Tahoe Hockey Academy opens, plays first games at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Hockey Academy opens, plays first games at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena

California's first-ever residential hockey prep school now calls South Lake Tahoe home. A mere three months after receiving unanimous approval from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board, the Tahoe Hockey Academy opened and held its first day of school on Monday, Sept. 12.

The academy, which acquired just over 15 acres in the Meyers community, isn't your normal prep school, according to THA president Leo Fenn III.

"We developed the academy because — based on my experience, and the experience when you go to a higher level — you have a hard time trying to meet the balance of conventional school and fit in homework, training and going away. Often times you miss school. We developed the academy to try to solve that problem," Fenn explained.

THA welcomes elite hockey players wanting to develop their full potential both athletically and academically. The academy offers a blended learning environment — an unconventional form of online schooling. While classes are conducted online, students have dedicated time spent with an accredited teacher in an on-site classroom.

The online format provides a flexible academic schedule that allows students to travel and play competitive hockey.

"We're committed to developing three aspects: academic, first and foremost, character building as an individual, and the athletic development, which is hockey," Fenn said.

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Throughout the week, athletes get two hours of ice time per day, in addition to off-ice training at CrossFit 6250. Traci Dill, whose son Zachary is on the THA roster, says her son enjoys the experience.

"His big thing is he wants to train and skate as much as possible. For them to be able to work out at CrossFit every morning and then skate a couple hours a day is great," Dill said.

Currently, 26 student athletes are enrolled in THA, which has plans to accept more participants in the future. According to Fenn, the organization would like to build three to four teams over the upcoming four to five years.

The site, located on Old Meyers Grade Road, is undergoing construction on new dorms, which will add approximately 23 rooms. The existing lodge will be transformed into a dining room with a full-service kitchen.

"Original plans at TRPA were designed to put lights up, but that's probably not going to happen this year. We have too many other things that precluded us from getting to that aspect of it — the construction of dorms and the lodge," Fenn said.

THA plays its first home games of the season this weekend, Oct. 22-23, at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. The puck drops on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. The final game of the weekend is Sunday at 2 p.m. All games are against Golden State Elite 16AA.

For additional information, visit http://www.tahoehockeyacademy.com.