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Justin Knolhoff
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
2008 Individual Award Winner


 

This multi-talented athlete graduated from Centralia High School with high honors in 1997. He played on CHS basketball teams in 1995 (27-2), 1996 (20-6), and received the Golden Orphan Award in 1997 when the team finished 22-7. 

He was the goalie for the first-ever varsity soccer team at Centralia High School in 1996. The team finished 11-10 while Knolhoff produced six shutouts with 145 saves and had a 1.82 goals against average for the season. He was also a member of the CHS golf team. But after all of this, he is best remembered for his baseball talents. 

In 1996, he lead the 14-12 Orphans in batting (.472), at bats (89), hits (42), runs scored (32), triples (3), and stolen bases (11-tie one other). Knolhoff was named MVP of the 1997 team that had a record of 19-11-1.  He led the team in at bats (114), hits (42), doubles (10 - tie one other), HR (4), RBI (22), stolen bases (15 - tie 2 others), and was the second leading hitter (.368). He received All-South Seven Conference recognition in 1995 (second team), 1996 (first team), and 1997 (first team co-captain).

Inducted into the McKendree College (now McKendree University) Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, Knolhoff earned four varsity letters in baseball and started all but one game in his four-year McKendree career - 1998 (Freshman of the Year, team record 27-17), 1999 (team record 28-24-1), 2000 (team record 55-10), 2001 (team record 44-15). 

He was a four-time Academic All-Conference honoree, a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and two-time NAIA All-American selection. Justin was named American Midwest Conference Player of the Year and NAIA Region V Player of the Year in 2001 after batting .421 with 96 hits, 19 doubles, eight home runs and 56 runs batted in. He remains second (to Brian Dinkelman) on McKendree’s all-time career leader list in batting average (.422), hits (359), runs scored (260), total bases (522), and multi-hit games (118). He still holds the MU career record for triples at 19 and the single season records of runs scored (96), hits (111) and triples (7). He also remains in the top five on the NAIA all-time hits list with 359. He is one of only two Bearcats to record more than 100 hits in a season.

Knolhoff graduated from MU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and then completed his Master’s Degree in Accounting at SIUE. He currently works for Monsanto Company where he has traveled to over 30 countries on six continents in his different financial roles. He resides in Chesterfield, MO with his wife, the former Jackie Shubert of Okawville.


 

 

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