Samango Showing the Way for St. Joseph’s Prep

By Rick Woelfel

Friday night was a big night for Joe Samango. A very big night.

The senior scored all three of his team’s goals as St. Joseph’s Prep downed archrival La Salle 3-1 in an APAC game at the Skatium. The loss gave the Hawks a measure of revenge for a 5-1 setback at the hands of the Explorers nine days earlier at the APAC Outdoor Classic.

It was Samango’s second hat trick of the week. He scored five goals and assisted on another in an 8-4 win over Holy Ghost Prep last Monday.

Samanago says he and his teammates were especially motivated heading into the rematch with La Salle.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I don’t think we were prepared going into that (first meeting with La Salle) but we knew we weren’t going to let that happen again, so we all kind of came together, talked about it, decided we were going to play hard, and give it our best shot.”

There was more to the evening than the final result. Friday was also Pink the Rink night at the Skatium with the focus on collecting funds to benefit cancer victims and their families. Samango, a four-year varsity player, says the entire student body gets behind the effort.

“It does get promoted around school,” he said. “Everybody wants to chip in and help raise money. It’s always highly anticipated, everyone is excited to play, to wear the pink jerseys. It’s a great time.

Joe Samango #20 in pink in action in the Pink the Rink game on 1-20-23

(Video courtesy of Jost Winata)

“We always get a good crowd out there and get to raise some money and its always a fun game to play in.”

St. Joseph’s Prep starts this week with an overall record of 13-3-2 (2-3-1 in the APAC). Samango says the Hawks are a close-knit group off the ice.

“It’s just practice, texting each other, hanging out after school all that stuff,” he said. “Seeing each other at school, I think that’s the great thing about high-school hockey. You get to see all your teammates in school and you go to practice it’s a great bonding experience.

Like many of his peers, Samango, a resident of Haverford Township, found his freshman year at St. Joseph’s Prep was, in his words, “A huge adjustment.

“I was used to not traveling as much and that year,” he said. “I also made the jump to AAA hockey (Samango plays club hockey for the Little Flyers). That was big. I went from practicing twice a week to five times a week. playing games on weekends, traveling.

“And the work freshmen year at the Prep really hard. It’s a huge adjustment, but once you get used to it. Once you learn to manage your time, you get more used to it and it becomes second nature almost. You feel like you learn better when you’re doing all the work and it’s a really great process.”

That process includes having free periods that are built into the school day.

 “That gives you a good opportunity to get some of your work done in school,” Samango said. “But also, whenever I get home, I plan out what I have to do and what comes first and really just manage it that way. Getting the big things out of the way first and just going from there.”

Samango credits the Prep’s faculty for their support of the students.

“A lot of the faculty has been there for a very long time,” he said. They push know but they know when to lay off a little bit. They want to bring the best out of you.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s