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The 2022-23 Mock Trial Team Consist of Many Underclassmen


Credit to Parker Bruns

Late after school the Mock Trial team gets together for another meeting at 7 p.m on Feb. 14. As members are coming into the library, members are joking around with each other and sharing laughs before they begin their nightly practice.

Mock Trial is a club where the season starts in October and the club first meets to practice a “mock” version of a courtroom case from the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. They can take on two roles including the role of an attorney in defending or prosecuting or the role of a witness testifying in court. The students then meet up against different schools having to prove their case. Winning three out of four trials decides if they qualify in regionals. This has been a season where all newcomers have thrived. 

One of the advisers, Matt Struble, has worked with the team for seven years. Of which, he’s had to coach mainly through their practices and trials, since he teaches at another district. He still has been a reliable coach to the students. This year has been more difficult, having to work with many new students who are unaware of what the courtroom has in store for them.

“It’s a fairly steep learning curve but it’s something that students tend to do very well,” Struble said.

The team has come to have a variety of students this year with different levels of experiences coming in. The team has been practicing Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. Meeting up at times on the weekends and having scrimmages against other schools has given them the time to learn and succeed.

Junior Hailey Zhang, for example, has had to adapt to these changes with being new on the team and having to learn many memorization and scheduling skills to play a witness. She originally had no interest in it all, but having had many people recommend Mock Trial, decided it could be worth a shot. For many on the team, having to be together so often, they have come to be a strong community they are proud to be a part of. 

“[I] definitely thought it was all about being serious and it is, but it also is a lot of fun,” Zhang said.

Being taught to memorize and completely understand their cases, practicing it all often, they often come out of the season having improved many skills of speech, memorization and debate which has helped them qualify for state every year in the past. 

“Mock Trial at first it seems really boring and it seems like a lot of work, but at competition it definitely all pays off,” sophomore Vanessa Ng said.