Senior Michael Silvio plays inspirational role for Brentwood football team
Friday, December 20, 2019 | 7:09 PM
Michael Silvio quietly but effectively worked hard, went about his business and enjoyed an outstanding season on the Brentwood football team.
Silvio, a 5-foot-11, 150-pound senior, manned a wide receiver slot on offense and a safety position on defense.
He was part of a nine-man receiving corps that accounted for 1,997 yards and 18 touchdowns on 136 receptions. Silvio had two receptions for 56 yards, averaging 28 yards per catch.
Brentwood offensive coordinator Dan Golvash lauded Silvio’s performance this season.
“Mike did not play much as a junior. He worked hard all summer to get better and earned a starting spot going into this season,” Golvash said. “He comes to practice every day trying to get better, listens to instruction, (has a) positive attitude and executes what you worked on in practice during the game.”
Silvio has had to deal with serious personal losses in his life. His mother passed away when he was in grade school; his father died in 2018.
“The most impressive part about Mike and his positive attitude is he has overcome some tough personal tragedies in his life,” Golvash said. “Mike lives with his older sisters (Sara, Tricia and Cheyenne) and they have done a great job of taking care of him through a difficult time for the whole family.
“Despite the hardships Mike has had to endure the past few years, he remains a positive, hard-working kid who gets the most out of his ability. I am very proud of Mike and the season he had for us. His hard work and desire to succeed should be an example to follow for our young players.”
While Silvio played a role in the Spartans’ receiving corps, he made a bigger impact from his safety position on defense.
Silvio said his best individual performance came in his team’s 28-19 playoff win against East Allegheny in the WPIAL first round.
“I just feel like I stepped up and made some big plays to help my team advance,” he said.
Silvio ranked among his team’s leading tacklers against the Wildcats with eight stops.
“He had a couple of really big hits that got the team and crowd really fired up and excited,” said Greg Perdziola, Brentwood’s defensive coordinator.
Silvio had a critical interception late in the game at South Side in Week 5 of the regular season. He racked up 10 tackles against the Rams.
“In the beginning of the year, we were not sure how much he would play or where he would play,” Perdziola said. “Due to some injuries at the start of the year, he filled in and played very well, especially on defense. We had to keep him in on the starting defense when the injured players came back.
“Each game, he came up with big plays for us. He ended up being one of our best tacklers and had some really big hits throughout the year. He wasn’t the fastest or the biggest, but he turned out to be a very good football player.”
Silvio has a low-key personality and a good sense of humor.
“That is what was so surprising of Mike,” Perdziola said. “With him being laid back, (he) was such a physical player.”
Brentwood averaged 23.4 ppg offensively and 10.5 ppg defensively in 2019 and posted five shutouts including an impressive 20-0 win against Neshannock in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
The four other shutouts were logged against Fort Cherry (13-0) and Carlynton (25-0) in conference play and Frazier (34-0) and Ellwood City (41-0) in nonconference action.
“Mike is exactly the kind of player you love to coach,” Golvash said. “He was a very physical tackler who made some of the biggest hits we had on defense all year. He also came up with a big interception to seal the game in a key conference win.
“Mike was a key member of a defense that ended the season as one of the top scoring defenses in Class 2A.”
Brentwood compiled a 6-1 record in the Three Rivers Conference, advanced to the semifinal round of the WPIAL playoffs and finished 10-3 overall.
“It was a really fun season,” Golvash said. “There were a lot of good players and tough kids on this year’s team.”
Along with the Spartans’ deep playoff run, another highlight was the seven-game winning streak the team strung together that started Aug. 30 against South Allegheny and ran through Nov. 11 against Carlynton. During the streak, Brentwood outscored its seven opponents by a 24-8 average margin and racked up three shutouts.
“We had a great season,” said Silvio, who owns a 3.0 GPA. “I wish we could have gone all the way, but we did our best and had an amazing season.”
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