by Caroline Bottchen, PCHS ’17
Coach. Role-Model. Father. Motivator. Encourager. Mentor. Mark Silva has worn all of these hats and more for the past seven years.
On Wednesday, April 26th, the Putnam County Boys Soccer Team recognized Coach Mark Silva for all his contributions and expertise throughout the 8 years he has been coaching for Putnam County Schools. Coach Silva originally started out coaching the Girls Soccer Team in 2011 when his oldest daughter, Emily Silva, was a high school junior and his younger daughter, Samantha Silva, was a freshman. During the 2011 season, the girls went 7-5-2 and went to the second round of the playoffs, which was the farthest any girls’ team had gotten. By the end of the 2017 season, Coach Silva will have coached all three of his kids through their high school careers.
While also coaching his own kids, Coach Silva made a second family with the boys team when he started coaching them in 2014, when his youngest and only son, T.J. Silva, was a freshman. In 2014, he coached a team that had been playing together for most of their lives. Coach Silva not only helped this team improve in how to play the sport, but also set the example of the young men they should be. He taught them leadership, teamwork, communication, and responsibility.
Coach Silva’s son, T.J., said “For me, my dad had always coached my sisters, even through travel ball, so when he started coaching me my freshman year, it was pretty awesome. Of course, we get in arguments easier, but it’s a great experience to have had. We’ll stay up really late after games and analyze every play that happened, even after a tough loss. It’s not even just because he’s my dad, but he’s a very approachable coach and asks for opinions from the team as a whole.”
Coach Silva has not only bonded more with his own son, but also the other players on the team. Numerous times during the season he has had the team over for team dinners at his house.
Senior Jack Dixon said, “His [Mark Silva’s] passion for the game motivates us to do our best in every practice and every game. He cares for each and every player on the team, like they’re his own son.”
Another senior, Giovanny Sanchez, described Coach Silva as “a father figure for the team.” He also said, “We know we can go talk to him about anything whether it’s about soccer, or just in general. He’s a great coach, and an extraordinary person.”
It’s been very clear through the years that Coach Silva has given his time and energy to work with all of these teams. He’s taken being a parent to the next level, and become a father for a whole team of boys and turned them into men. Today, both the girls and boys teams have made it into the second round of the playoffs, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Coach Mark Silva.