Penn Hills’ Silverman displays talent in multiple fields

Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 3:29 PM

The fall sports season is always a busy time of the year for junior Jonah Silverman. However, Silverman made a slight change to the sports he was participating in.

Instead of running for the Penn Hills cross country team, Silverman decided to be the kicker for the football team to accompany soccer, which he has played the past two seasons.

During camp this summer, Silverman had long days, waking up at 4:30 a.m. for his first soccer practice, took a nap, attended his second soccer practice then went to football practice and would sleep over with the rest of the football team at the Fralic Center.

You might think Silverman’s schedule would slow down, but he will turn his focus to track and field as the indoor and outdoor seasons will occupy his time during the winter and spring seasons.

Silverman decided to stop running cross country after he suffered a quad injury his sophomore year. He focused on taking better care of his body.

“The toll that cross country takes on your body is insane. You wouldn’t think about it since it’s just running. This year, I didn’t want to push myself too hard, and I didn’t want to hurt myself again,” Silverman said.

On the soccer field, Silverman is a core member of the backline and a captain of the team.

The Indians (2-9, 1-8) won two of their first five games against Jeannette and Hempfield. Penn Hills might not be the most-skilled team but makes it up with energy and effort, which Silverman has looked to supply for the team.

“Jonah brings the energy to everything he does. He isn’t coming to practice and taking the night off. He’s pretty intense and sometimes is very infectious. That is why I made him a captain this year,” coach Ryan Hankey said.

“People see he’s loud, he’s not taking a play off and going slow. He’s high energy and that is what it needs to be so it translates to the game. I’m hoping it’s rubbing off on some others.”

Since he is looked at as a leader for the soccer team, Silverman enjoys his time with the football team since he can be one of the guys.

“They love me. I’m just as much of an asset as any other on the team. I’m almost in heaven when I’m on that team. I don’t have to do too much and everybody loves me,” Silverman said.

During the summer, senior goalkeeper A.J. Collins shared some tips with Silverman on how to kick on the football field. Last season, Collins was the Indians kicker when he was healthy.

Silverman, who is the middle of three boys, has played different sports throughout his life. He started playing soccer at age 6, track in middle school, one year of cross country and even played football during seventh grade. Silverman also has played baseball and hockey.

“I’ve always been an energetic kid. If I’m out there, I might as well give it my all to the best of my ability,” he said. “I’ve always felt like a natural leader whether it’s in school or athletics. I’ve always thought I had to take charge and help kids out.”

It’s no different for Silverman in the classroom since he takes five AP classes and is a member of the Hometown High Q team.

Silverman, who used to do the triple jump, will run the 800-meter during the indoor and outdoor track seasons. Silverman expects to place in the Tri-State meet during the indoor season and place at WPIALs during the outdoor season.

With college a couple years away, Silverman has hopes he could receive an offer to play football at the collegiate level. If not, he has many other sports he could play at the next level.

“A lot of times, people get hooked on competing in one sport at a young age,” he said. “My dad has never been a fan of that. Each one of those sports can teach you something that helps the other sports. I’m always a fan of people playing more than one sport.”


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