TRENTON, NJ – A unique pyramid and a fast-paced one-leg sequence were the keys to the Arthur L. Johnson High School’s competitive cheer team’s victory in the New Jersey Group 2 state championship final held at the Sun National Bank Center on Sunday.   

“We competed against some very talented teams,” assistant coach Suzanne Hamilton said. “When they announced Arthur L. Johnson as the winner of Group 2, it was absolutely mayhem as the team and our fans were screaming, and hugging, and applauding our success.”

The team competed in the cheer/dance category, performing a timed 2:30 routine.  The performance included a game day cheer, the one-leg sequence, basket tosses, running tumbling, dance, and the pyramid that Hamilton said was “highly recognized by judges all season.”

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On the season, the team held a near-perfect record, finishing with six first place wins, two grand championship trophies and one second place award.  According to Hamilton, this is the school's first championship victory in state competition. 

“Throughout the season, our team has been beyond positive and excited about every award we have received,” Hamilton said.

The team was led by senior captains Christie Bove, Jennifer Casalino, Corinne Pencinger and Carissa Vuono. Lindsey Lerner Barrett is the team’s head coach, assisted by Hamilton and Cristina Faro.

"The Johnson Cheer squad has come so far in just a few years," Athletic Director Gus Kalikas said. "They continue to lift the spirits of all of our athletic teams while having a dominating season themselves, culminating with winning the  Group 2 State Championship. It's an accomplishment that the entire school and community is proud of. We look forward to seeing them continue to excel next season."

Members of the ALJ competitive cheer team are:


  • Christie Bove
  • Jennifer Casalino
  • Alexa Cutro
  • Krista Ginesi
  • Corinne Pencinger
  • Carissa Vuono


  • Emily DeLima   
  • Chloe Hessler  
  • Shannon Lavan  
  • Kelsey Marques  
  • Adriana Palmucci  
  • Athena Petronella  
  • Marissa Petronella  
  • Amanda Pratt  
  • Samantha Tavares  
  • Gina Telesco  


  • Nina DiProfio
  • Julianna Rizzuto
  • Victoria Torres


  • Kaitlyn Greenhill

Tryouts for the 2017-2018 cheer team will be held in May, 2017, Hamilton said.

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