The Edison High School Cheerleaders will host a special competition this Sunday which will also honor one of its own.
The first annual Edison MAC Cheerleading Competition is set for Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. in the new high school fieldhouse in Richmond. The cost for admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens while children under 5 are free. The event is in memory of Mackenzie Smith, a 14-year-old Bloomingdale girl who was a cheerleader and incoming freshman at EHS when she passed away suddenly in 2019. Organizers said she would have been a senior this year and have raised funds for a memorial scholarship fund begun in her name, and a portion of the proceeds from this weekend’s contest will help continue that program.
“We have teams competing from Big Red, Salem, River, Claymont, Crestwood, Beaver Local, East Liverpool, Edison Jr. Wildcats, Leetonia, Mustang Extreme, Harrison Central, Jackson Milton, Harding, Steubenville Catholic Central Jr. Crusaders and Shadyside,” said EHS Cheerleading Advisor Casey Mozingo. “It’s going to be a wonderful event and we will have about 200 cheerleaders competing this weekend.”
The contests will be judged by a certified panel and Mozingo said the event was the perfect way to carry on Smith’s legacy.
“With our new fieldhouse being built, we wanted to hold a competition as a fundraiser for our cheerleading program since we would now have two gyms and enough room to host it. This has been over a year in the making,” she added. “We started planning before the fieldhouse was finished. As we were trying to come up with a name and the details, I knew somehow that I wanted this competition to incorporate Mackenzie Smith, so I came up with the name of The Edison MAC–MAC being one of Mackenzie’s nicknames and standing for ‘Making A Champion’–Cheerleading Championship and that we would use a portion of the proceeds to help build up the funds for the Mackenzie Smith Memorial Cheer Scholarship.”
Since the scholarship was founded, the athletic boosters garnered enough money to disburse a total of 13 $250 scholarships over the past three years. The cheerleading program has since taken over the scholarship fund and held moneymakers including a Pink Out football game against Buckeye Local High School while BLHS cheerleaders and coaches also helped sell pink “Mackenzie” shirts, which raised $2,000 to build the fund’s coffers.
“The Class of 2022 was the last one for the boosters, so now the cheerleading program has taken over the scholarship and will continue it,” Mozingo said.