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A Bright Future for the Mock Trial Team

By Ava Svolos in Student News - featured

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The mock trial team won the state championship for the first time in Greeley, Colorado from March 9-10th and are now preparing to compete at the national level in Reno, Nevada from May 9-13th with an entirely new case.

“It felt really amazing just because it was nice to see us triumph after all of our united efforts,” said senior Sasha Kokoshinsky. “When they announced that we won all of us stood up and we were just yelling at one another, really excited obviously [...] it was just a great feeling.”

The mock trial team coach, Jim Lewis, said it was a big shock.

“You never actually think you are going to win,” Lewis said.

Fairview competed against Lakewood High, which has a “very good team,” according to Lewis.                                                                                         

According to Lewis, to prepare for state, the team put in a lot of time and hard work. “Mock trial is a huge time commitment, you have to be all in. Even though it takes up a significant amount of time, it is a unique activity to get involved in especially for people with interest in law, debate, and even acting.”

“In mock trial we are not all these people who are trying to pursue law. We are just people who enjoy mock trial and that regardless of our interests. It’s something that we can all enjoy,” said Kokoshinsky.

Isabella Bowland, who joined the team at first to learn how to be a better public speaker, said that teamwork and communication are a big aspect of mock trial.

“It’s something you don’t go in to the team thinking about, especially if you auditioned without knowing who’s on the team,” said Bowland. “You are going to have to learn how to communicate and work together.”

According to the team, when they need to communicate something to another teammate during a trial, they pass around sticky notes and subtle signals. This includes wiping a tear or adjusting a tie that correspond to possibly forgetting something or needing to speed up the pace of the questioning process.

Mock trial also helps to improve critical thinking skills, because no matter how much they prepare, there will always be something you didn’t think about and that weren't ready for.

“The critical thinking aspect is definitely the most challenging aspects of mock trial, but definitely the most rewarding,” said Kokoshinsky. “It’s fun because even if it goes wrong we can joke about it afterwards, sometimes just in the moment it’s very intense and very stressful.”

Preparations for nationals will take a lot of time and effort from the team.

“We really have to do a lot of work during practice,” said Lewis. “The students are going to have to do a lot of work at home.”

The team had five months to prepare the case for the state competition and now they only have one month to prepare the case for nationals, according to Lewis.

The teams that are coming to compete in the national competition are the best from all over the country, and even teams from Guam and South Korea.

Once competitors, the team from Lakewood High will also be studying the case to assist Fairview’s team, so that they will be the best that they can possibly be for the national competition through possibly scrimmaging with Fairview’s team later on this month.

In the words of Kokoshinsky, “keep calm and mock on!”  

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