JHS honors senior cheerleaders

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Once a Johnston High School cheerleader, you’ll always be a JHS cheerleader.

That’s just one of the philosophies Susan K. Parillo has developed during her days as the head coach of JHS’ award-winning cheerleading program.

“This group of seniors has been special form the start,” Parillo said during Saturday night’s Senior Sendoff Ceremony held prior to the Panthers’ Division III boys’ basketball game versus visiting Central Falls. “They shared a very special bond, celebrated life together, and supported one another through difficult times.”

Parillo also related after each of the senior cheerleaders and their parents were honored, “My hope is that cheer has brought them happiness and many wonderful memories but more importantly life lessons. I can’t wait to see where life brings them. They will always be part of our cheer family.”

For Ana Petrella, who has been the squad’s captain, “Cheerleading has always been one of the most important parts of my life, I have been cheering since I was five, and had always looked up to the girl I am now. Being captain has been one of the most amazing experiences and I wouldn’t’ trade the memories I’ve made over the last for years for anything.”

Like other Parillo-coached cheerleaders, who have always displayed class, character and super sportsmanship and spirit, Petrella added, “Thank you to the squad for some of the greatest moments and thank you to Sue for being such an amazing coach and friend.”

Cheerleading, Kayleens Lariviere will readily attest, is more than just jumping for joy after a touchdown, big basketball bucket or a Panthers’ sports victory or during a time out.

“We are truly a family, spending most of the year together and even having our own traditions,” Lariviere began. “I love to cheer, but I’m going to miss the bonds and relationships that cheerleading has brought me the most.”

Being a JHS cheerleader, the girls also noted, has been an honor and for Lariviere that has meant many new friends and for that she will be forever grateful.

“Cheerleading for Sue has been a part of me for so long that I cannot even fathom what it will be like without it,” Lariviere concluded. “I’m so glad to have been able to cheer for the squad the past four years with my other seniors.”

Alexis Araujo added, “For the past four years the team has been my family. Through that time, I’ve grown and learned so much from the team it’s crazy. This group of tightly-knit girls has always been there for me and I can’t even imagine not having the squad by my side.”

Thus, as she noted with a slight sadness in her voice, “As I continue to the next chapter of my life, I am proud to be able to look back on all of the fun times we’ve had and the memories I can cherish for a lifetime.” Cutline for submitted pix

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