RICHMOND, Ohio (WTRF) – Over 200 local cheerleaders are jumping into the first annual Edison MAC Cheerleading Competition – MAC standing for “Making a Champion.” 

The athletes with the cleanest tumbling, the sharpest motions, and strongest voices will claim that champion title, but today is more than just a trophy. 

In 2019, 14-year-old Edison High School student and cheerleader Mackenzie Smith suddenly passed away before entering her freshman year. 

”MAC is one of Mackenzie’s nicknames,” said EHS Head Cheerleading Coach, Casey Mozingo. “We also made it ‘Making 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 senior year; however, her legacy will live on through the Mackenzie Smith Memorial Cheer Scholarship by the EHS cheerleading program which is where a portion of this weekend’s proceeds are going towards. 

The athletic boosters raised the funds for the first three years of the scholarship, but when those ran out, head coach Casey Mozingo knew it needed to keep going. 

”The funds were gone so I asked the boosters ‘Can we take it over?’ Of course, so we took it over and we’re starting it. We will give out a scholarship to one of our seniors every year and as I just told the coaches in there – they did not know this – we are going to pick three outstanding seniors from today’s competition, and we will give them a scholarship too. The amount is to be determined. We’re not sure. We’ve got to see, but everybody came here to help us. Everybody came here to help us raise money for a scholarship we’re fulfillment on our own. Let’s give back to them for helping us.”

Casey Mozingo – EHS Cheerleading Advisor

After over a year of planning, this dream has become a reality with the brand-new fieldhouse providing enough room to host such a large event. 

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

”It’s the work that she (Mackenzie) put in,” Mozingo reminisced. “It’s the attitude she had, the positivity. We know she’s looking down on us. We know she’s smiling and we’re happy we could do this in her name.”

Thanks to this first annual competition, athletes can continue carrying on Mackenzie’s sparkle for years to come.