S. Jersey Boys | Alex Silvestro, Paulsboro

Posted: June 27, 2007

In an era in which high school athletes seem to specialize in one sport, Paulsboro's Alex Silvestro is a rarity.

Silvestro not only plays three sports, he excels in each of them. In fact, it's difficult to figure out which is his strongest.

You could say it's football, in which he was a dominating two-way end who has earned a scholarship to Rutgers.

You could say it's wrestling, in which he compiled a 42-1 record last season and won the NJSIAA 215-pound state championship.

Or you could say it's baseball, in which he batted .400 this spring and collected more than 100 hits in his career.

Put it all together and you have the overwhelming winner of The Inquirer's South Jersey senior athlete of the year award.

In football, Silvestro led Paulsboro to the South Jersey Group 1 and Colonial Conference Patriot titles; he was especially dominating on defense, recording 94 tackles and 10 sacks and being named The Inquirer's defensive player of the year.

He will play football at Rutgers, which he selected over West Virginia.

Silvestro said he felt comfortable with his visit to the school and that the football coaches were "good guys."

Rutgers is getting one of the best all-around athletes in Paulsboro's storied history. Paulsboro has produced such greats as Kevin Ross, Willie "Flipper" Anderson, Kevin Harvey, Tom Curl and Russell Carter.

Silvestro is right with them, said Paul Morina, Paulsboro's longtime wrestling coach and athletic director.

"The thing about Alex is that he's so academically sound," Morina said. "And that's what has given him so many [college] opportunities. He won the South Jersey Coaches of Boys' Athletics' scholar-athlete award, so that tells you about him."

Silvestro, who was a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder during the football season, had a 3.7 grade point average.

"He's someone who did everything right," Morina said. "And he knew how to manage his time. Even during baseball season, he managed to find time to lift weights to get ready for football; he's so disciplined, besides being so talented."

Morina said he was "not disappointed at all" that Silvestro would bypass wrestling at Rutgers and concentrate on football.

"You have to let the individual do what he feels is best for him," he said.

Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or scarchidi@phillynews.com.

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