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Mock Trial team competes at SLO Courthouse for county competition

From left are juniors Xavier Williams and Lindsay Zillig, senior Logan Chadwick, and junior Eden Labadie playing their roles as attorneys and the defendant (at right) at the SLO County Courthouse representing AHS’s Mock Trial team. Photo by Morgan Orgeron

AHS’s Mock Trial team competed in the San Luis Obispo County Mock Trial competitions this February. The team competed in matches on Feb. 2, 5, and 6 against teams from all over the county. Mock Trial is an elective class that students can take to learn about debating and structuring arguments, while also competing as a team. The class is coached by English teacher Ms. Corey and local family law attorney, Rae Jean Shore. Students have been preparing for these recent competitions all school year.

Every year, teams from across California receive and study the same case early in the school year, and then compete locally to possibly advance further in competitions. Students take on the roles of attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs, and courtroom clerks while trying to win based on a point system where any mistakes lose the team points. The goal is to present the best argument and win the judge’s verdict.

On Feb. 2 the teams’ defense first competed against Arroyo Grande’s prosecution and lost, despite fighting their hardest. Coach Ms. Corey commented, “We held our own against Arroyo Grande, so I'm extremely proud of my students for that--that's no small thing! But they did beat us in the end.”

In round two that day, AHS’s prosecution team faced off against Mission Prep’s defense and lost by a very close margin. In both matches junior Lindsay Zillig was chosen by the opposing team as the most outstanding team member, a true honor.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, the team defeated Morro Bay, but then they lost to Templeton on the following day, a competition Ms. Corey described as a “terrific battle.” While ending Tuesday on that high note, the team’s 1-3 overall record kept them from advancing to the semi-finals.

The team’s successes were exciting, especially after not making it to competition the previous year when the Mock Trial made a return to the AHS curriculum after being absent for many years. First year team member Reilly Sherrell said, “The experience of Mock Trial is very exhilarating and also a great way to practice being a lawyer arguing to defend your case.”

Ms. Corey is very proud of her team. She said, “It's been a terrific year, coaching this new team, getting to know them and our amazing attorney coach. I can't believe our competition season is almost over, though I admit I'm looking forward to the reduced intensity of the debate curriculum we will be doing for the rest of the year.”

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