Posted: Jan 8, 2023 / 03:54 PM EST
Updated: Jan 9, 2023 / 05:09 AM EST
RICHMOND, Ohio (WTRF) – More than 200 local cheerleaders are jumping in Edison’s first MAC Cheerleading Competition – MAC stands for “Making a Champion.”
The skinniest, sharpest, and loudest athletes will receive that championship, but these days it’s more than just a trophy.
In 2019, 14-year-old Edison High School student and cheer leader Mackenzie Smith died suddenly before entering her freshman year.
“MAC is one of Mackenzie’s nicknames,” said EHS Head Cheerleading Coach, Casey Mozingo. “We also did ‘Making a Champion.’ So, it’s the Edison MAC Cheerleading Championship and we plan to do it every year if possible.”
This year would have been Mackenzie’s senior year; however, her legacy will live on through the EHS cheerleading program’s Mackenzie Smith Memorial Cheer Scholarship to which a portion of this weekend’s proceeds will go.
The athletic boosters raised money for the scholarship’s first three years, but after that, head coach Casey Mozingo knew it had to continue.
“There is no money so I asked the activists ‘Can we take it up?’ Yes, we took it and we have started. We will give a scholarship to one of our parents every year and as I told the teachers there – they don’t know this – we will choose three adults from the competition every day now, and we will also give them a scholarship. The amount should be calculated. We are not sure. We have to see, but everyone came here to help us. Everyone who came here to help us raise money for a scholarship we are satisfied with alone. Let’s give back to them for helping us.”
After more than a year of planning, this dream has become a reality and the brand new building has enough space to host a big event.
Casey said that Mackenzie’s smile, no matter what, is how she is remembered and is something that other entertainers should look up to.
“This is the work that he (Mackenzie) did,” said Mozingo. “The character he had was good. We know he looks down on us. We know he’s smiling and we’re glad we can do this in his name.”
Thanks to this first annual competition, athletes can continue to make Mackenzie shine for years to come.