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His Humble Kindness Makes Him a True Champion

As we celebrate Cinco De Mayo all week, we celebrate the rich history of a culture of people that are hard working and joyful. A history of dedicated individuals that give of themselves for the greater good of a cause. The measure of a success in a man can be in personal achievements, athletic accomplishments or social impact. For one student of North Park High the above is true in all arenas. Most importantly though is his ability to make people laugh and be a friend to all.

Noel Pizana, a Senior at North Park, is the epitome of what we celebrate in the culture of his Hispanic roots. He’s hard working. He’s dedicated and loyal. He strives to be the best at what he’s involved in. Lastly, he is humble and doesn't know a stranger.

Noel was born in Denver but spent his formative years of his childhood in Mexico. When he came to North Park as an elementary student he spoke little to no English but his ever present smile was a clear sign he was happy and fit right in. His lack of knowledge of the English language did not stop him from becoming academically successful. He rose to the top of his class as a dedicated and honorable student. In high school he’s taken an academically challenging course load, preparing him for whatever direction he chooses.

Many know Noel as an athletic star and have enjoyed watching him since middle school as the silent leader on the court and the field. Regardless the sport, he is just good at it. A natural. He’s been a Varsity level athlete his entire high school career in football, basketball and track. If he wanted to attend college and play sports he could choose from any of the three. His athletic accomplishment has been recognized by being named All Conference in multiple sports for multiple years. In June he will represent North Park and 6 Man Division 1 at the All State Football games.

Noel surrounded by his band of brothers, photo by Amy Symonds

"Noel is a great young man and a fierce competitor. He made his teammates better and always stayed humble... one of the greatest athletes I've ever coached," remarked Coach Chad Carlstrom.

Coach Carlstrom has had Pizana on his roster for both basketball and football through high school. Noel has been honored with sportsmanship awards from visiting teams because of his obvious ability to play the game competitively, while having fun and building comaraderie with all athletes on the court.

What is most recognized about Noel is his character, on and off the field. In a random survey of students at NPHS, unanimously students commented on his outstanding friendship and humor. One student commented, “He (Noel) works hard in everything he does whether it’s academic, sports or fishing.

He’s talented and good at everything he does, but he is still humble.” Humble is the best word used to describe this young man that is a friend to everyone. One freshman student shared a story of how amazing Noel is to take little kids fishing, even when they drop hundreds of dollars worth of fishing gear in the river, he doesn’t get mad. He is still happy and still takes kids fishing. Noel is also known as quite the jokester, always funny and making people laugh.

The community knows this young man well and he has touched the life of many with his humble kindness. Hayle Johnson, long time friend and cheerleader of him shared this thought, "He is silly and sincere. Noel has a heart of gold and a simple kindness. His is hardworking and humble. He has a tenderness about him that draws people to him. You can't help but to love him. (insert heart and crying emoji here)." This young man is a true example of integrity and kindness. His humble character makes competing with him a life learning experience and being his friend a pure joy.

Noel sharing what he loves the most... fishing!

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