressed that there are this many people giving up free time to be here. I think that says a lot of good things about the school.”

As for whether we are on the verge of a war, Prof. Byrnes said the odds are “unlikely.”

“I won’t say never,” he said. “One of the things you learn from studying history is that lots of things that people say would never happen, happened, so I don’t say never, and I don’t say impossible.”


Emily Meade scored 22 points, and the SJCS girls varsity basketball team rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat host Blacksburg 59-55 in a Region 1-2A game Friday night.

Meade scored 14 points to help the Knights take a 27-21 halftime lead, but Blacksburg surged to a 41-40 advantage after three quarters.

Meade scored six points, Mady Duwe five and Brittany Morris and Essence Thompson four apiece in the fourth quarter to help the Knights come from behind and take over sole possession of second place in the region with a record of 4-1.

Duwe finished with 13 points, Morris and Brigid Stanton with eight each, Thompson with six and Jamison White with two points.

Boys Varsity

The SJCS boys staged a furious fourth-quarter comeback against host Blacksburg Tuesday night but eventually lost a heartbreaker in double overtime, 79-68.

The Knights trailed by nine points with two minutes remaining in regulation and by five with 55 seconds left before tying the score at 57-57 to send the game into overtime.

Jackson Gore, who scored nine of his 25 points in the two overtimes, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the first overtime to tie the score at 65-65. The Wildcats then outscored the Knights 14-3 in the second extra period.

Ben Saunders led St. Joe’s with 22 points. Daniel Watson added 15 points, Jalen Gibson 14 and Gannon Stockton 11. Kyle Lonergan had four points and Davis Satterfield two points.

6th Grade Boys

The SJCS fought hard but lost to visiting Lead Academy 29-19 on Tuesday afternoon.

Charlie Walters led the Knights with seven points. Pierce Jones, Luka Kucinic, Meyer Hoover-Dempsey, Brodie Miller, Vine Stanton and Sam Utecht each scored two points.

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Jake Bailey’s 3-pointer lifted the SJCS junior varsity boys basketball team to a 34-31 victory over visiting Blacksburg Monday night.

Alex Gillespie scored 12 points and Bailey 10 for the Knights, who trailed 25-23 after three quarters.

Also for St. Joe’s. K.J. Haynes had six points, and Sandon Brown, Patrick O’Connell and Andrew Walajtys had two points apiece.

JV girls

Eight different players scored as the SJCS JV girls breezed to a 36-0 win over Blacksburg.

Salome Schmitt scored nine points to lead the Knights, and Summer LaPress and Elaina Mulholland added seven and six points, respectively.

Claire McKinley and Raquel Monterrosa each scored four points, and Tiffany Morris, Maria Hanson and Emma Stuart scored two points apiece.

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