One of the most competitive activities at EHS actually is not a sport, but is rather Mock Trial. “Mock trial isn’t easy, and it is extremely competitive. It is every bit as competitive as any other sport,” team advisor John Justice said.
The Mock Trial team is a group of students who act as lawyers, witnesses, and various court positions, simulating what an actual court trial might be like. “Our season begins with registration at the activity fair in September. We are coming now to our regular season, which started on January 1st. From this point on, you lose and you are done,” said Justice.
Just being on the team is hard work. “We have three practices a week, so we have regular practice on Tuesday with our coach, and then captain’s practice is on Thursday, but we also have trials on Thursday, so if there’s not a trial, we do a captain’s practice. We also go to our coach’s law firm on Sunday for around two hours or so,” captain of the junior team Avery Greene, said. At the law firm, the team holds meetings, and often practice for upcoming tournaments.
Despite this much work, the team still has a lot of fun. “I think, contrary to what a lot of people believe, it’s not a lot of ‘just sit down and do work’ and stuff…we have a lot of fun,” said junior Jaehyun Hong, also a captain. “You learn about actual objections, law processes, and what other cases we can use. It’s really, really fun,” said Hong.
In addition to the hard work, and fun with fellow team members, it is also possible to learn many useful skills from being on the team. For example, team members have to learn to always be ready for interruptions, in the form of objections, from the other team. “So, it’s not just learning the law, and learning how to present yourself, but you have to learn how to be critical and sharp enough to hold your focus on whatever you are trying to do, even if you are being interrupted,” Justice said.
All team members, therefore, have the opportunity to gain experience in quick thinking and staying on their toes at all times. When asked to identify one of the most important skills acquired in Mock Trial, Greene echoed Mr. Justice, “When you stand up to make an objection, and someone objects to you, you have to be able to argue what that is on the spot,” Greene said.
The Mock Trial team has been doing very well this season. The varsity team is currently ranked 13th out of a total of 45 other teams in the state. Making state, however, would require the team to become the 12th seed, so there’s currently a lot of pressure. “It really depends on the season, in 9th grade, my team moved on to regionals, But his year, we’ve won every one of the trials we’ve done, so it’s going pretty well this year. Everyone put in effort, and we are all seniors now, so you really get the hang of things” senior Micah Sybesma said.
Despite the pressure, the team is up to the task, “We work really well together, and the communication is really good between us. A lot of our attorneys have many years of experience, so we know the attitude you need to assume at trial and what kind of attitude the judges want to see,” said Hong.