Soccer: After four years at prep school, Lowell native Hollis Malkowski headed to Cornell
By Steve T. Gorches 314-3797 or firstname.lastname@example.org July 15, 2013 9:30PM
Updated: July 16, 2013 2:48AM
Sometimes first impressions aren’t everything. Take Hollis Malkowski, for example.
The Lowell native has spent the last four years at a prep school more than eight hours from home in a place more known for its hockey in a very controlled environment — all for the love of soccer.
Instead of going to high school in Northwest Indiana, he went to Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn., and was part of the school’s U.S. Development Academy team the last two years. As a junior, Malkowski was part of a squad that advanced to the Academy playoffs in Dallas. This past year it was ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
So the impression is that he really didn’t get a chance to be a “normal” high school kid.
“He had more regularity as a kid than if he lived at home with travel teams,” his mother, Julie Malkowski said. “Shattuck actually gave him a normal high school schedule.”
If you ask Hollis, it was better than normal — with the exception of not seeing his family for more than 10 months out of the calendar year.
“Last year I had two full days of school, then three days of only two classes,” he said. “My first two years we would practice soccer during the day in between classes.”
What a life, huh? It wasn’t easy to start.
“It was tough the first couple of months not knowing anyone,” he said. “But it got easier. I was 14 years old when I essentially left home.”
The four years paid off as Malkowski has committed to continue playing soccer even further from home at Cornell University in upstate New York. Since it’s an Ivy League school, he doesn’t get any athletic scholarship help, but he’s getting financial aid and his 3.85 grade-point-average at a prep school helps, too.
And he’ll be arriving at Cornell at a good time after it won the Ivy League title and made the NCAA tournament before losing to nearby rival Syracuse.
Shattuck started its soccer division of the school’s “centers of excellence” about 10 years ago. It took a while for the program to produce noticeable results, but it now has more than a dozen soccer players attending Division-I schools, including Malkowski.
But the Minnesota institution is more known for its longer-running hockey center of excellence that has produced several well-known National Hockey League stars, including two-time Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Toews, Sydney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Zach Parise, who plays for his home state Minnesota Wild.
In fact, this year’s first pick in the NHL draft, Nathan Mackinnon, went to Shattuck and was a classmate of Malkowski for two years.
“Toews comes back occasionally to visit,” Malkowski said.
So what was the biggest thing Malkowski learned away from home at prep school?
“Being independent — I’m a lot more independent than most of my friends back home,” he said, using laundry as a prime example. “There’s no way I’d let my mom do my laundry anymore after doing it myself for so long.”
Yeah, but I bet mom wouldn’t mind doing it once or twice after only seeing Hollis for a handful of months over the last four years.