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Whitehall bowling’s Phoenix Hoffmeyer continues his rise on, away from the lanes

Senior wins West Michigan Conference tournament title and has big short-term and long-term goals.

WHITEHALL — As the veteran captain and leader of the Whitehall boys bowling squad, senior Phoenix Hoffmeyer can roll with the best of them.

He proved that much recently in capturing the individual championship of the West Michigan Conference tournament at Northway Lanes, where he shot a 671 series to win by 40 pins.

Not only is Hoffmeyer an exceptional bowler, but he is also a valued teammate, strong student, and sneaky funny person. The 17-year-old son of Dan and Amanda Hoffmeyer takes on his leadership role in his down-to-earth manner.

“Phoenix is quiet but works really hard,” Whitehall bowling coach Tyson Jasperse said. “As he matured, he started coming out of his shell and his sense of humor is really hilarious.

“We have always known Phoenix has the talent to bowl like he did at the conference tournament. It was awesome to see his talent shine through and for him to get the recognition he deserves.”

While winning the WMC tourney was nice, Hoffmeyer has one primary goal this season: Qualifying for the individual state finals tournament. Along those lines, he’s hoping his Whitehall squad makes it to the team state finals as well.

The top nine boys bowlers are shown after the West Michigan Conference tournament Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, at Northway Lanes in Muskegon, Mich. First-place winner Phoenix Hoffmeyer of Whitehall is shown at the far left. (Courtesy of Jessica Wagenmaker)

Hoffmeyer and the Vikings will compete in a Division 3 regional Thursday and Friday (Feb. 22-23) at Sherman Bowling Center in Muskegon. Should Hoffmeyer and/or the Vikings advance through the regional, they’ll compete in the state finals March 1-2 at Jax 60 in Jackson.

Hoffmeyer began his bowling career at the age of 10. He admits that his desire to bowl at a competitive level did not come right away.

“It was a fun thing to do on the weekends, and I didn’t take it very seriously,” he said. “I only had a plastic ball and I didn’t hook it.”

Hoffmeyer’s talent was recognized once he reached Whitehall High School and rolled a 286 game during his sophomore year.

That caught the attention of Jasperse and others, which was good and bad from Hoffmeyer’s perspective.

“My proudest moment was probably hearing my name on the announcements for having a 286 game my sophomore year and then Mr. Jasperse came into my class and did a little speech to the whole class,” Hoffmeyer recalled. “It was probably my proudest moment and my most embarrassing, though.”

Photo by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark

This season, Hoffmeyer is averaging 175. That’s a significant jump from 149 and 159 the previous two seasons, respectively. For him, it’s been quite rewarding to see his scores and average rise.

After high school, Hoffmeyer plans to attend college. He is considering Ferris State University, Muskegon Community College, Michigan Tech, and Goshen College, the latter from which he currently holds an offer. Hoffmeyer said MCC’s coach asked if were interested in bowling for the Jayhawks.

“I hope Phoenix continues with his bowling,” Jasperse said. “I just see him getting better and better as time goes on, and I don’t see that changing in the future. I hope Phoenix decides to bowl in college.”

Hoffmeyer, who carries an unweighted 3.603 GPA and weighted 3.627, plans to become an engineer but will major in mathematics to enhance flexibility in his job search.

Outside of school and bowling, Hoffmeyer enjoys playing video games with his friends and watching sports. He played baseball at the age of 5, but gave up the sport in high school.

Hoffmeyer’s biggest inspirations are his father and “Uncle Bob.”

“These two have kept bowling alive in the family and make us push ourselves every day,” he said.

Hoffmeyer emphasizes the importance of consistency in bowling.

While he’s trying to make his mark as a skilled bowler, he wants to be known as a “smart and cool person to hang out with” as well.

“Bowling also isn’t determined by physical strength or size; you have to actually put in the work and gain that talent,” he said.

“Sports have taught me how to balance focusing on yourself while also keeping the team morale high, which is hopefully a skill that could follow me into the workforce,” Hoffmeyer said.

Myles Welch joined CatchMark in February 2024 as a CatchMark SportsNet Intern. He would like to become a sports broadcaster or analyst. He currently attends Whitehall High School and will graduate in 2025.

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