Mock Trial Team Competes at State


Credit to Photo Submitted

By Audrey Baker, Yearbook Staffer

On Friday April 1, 10 members of the mock trial team left school and headed to the Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kansas City to compete in the state mock trial competition. There, they faced the toughest competition from throughout the state; eight of the best St.Louis teams, six from Kansas City, and two from outstate. Back in January and February, the team won their two preliminary rounds which qualified them for regionals. From there, they won another two rounds which put them in the top eight from the St.Louis area and qualified them for the state trial.

“I really enjoyed the experience, getting to actually compete at state unlike last year where we had a by,” senior Caleb Black said. “It was just fun to finally have some really good opponents.”

To prepare for the tough competition, the team had many practice sessions with Phil Groenweghe, the assistant prosecuting attorney for St. Charles County, and Contessa Bundrige, a private practice lawyer who competed in mock trial as a college student. The attorney coaches worked with the team on strategies of how to argue their cases, and they helped fine tune their cross examination questions.

“It was certainly nice being able to get insight from real life lawyers,” junior Dillon Beelek said. “Not only that, but I feel extremely thankful that they took time out of their busy life to help us prepare our cases.”

Their hard work was noted as they received high scores from evaluators at state. They faced Liberty and Clayton and lost both trials on a split 2-1 decision. They ended up coming in ninth place overall and finishing the year with a 7-3 record.

“I thought that this year’s team always had a positive attitude,” coach Randy Pierce said. “You never had to coax a strong effort out of them either. They worked hard and had a good time.”

Out of the 10 students that went to state, six will be lost next year to graduation. Since the cases alternate between civil and criminal each year, next year’s mock trial case will be criminal.

“More people should join mock trial because it helps with public speaking,” junior Christopher St. Aubin said. “It helps with anything you want to go into later in life but especially anything legal. Law is very logic based, and it helps you process things quicker and think on your feet.”