Above: Salve Regina’s Matt Sylvia (#8) returns a blocked field goal 77 yards for a touchdown during a game in September against Western New England.

Matt Sylvia, who was a standout on both offense and defense for the East Greenwich High School Avengers, has found his niche as a defensive safety for the Salve Regina Sea Hawks.

Matt Sylvia

In high school, Sylvia grabbed some All League honors but was never named All State. He has changed all that at the small Catholic college in Newport. After seeing action as a wide receiver in only three games his freshman year, Matt requested that he be shifted to defense as a sophomore. That move has paid off for him, his coaches and his team.

This past fall Sylvia had 45 tackles, 8 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and returned a blocked field goal 88 yards for a touchdown. At one point he led the whole country – all levels, divisions 1, 2, and 3 – in interceptions and finished the season second in the nation for D3.

He tied for second all time in the SRU record books for interceptions, and made All Commonwealth Coast Conference two times during the season.

To add to all this, he has been named First Team All Commonwealth Coast Conference, First Team All New England (the only underclassman cited) and third team All East.

Sylvia, who switched from a Biology major to Business, in slated to graduate in two years.