At the end of each calendar year, Servite Athletics presents four special awards to student-athletes who excel in the classroom (Scholar-Athlete of the Year), on the field of play (Athlete of the Year), in the community (Frank Ryan Service Award) and personally (Sherer Courage Award). These awards are given out at our annual Hall of Fame Dinner and All Sports Banquet held at the Orange Hill Restaurant.
The Sherer Courage Award is given to a young man who has overcome personal challenges and preserved in spite of the obstacles put it in front of him. Named in honor of Jeff Sherer ’83 who was known to his teammates as the “Gentle Giant” and described as the ultimate team-first guy, this award epitomizes pride, determination and courage in the face of adversity. Sherer was diagnosed with ALS in his early 30’s and battled the progressive disease bravely for six years always remaining a positive example and lifting up those around him until his passing in 2003.
We are honored to present the 2022 award to Maxx Silao, a young man that has shown amazing strength and perseverance. His sophomore year he was a 1st Team All-Trinity League athlete and a rising start for our football program. Then, in February of 2020 after a family party, him and his father were in a devastating car accident which knocked out both of them upon impact. When Silao came to, the car door would not open, he climbed through the driver’s side window and walked around to try to pull his father out. He did this while suffering a shattered ankle and dislocated lumbar. His father was in a coma for two days and had many injuries.
Silao had his ankle surgically reparied requiring a plate and screws. His back has a rod, plate and screws. He missed playing football his junior year and was told that it was unlikely that he would play during his senior season but he still wanted to be part of the team. Coach Thomas assigned him the task of coaching the lower level defensive line and counseling the varsity defensive linemen. He took this role very seriously. He was a great conduit between Coach Thomas and the players. He also served as team captain every game, walking to center field to participate in the coin toss in professional dress before he was able to once again don his Servite jersey.
During all of this, he was on his own long path of rehabilitation. He started lifting weights, increasing his program as the weeks passed. Finally his cast was removed, then the walking boot was unnecessary, then he started running. He moved into participating in non contact drills, then into contact drills.
He was finally cleared to play and made his first appearance for Servite football since the fall of 2019 in the 2021 CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
We are proud to present the Sherer Courage Award to Maxx Silao!