of the Game
By Jenna Angelo
Perseverance and positivity got rookie Raiderette
Mackenzie where she is today. This isn’t just her first
season as a Raiderette, it’s her first time on a dance
team. Mackenzie was not involved in dance growing up, “I
cheered three years in high school then decided to take some
dance classes at a local junior college,” Mackenzie said.
Her introduction to professional dance and cheer was at an
NBA dance clinic, “That was the first time I heard the word
pirouette! After that I enrolled in as many dance classes as I
could and started auditioning for professional teams.”
Mackenzie already has her associate degree in health
sciences and is looking to obtain her bachelor’s degree
in nursing. She hopes to become an Obstetrics Nurse or
a Geriatric Nurse and work abroad. Mackenzie’s dream of
becoming a nurse and, ultimately, her general caring nature,
stems from her relationship with her childhood best friend
who was chronically ill. “I was constantly at her hospital
bedside making her laugh and feel light when the
situation was heavy. My angel Carley made me realize
that I want to help people feel happy during their
scariest or saddest moments,” Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie is half Mexican and half Croatian.
Though she hasn’t been to Croatia yet, she said it’s
definitely on the list. Her favorite travel destination
so far has been Spain. Mackenzie and her two older
brothers spent an entire summer there studying abroad
together. She looks back on it as one of the most
memorable experiences of her life … aside from hearing
her name called during Raiderette audition finals of course.
Though she has tried out for many teams, Mackenzie claims
the Raiderettes were the first team she ever laid eyes on.
“My friends and I would say ‘we’re going to be Raiderettes
when we grow up!’” Mackenzie said. Mackenzie even got
the opportunity to cheer at the Coliseum with her current
“Big Sis” Jonni during the Raiders former High School Spirit
Explosion program. “Since being on this team I’ve learned
that I’m capable of more than I realize. Being involved
with such a passionate organization that is ‘committed to
excellence’ drives me to be my best self. Taking that passion
and commitment into my everyday life has allowed me to
grow into a stronger, more capable, and more compassionate
individual,” Mackenzie said. Mackenzie proves that if you
never stop pursuing your passions, never stop working toward
what you want, and you maintain a positive attitude, you can
truly accomplish anything.
94 2018 Raiders Gameday