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Mike Minniti stars on the soccer field and classroom at Union Catholic

In our latest installment of Feature Friday, we shine the spotlight on Union Catholic senior Mike Minniti.
Minniti, who lives in Scotch Plains, had a day he will never forget on Thursday when he continued his torrid goal scoring streak by finding the back of the net in overtime to give Union Catholic a dramatic 2-1 victory over Brearley on Senior Day at Ponderosa Park. That gave Minniti a team-high seven goals on the season.
After the game, Minniti hustled back over to Union Catholic for a special ceremony where he was one of 128 students inducted into the National Honor Society.    
Here is our Q and A with Minniti-
First off, congrats on the great season you are having, Mike. How exciting are you with the way you have played, especially in the last four games when you scored off the 40-yard rocket vs. South Plainfield, the hat trick vs. Hillside, and a goal vs. Linden, and Brearley.
It’s been a great past few games. I’ve been having some of the best games since I’m usually not a goal scorer. 
What was that feeling like to get your first high school hat trick? It’s obviously one of the toughest things to do.
Getting my first high school hat trick was definitely one of the best feelings. Hat tricks are hard to do at any level and it meant a lot for me to get my first one. 
What do you consider your biggest strengths as a soccer player? 
My biggest strength as a soccer player would have to be my footwork since I have always had better dribbling skills. 
What are your goals and the team goals for the remainder of this season?
My goal for the rest of this season is to keep scoring more goals. The team’s goal is to go out with a bang this year and make it far in county’s and states. 
When did you start playing soccer and how did you get involved in soccer to begin with? 
I started playing soccer as a kid and kept up with it since I enjoy it a lot. I first started playing since my dad was a soccer player. 
 What do you love the most about playing soccer at UC?   
I love playing soccer with my friends and working together with them to achieve big things. 
You are such a well-rounded student at UC between sports and  academics etc. Can you list everything you are involved in at UC other than soccer, Any clubs or other activities?
I am involved in Paws for a Cause Club, and was a part of the Environmental Club last year. 
Can you explain how the balance between sports and academics etc has helped you become a better student, and how important it is to be involved in different things?
Sports and academics has helped me become a better student because I learn to manage both well and make sure I can give 100% in everything I do. It’s very important to be involved in different things so you can learn to manage multiple things at once and to also make sure you don’t limit yourself to being just an athlete or just a student. 

Can you list all the awards/honors you have received at UC. National Honor Society? Honor Roll etc? And what does it mean to you to have achieved all that success? 
I have been inducted into the National Honor Society and the Italian National Honor Society. I also achieved Honor Roll every marking period. These achievements mean a lot to me because it shows my dedication to want to learn and excel in school. 
What did you love the most about being a student at Union Catholic?
I love that Union Catholic provides everything I need to succeed including great education and an even better learning environment filled with great people. 
Why and how did you decide that UC was the place for you to be? What was it about UC that made you want to be a student here?  
Union Catholic had everything I wanted in a high school, and after one year I figured out I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to be a student here at UC because of the excellent academics and the teachers help you with every step along the way. 
What kind of advice would you give to younger students who are considering attending UC? Why should they come to UC and what will UC give them that they won’t be able to find at other schools?
The advice I would give to younger students who are considering UC would be don’t stress about school here since the teachers help you a lot and they will answer any questions you have. I also think the other students here are great because they are respectful and fun to be around. 
What specifically can you point to as the things that you’ve benefited from the most from your experience as a student at UC?     
I have benefited the most from the teachers helping me get through classes and the other students helping me enjoy everything high school has to offer. 
How about the future, Mike. Have you chosen a college yet? What type of career would you like to pursue, and do you plan to play soccer in college?    
I am currently deciding between James Madison University in Virginia and High Point in North Carolina. I would like to pursue a career in business and finance and I do plan on playing soccer in college. 
What are you looking forward to the most this school year? 
I am looking forward to my final year at UC with my friends. 
Favorite class and teacher at UC?

Investing honors with Mr. Breza. 
Favorite UC soccer memory?

Beating Linden on their Senior Night last year. 
Favorite UC non-soccer memory?
3 vs 3 basketball tournament during the Pep Rally. 
Favorite UC Core Value and why?
My favorite UC core value is respect because it is important that everyone respects each other, and I think it is shown well here at Union Catholic.
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