SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Spotswood High School seniors and varsity cheerleaders Jovanna Alves, Angelina Alves and Gabriella Alves certainly have something to cheer about. The triplets and best friends will all be headed to Penn State in the fall to continue their education and their passion. All three Alves triplets have made the Penn State cheerleading squad as incoming freshmen. The teens are also the first set of triplets at Spotswood High School to all earn a varsity letter for each of their four years on the cheerleading squad.
"I have had the pleasure of coaching Gabby, Lina and Jo Jo for all four years of their high school experience," said Spotswood High School fall head varsity cheerleading coach Colleen Meyers. "The girls came into the program with exceptional tumbling and stunting skills, attributed to their affiliation with the award-winning St. Bart's Cheer program and all-star cheer experience. From the onset, their talent and ability brought our team to another level."
Meyers, who also teaches world history, sociology and psychology at Spotswood High School, has been the head varsity cheerleading coach for 25 years. Jovanna, Angelina and Gabriella are the first set of triplets the veteran teacher and coach has had on the team.
The sisters have been cheering together since they were five years old and wouldn't have it any other way.
"It’s such a special experience being able to do what we love with the people we love," the girls explained via email. "We’re best friends and it wouldn’t be the same without each other."
For them, cheerleading has been more than an extracurricular activity. It has been a learning experience that helped shape them as athletes and more importantly as people.
"Cheerleading has taught us life lessons," Jovanna, Angelina and Gabriella added. "It taught us to take things one at a time, to work hard and to never give up. We learned the true meaning of teamwork and that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. This sport has molded us into the athletes and people we are today."
Cheering together at Spotswood High School has been an wonderful undertaking as well.
"It’s been a one in a million experience filled with pure happiness," the girls said of their time as Charger cheerleaders. "Our best memories came from it. Since making the team our freshman year, we have received nothing but unconditional love and support. Our coach, Miss Meyers, has really made a special program and we couldn’t be more thankful to have been a part of it. Every practice and every game were constant reminders as to why we do what we do."
The sisters do plan on rooming together when they head to University Park, Pennsylvania in the fall. Unsure of an area of study yet, Jovanna, Angelina and Gabriella will all be entering Penn State's Division of Undergraduate Studies to explore the different majors the school has to offer. They are of course over the moon about joining the Penn State Cheerleading program.
"Being a Penn State cheerleader has been a dream of ours and being able to live out this dream is surreal," the Alves triplets said. "We’re looking forward to cheering in front of over 100,000 fans and representing the best college there is. We can’t wait to be on a team where our coaches believe in us and our teammates are so welcoming."