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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Madison Smith (bottom row, middle) recently signed to cheer at Missouri Southern State University. Front row, left to right, are Jason Smith (dad), Jazmine Stewart (niece), Madison, Misty Smith (mom) and Taylor Stewart (sister). In the back row is MCHS cheer coach, T.C. Banta.

Cheering at Missouri Southern State University for Madison Smith will have a high school feel.

Smith, a senior at McDonald County High School, recently signed with the Joplin school where she will be joined by two former teammates at MCHS, including Hannah Leonard who cheered for the Lions this year.

"It was super exciting," Smith said of her signing ceremony. "I am just excited to get to experience something new. I have been wanting to do this since Hannah Leonard did it. She talked to me about it and got me interested in it."

She is the daughter of Jason and Misty Smith. While at MCHS, Smith was named Most Improved on the squad. She was also involved in FFA and FCCLA.

In addition to being able to cheer with two former high school teammates at the collegiate level, Smith said she liked Southern because it is close to home.

Smith and Leonard will be joined by fellow MCHS senior Bailey Barrett at Southern. (See next week's issue for a story on Barrett.)

"Hannah and Bailey are like my best friends," Smith said. "I am really excited to be able to keep cheering with them."

Smith said she was chosen for the Southern squad after attending a tryout in April.

"It was a whole weekend thing," Smith said. "We had to show the coach what we could do -- our skills like stunting, tumbling and cheering."

After the tryout, Smith said it was a surprise when she was notified she had made the squad.

"We found out the last day of the tryout by email," Smith said. "I was shocked that I had made it. I put in a lot of work and I was super happy."

Smith said she plans to major in business while at Southern.

Sports on 05/09/2019

Print Headline: Smith Signs With Missouri Southern State University

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