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How did you know MacKenzie? We met Mac the same way everyone met Mac, through basketball. Thankfully we were always playing with her, not against her. Throughout the years, the 6 seniors on our team grew this incredible bond and we had the opportunity to know her as more than the basketball player who we started off knowing.
What will you miss most about her? I miss the feeling of Mac the most. I miss the warm feeling inside when she’d smile at me. I miss the butterflies I had playing defense with her. I miss the way she’d grab our hands at practice and make us feel all of her bumps and bruises.
How will you remember MacKenzie? Mac was so bright and beautiful. She lit up a room the moment she walked in. She was so extremely loyal. She loved so deeply and she is loved back just as much. She was there when you were having the hardest days. Every time one of us would complain that our day was going bad, she’d respond with “well guess what happened to me today” and finish with something that was even worse than what we were dealing with. Honestly, I always thought she was just trying to one up us. Now I know that she was just trying to say “I understand” in her own loving way. There will ALWAYS be a special place in our hearts for Mac. She is loved by so many.
How did you know MacKenzie? Basketball. Basketball brought all of us together and allowed us to develop this bond that can never be broken.
What will you miss most about her? Just her. She has a certain energy about her that no one else was able to match. It would just radiate throughout the classroom, the restaurant, the basketball court. It’s not something that would be easily missed. If you knew her, you couldn’t help but smile. If you didn’t know her, you wanted to because she was able to make everyone feel so good on the inside. She is so personable. She wants to know everyone and connects with everyone at some level. That energy paired with that amazingly beautiful smile is unforgettable.
How will you remember MacKenzie? This girl always has a smile on her face. No matter how bad of a day, that smile still pulled through. And it was contagious. Every bad day I had, no matter the reason, she would always be able to make me smile, whether it be one of her Golden State, Stephen Curry stories, or her crazy basketball socks she would wear. Her laugh is infectious. The smile and the laugh together made it seem like there wasn’t a bad thing in the world when you were with her. She has such a positive outlook on life and always makes the best of any situation. That’s what I will remember most.
How did you know MacKenzie? Mackenzie and I are friends. We met my freshman year.
What will you miss most about her? I will miss the way she brought joy to the whole school and always found a way to put a smile on your face. I'll especially miss her bright beautiful smile. She was such a sweet selfless person. Lil Mac loved everybody and everybody love Lil Mac.
How will you remember MacKenzie? I will remember her by her spunky attitude and her perfect smile. She was one of a kind. I'll remember passion for basketball. I'll also remember how she would try to cheer with us cheerleaders during the free throws and makes us all smile and laugh.
Lakewood High School senior MacKenzie Forrest, 17, a popular student and college-bound basketball player, died March 13 after sustaining injuries in a single vehicle crash on Interstate 70 near Frisco.
“We are sad to share the news of the passing of our precious daughter, MacKenzie,” said the family in a released statement. “MacKenzie was an amazing daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend and teammate. She made the most of her time at Lakewood High School, and was excited to be heading to play for Regis University in the fall.”
Forrest was the leading scorer for the school’s basketball team — she was called “Li’l Mac” — and planned to continue playing at Regis.
“Li’l Mac was extremely special to all of us in our program. Her accomplishments on the court speak for themselves,” said coach Chris Poisson in a statement. “However, it was her heart, passion and love that made her special. She will always be in our hearts. I will always love Li’l Mac.”
Forrest’s accomplishments were many: a four-year letter winner, Lakewood’s all-time leading scorer, CHSAA Academic All-State winner, team captain as a junior and senior, All-Conference 1st Team during her sophomore, junior and senior years, Jeffco League MVP sophomore and junior years, a member of the All-State 2nd Team sophomore year and All-State Honorable Mention recipient junior year.
Forrest lost control of a 1997 Toyota 4Runner at about 3:30 a.m., according to the Colorado State Patrol. The accident report indicates that Forrest was traveling eastbound when her vehicle veered off the road to the left, and up an embankment, before turning back towards the road, and rolling. The trooper report indicates Forrest had not been wearing a seat belt, and was ejected. The cause of the accident is still under investigation but alcohol is suspected.
She was taken to St. Anthony’s Central, where she was pronounced dead Sunday evening.
“The doctors here at St. Anthony’s have been trying all day to do all they could for Mackenzie,” the family said. “We are devastated that she is gone. Now MacKenzie’s legacy will instead live on through those who knew her and those who may benefit from her selfless decision to be an organ donor.”
Lakewood High School principal Lisa Ritchey sent out a letter to students and families sharing their grief and providing information on counseling for those in need.
“This will be a hard time for many of us and there will be mental health resources at the school for any student needing additional emotional support,” she wrote. “As information about services and family needs are communicated to us, we will share information with our LHS community according to her family’s wishes.”
Details about memorial services have not been finalized yet, but on Sunday evening students and community members gathered at the high school in Forrest’s honor.
“We appreciate everyone’s kindness throughout this difficult day,” the family said. “Please remember her beautiful smile.”
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