By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Brighton resident Max Griffith won the World Horseshoe Tournament July 21 in Florence, S.C.
Back in 1982, the former Brighton High School Volleyball coach started pitching horseshoes in Tennessee. She and twin sister Mar Ray were the first women to be inducted in the Tennessee Horseshoe Hall of Fame.
It began with their grandfather and parents Walter and Wilda Shackelton. Their father Walter won the New York state championship at the age of 16. He took home a solid gold medal.
He was inducted into the New York Horseshoes Hall of Fame.
Being twins, Max and Mar were mirror images. Max is left-handed and Mar pitches with her right hand. The girls are in a New York State Hall of Fame as well, for high school athletics playing gymnastics, basketball, volleyball and more.
Max also landed in the Lambuth University Sports Hall of Fame for volleyball and basketball. Mar played national college volleyball in Idaho. She has pitched in 19 Worlds and has several second and third places on her resume’. In 2016, she lost by one ringer for a title. Mar had a perfect game in Missouri (26 of 26).
Max has participated in 14 Worlds, limited by a shoulder injury. This year Max brought home the 2018 World Championship. Her record was 15-1 and she won in a playoff against Sylvianne Moisan from Quebec, Canada. A game is to 40 points and the final score in Griffith’s triumph was 40-23.
“Threw 42 ringers out of 52 shoes pitched,” Griffith recalled.
For the tournament, Griffith had 775 ringers out of 998 shoes pitched. The first three days were preliminaries. Mar placed third and Max took fifth. Then the top 16 women advanced to Worlds to have a chance at the championships over a three day span.
Griffith only suffered defeat to Joan Elmore. She took down the likes of Kelly Campbell, Sue Laughlin, Melanie Zerr, Penny Steinke, Theresa Howe, Lyne Pineault, Terry Beagle, Amy Francis, Marlene Ray, Cindy Hoffman, Karen Hoffman, Debra Brown, Shalee Cason and Moisan.
Max holds the highest percent in Tennessee with 223 ringers out of 250 shoes for a percentage of 89.2.