It has been 11 long seasons on the Putnam County soccer sidelines as community coaches and team mentors but last Friday night at the Putnam seniors’ jersey hanging ceremony, community coaches Mark and Donna Silva addressed the team and announced their retirement from coaching Putnam County soccer.
During their coaching stints, the Silvas amassed a record of 142-41-5 for a .751 winning percentage while garnering one state quarterfinal game, three semifinals appearances and one state championship game appearance in 2018.
“We had a great group of kids,” Mark solemnly said after the ceremony concluded. “I think we left the program in really good shape. They’ll be very good next year. We have quite a few returning players and the middle school is good. I think we’ll be good for four or five years.”
As a duo, the Silvas personified working together despite the occasional brush-up. Especially when it came to striping the field, an event that they laugh about today.
“I had an agreement with my wife that this would be it for us,” Mark said with a laugh. “I’m ready to move on and I’m very excited about [head coach Rhett Roberts] and what he’ll do. We’ve done this for a long time and it’s time for someone else to take it.”
The Silvas said they sometimes ran into disagreements but they are proud of their time with the War Eagles.
“We have difference of opinions occasionally, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Mark said. “We’ve done this for a lot of years and had some great arguments on the bench and on the field. Not to mention at home.”
Donna said they made the decision to retire some time ago but had to keep it under wraps for a little while.
“We’ve been quiet about it,” she said as she scurried around wrapping up the ceremony. “Mark wanted to be able to tell the boys who showed up what our decision was.”
“Lining the field was our annual divorce retreat,” Donna said with a laugh. “If we were going to do it, we were all in.
“It’s time to pass the torch.”