MAC Cheerleading Competition in memory of former cheerleader

Posted: January 8, 2023 / 3:54 PM EST

Updated: January 9, 2023 / 05:09 EST

RICHMOND, Ohio (WTRF) – More than 200 local cheerleaders are participating in the first annual Edison MAC Cheerleading Competition – MAC stands for “Making a Champion.”

Athletes with the cleanest falls, sharpest moves and loudest voices will claim this title of champion, but today it’s more than just a trophy.

In 2019, Mackenzie Smith, a 14-year-old Edison high school student and cheerleader, died suddenly before entering her freshman year.

“MAC is one of Mackenzie’s nicknames,” EHS head cheerleading coach Casey Mozingo said. “We also made it ‘Make a Champion.’ So it’s the Edison MAC Cheerleading Championship and we plan to have it every year if we can.”

This year would have been Mackenzie’s last year; however, his legacy will live on through the EHS cheer program’s Mackenzie Smith Memorial Cheer Scholarship, which is where a portion of this weekend’s proceeds go.

Athletic boosters raised the funds for the first three years of the scholarship, but when they ran out, head coach Casey Mozingo knew it had to continue.

“The funds were gone, so I asked the boosters, ‘Can we take it over?’ Sure, so we took it over and we’re starting it. We’re going to give a scholarship to one of our seniors every year and, as I just told the coaches in there — they didn’t know — we’re going to pick three outstanding seniors from the d ‘today and we will also give them a scholarship. The amount is to be determined. We are not sure. We have to see, but everyone came here to help us. Everyone came here to help us raise money for a scholarship that we’re doing on our own. Let’s reward them for helping us.”

After more than a year of planning, this dream has come true with the new country house offering enough space to host such a large event.

Casey says Mackenzie’s infectious smile, no matter what, is how he remembers her and that’s something other cheerleaders should look up to.

“It’s the work that she (Mackenzie) did,” Mozingo recalled. “It’s the attitude he had, the positivity. We know it looks bad on us. We know he’s smiling and we’re happy to be able to do this on his behalf.”

Thanks to this first annual competition, athletes can continue to keep Mackenzie shining for years to come.

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