Kinnard Making an Impact At Mount Vernon Nazerene
Former Tyler Consolidated Lady Knights girls’ basketball player Sophie Kinnard is the type of person who sets out on a mission and doesn’t look back.
As a youngster growing up in the rural area of West Virginia called Tyler County, she always dreamed of playing college basketball. Her passion for the game began at and early age when she made her first shot in a grasshopper league game. She then became hooked.
Although she grew and became a two-sport star at Tyler Consolidated, basketball was her game of choice. As a high school soccer player, she came into her own early on and received numerous honors and awards. She was named the 2012 and 2013 West Virginia
Coaches Association Goalkeeper of the Year, the 2012 West Virginia Sportswriter Goalkeeper of the year, first-team OVAC, first-team LKC and first-team All-Valley 2012-2013.
Basketball, however, is where she excelled as she continued to put up impressive stats and draw double coverage from opposing teams. Sophie became a thriple threat as she could pass, rebound and score. Many times she was the team’s leading rebounder as well as ball handler. As a result, she drew interest from several colleges and universities. Sophie was named a finalist for the West Virginia Wendy’s Heisman award in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Her honors also included 2013, 2014 LKC first team, first-team OVAC and captain of the first-team All-Valley squad. In 2012 as a sophomore, she was named honorable mention All-State, captain of the third-team All-State in 2013 and first-team All-State as a senior in 2014.
Sophie not only earned many awards and honors, she also ended her high school career as the Lady Knights all-time leading scorer finishing with more than 1,000 points. Her final award was being named as a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
After considering all options, Sophie made the decision to follow in the footsteps of her parents, Matt and Diane, and continue her education at Mount Vernon Nazerene University. She was offered an opportunity to play basketball, and she gladly accepted, from there the rest is becoming history. As a freshman at MVNU, Sophie appeared in 12 games, and in a limited role, netted 1.3 points, 0.9 rebounds, four steals, five blocks and one assist.
This year the program at MVNU has seen some positive changes, including a new coaching staff as well as some new recruits. Sophie has worked very hard over the summer on her foot speed, shooting skills and all other aspects of her game. The result has
been a 4-0 start. The team won just five games all of last year.
“The difference has been a change in attitude and heart, most everyone on the team sees playing time, and as a result, we our working better as a group,” says Sophie. “My playing time has increased to around 16 minutes per outing. I am also healthy following a concussion which sidelined me for a period last year. I am coming off the bench, but my work ethic has given be new confidence and I feel there is a continued development in my game.”
Sophie feels her playing time will increase as the season progresses.
“I am happy with the time but not satisfied, because in our house you play hard or don’t play at all. I am never content to sit on the sideline,” she added.
Her passion for the game fuels her, even when the doubters question her benefits of playing. She currently is number 37 in the nation in blocks, and her point production is increasing steadily. Look for her to have a banner year.
Sophie is majoring in nursing with future plans to enter the field. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, kayaking, four-wheeler riding and watching Netflix.