UNION, NJ – Two Union High School athlete-scholars have been selected as Tapinto Union’s Athletes of the Month for April.

Melissa Sousa is a senior and 4-year letter winner in golf.  She placed 5th in the 2017 Union County Conference Tournament.  Her team placed first in the 2017 Union County Conference Mountain division.

Sousa plans on attending Rutgers University in the fall to study Political Science.  She’s thinking of becoming a lawyer.    

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When asked who inspires her, Sousa said “my parents inspire me everyday”.   Sousa said her favorite part of being a high school athlete is meeting new people and forming bonds and friendships.  Her greatest high school accomplishment has been maintaining her GPA while playing two sports, soccer and golf, and participating in several extracurricular activities.

“The difficult part was recovering from my knee surgery,” said Sousa.  “As a student-athlete, that was difficult. It happened at a young age so it was rough for me on and off the field.”

Sousa said, of anyone living or dead, she’d like to spend a day with her grandmother.  “She passed away before I was born but my family has always told me stories about how strong and amazing she was.”

April’s male athlete is Joey Novoa.  Novoa, a senior, is a baseball player who this year has 36 innings pitched, 36 hits, 14 earned runs, 26 strikeouts, 10 base on balls, and a 2.72 ERA for the Union baseball team.     

Novoa plans go to college after high school and would like to become a physical therapist.  “My parents inspire me every day,“ he said.  Novoa said his greatest high school accomplishment was becoming the captain of both the soccer and baseball teams.

“My favorite part of being a high school athlete is just being able to represent my town,” he said.  The most difficult part, he said, is “the balance between sports, school, and friends”

Novoa offered these words of wisdom for future Union High School student-athletes: “Just be yourself, listen to the coaches and have fun.”