Extra credit would involve attempting a 1080 spin in front of his world-class instructors.
Hohmeyer, 16, has been a student at the Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA) in Maine for the past three years, a school designed to sharpen the skills of racers and freestylers in skiing and snowboarding. The school has roughly 90 students from not only across the United States, but around the world.
“We’ve got some kids here from Russia,” Hohmeyer said Thursday evening. “They just added a seventh-grade program and we’ve got one kid in that and then it goes from eighth to (post graduate).”
The school has a number of prestigious alumni, including Olympic alpine skier Bode Miller and Seth Wescott, a nine-time X Games medalist and two-time Winter Olympics gold medalist in snowboard cross.
Hohmeyer’s training at the school paid off in a big way this past weekend, when he captured first-place in his 16-17 age division at a United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) slopestyle event at Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.
“There were about 10 kids in my age division and most of them (compete) all over the country,” Hohmeyer said. “I haven’t won in a more prestigious event, but I have placed in higher-ranking competitions.”
Hohmeyer said he’s fared well as events such as the Gatorade Free Flow Tour in Vermont, and at a tour stop in Oregon involving the Chevy Revolution Tour — a snowboarding series that has strived to bridge the gap between the grassroots level and elite snowboarding competitions.
Hohmeyer said he initially developed his passion for snowboarding like many other children in the Tri-Cities —while shredding the slopes and riding the rails at the Ski Bowl at Mulligan’s Hollow in Grand Haven.
“I loved the sport so much and I eventually started doing (competitions) in Michigan through USASA,” he said. “My mom then started looking into boarding schools where I could snowboard and CVA turned out to be the best one. And here I am now.”
Hohmeyer is the son of Stephen and Joy Hohmeyer of Spring Lake.
Joy Hohmeyer notified the coaches at CVA through e-mail about his son’s interest in attending the school.
“They came out at watched me compete at a half-pipe and then they started to recruit me,” Hohmeyer said. “Then I had to try out for their school.”
His typical day at the Academy involves waking up around 8:15 a.m. and then catching a bus to Sugarloaf Mountain.
“We’ll snowboard until about noon and then from 1 to 5:30 we’ve got regular classes.”
CVA is not only known for its top-of-the-line snowboard and skiing instructors, but also its strong emphasis on education. Hohmeyer is currently taking several college preparatory classes.
Hohmeyer said he lives in dorms on the CVA campus and is away from his hometown of Spring Lake nine months out of the year. While he admits it is difficult being away from family and friends for long periods of time, his family — which includes two sisters — does try and catch many of his competitions.
“(CVA) has like a family weekend too, so my parents can come out and visit for awhile,” he said. “Plus I get to go back to Michigan for Christmas break and Thanksgiving.”
Hohmeyer said he’ll compete in between 20-30 freestyle competitions this winter, including a few in Michigan — at a Revolution Tour stop in Otsego and another event at Boyne Mountain.
Hohmeyer said he plans to stay at CVA through his senior year and then an addition year for post graduate studies. As for his future in the sport, Hohmeyer believes anything is possible — even the Winter Olympics or X Games.
“I don’t know what’s in store,” he said. “But I know I love it a lot and I’m going to take it as far as I can go.”