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Chris Blango Embracing His Time at Malvern Prep

By Rick Woelfel, 02/09/21, 8:00PM EST

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During his time at Malvern Prep, Chris Blango has become an accomplished hockey player. But the school has shaped him in an abundance of other ways as well.

During his time at Malvern Prep, Chris Blango has become an accomplished hockey player. But the school has shaped him in an abundance of other ways as well.

So, despite having the option to continue his hockey career at a New England prep school, the senior defenseman chose to remain with the Friars.

With the end of his scholastic hockey career fast approaching, Blango reflects on what Malvern Prep has meant to him.

 “I started at Malvern in sixth grade,” he said. “What kind of led me there was obviously athletics but also the academics. The academics are vigorous. 

“It challenges you both in the classroom and in my case, on the ice. So, I think it was the perfect spot for me.”

Blango says the curriculum at Malvern Prep is designed to teach students to think independently and accept the consequences of their decisions.

“It’s really up to you,” he said. “If you miss school and have to make up an assignment, or something like that, the teacher is not going to beg you to make it up. You kind of have to reach out and ask; it’s very independent in that aspect.”

Blango notes that effective time management is important to a student’s academic success.

“(The faculty) don’t really hold your hand through it,” he said.” “It’s all based upon you and how you manage your time effectively for yourself to make sure you get all your schoolwork done and make sure you’re thriving in your sport.”

Blango was chosen the Friars’ captain by his teammates. His leadership style might best be described as a blend of actions and words.

“Mostly I lead by example,” he said. “I’m not really the most talkative guy. I’m pretty shy when you first get to know me.

‘But if I have to get the boys going or whatnot before a big game, I ‘ll do that; just kind of make sure everyone’s dialed in when they lose focus, or pick people up when they’re not having the best day.”

In a 2021 season unlike any other in memory, Blango is embracing the task of keeping his teammates concentrating on the task at hand.

“Getting everybody to kind of be friends with everybody, get along really well, and kind of keep their focus on the season,” he said, “and not letting their thoughts wander and whatnot.

“It’s huge because we don’t know if we’re going to be able to play another game, or anything about the future, until we actually are on the ice.”

After three non-league wins, the Friars opened APAC play with a 4-0 win over La Salle on Feb 3. Blango says this year’s team is shaping up as a close-knot group.

“I feel as though the seniors this year, not just me bust as a group, they’ve really helped everybody get dialed in,” he said, “and the young kids aren’t really afraid to make a mistake. Because they know that if they do make a mistake we won’t be yelling and screaming at them in their ear. We’ll be right there picking them up and encouraging them to keep going and try to keep playing the way they play, because we have some talented freshmen and talented sophomores so if we don’t hold them back by yelling and screaming at them, we’ll have a very successful year.”

In a few months’ time Blango will leave Malvern Prep and continue his journey into adulthood. He’s like to play junior hockey, and college hockey after that. He will take with him the life lessons he has learned at Malvern Prep.

I think Malvern has taught me countless lessons and has really shaped me as the person that I am today, being independent, responsible.”

Before, I was a little hesitant on reaching out to teachers and stuff for extra help if I wasn’t in class or if I didn’t understand the topic and the Upper School at Malvern has really forced me to do that, and its helped me out tremendously. I have the utmost confidence going into my adulthood.”