UNION, NJ - Five Union High School student athletes signed their college letters of intent on Tuesday with family, coaches, administration and friends cheering them on.

The student athletes are:

  • Justin Novoa will be attending Stevenson College for volleyball
  • Giovanni Gines is headed to William Penn University to play soccer
  • Giovanni Zuena will be attending College of Mount Saint Vincent for baseball
  • Riley Haggerty is headed to Rutgers Newark to play soccer
  • Dren Gocaj will be attending Kean University for baseball

Of the student athletes signing on Tuesday, Athletic Director Linda Ionta said, “we’re really proud of both their athletic and academic accomplishments.  This will always be their home in Union.”

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“I’m really excited,” said Haggerty of her future at college.  “I’m happy to be able to continue playing soccer and continuing my athletic career.”  Haggerty said she’s been playing soccer for more than half her life.  “Just to be able to play in college means so much to me.  I’ll be working not just toward my degree, but toward greatness in my sport.”  Haggerty said she’ll be studying molecular biology at Rutgers Newark.

“As a student athlete, I was always motivated to do my best,” said Gines.  “Soccer was something I fell in love with as a kid.”  Gines said he’ll be the first in his family to “accomplish something this big, and I’m happy about it.”  Gines said he’ll be studying international business and sports management at William Penn University.

“I’ve made great bonds at school,” said Gocaj.  “I really love it here.”  Gocaj has not yet decided on a major at Kean University.

“I had a great experience in high school,” said Zuena, a pitcher.  “The coaches are great.  I’m hoping to continue to excel in college.”  He said he is still undecided on a major when he attends the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

“I loved my time here,” said Novoa.  “Coach Vega, Ms. Ionta, and all the trainers are great.”  Novoa said he’s excited about the upcoming spring volleyball season.  “I’m excited to see what my future holds at Stevenson.”  Novoa said he’ll be studying chemistry at Stevenson College, for a possible career in pharmacy.