Op Honor Roll – Jeremy Johnston

Untitled Document This Month’s Top Student:
Jeremy Johnston, 16, New Smyrna Beach, FL This Month’s Grades:
2002 NSSA National Open Juniors champion; 6th place, Open Men, 2002 NSSA Nationals; 3rd place, High School Men, 2002 NSSA Nationals; 2002 "Kalani Robb Most Inspirational Performance Award" Remarks:
They say the world’s hardiest plants grow in the least nurturing environments. Perhaps that explains why Jeremy Johnston, a comparative unknown off of the East Coast despite a stellar competitive record, bloomed into a multiple finalist at this year’s Nationals, including a championship in the prestigious Open Junior division – the first National champion since {{{CJ}}} Hobgood. Like Hobgood, it took some time for the teenager to be recognized. And, fortunately, the years of watching his Sebastian Inlet peers score huge exposure with less noteworthy results have turned Johnston into a competitive powerhouse, as he fights to make his name in the heat sheets instead of magazine pages. "The guys up in North Florida are the ones coming on strong, but the Sebastian guys still get more publicity," explains Jeremy. "It kind of pisses me off, but it also pushes me." And it will keep pushing him, as the savvy competitor plans to segue into the next stage of his career by surfing pro events domestic and foreign, and is especially focused on an attempt at the grueling Australian leg of the WQS. Sure, it’s a contest field much nastier than his native soil, but as Jeremy explains, "You may get your ass kicked while you’re there, but you come back here and surf three times better."