Mock Trial Zooms to State Competition

On the 25th and 26th of February, the Hug Mock Trial team competed at the state High School State competition after placing second in the Regional Competition two weeks earlier. In a normal year, teams from across the state would travel to either Reno or Las Vegas to compete for a chance to participate in the National Competition. This year, however, COVID-19 prevented this from happening, at least in the traditional sense. To comply with pandemic restrictions, students had to adapt to virtual Mock Trials. Because students couldn’t meet in person, they met online using Zoom to practice and compete with one another. Aside from some issues with internet connection, there wasn’t much difficulty in using this platform. One of Hug’s Senior Attorneys, Val Weinzweig, said that one of the only downsides to this competition is that you can’t stand up in the courtroom to make your objections like you see in the movies. Regardless of that fact, the virtual courtroom was enough for the teams to work and have fun.

Hug’s team didn’t place at the state level but still did our school proud. They practiced several times a week from home through zoom rehearsing their roles as witnesses and attorneys with the help of Mary Kandaras, a fantastic district attorney who has coached the team for years, and Mr. Kocian who stepped in as a teacher/coach when needed. A majority of the team’s members are seniors and one sophomore, who will hopefully carry on the team’s legacy in the next few years. Another of Hug’s senior members, Kate Hughs-Baird, said that despite not being in a courtroom this was still a great ending to all her years competing on the team. Kate was named one of the best lawyers by the scoring judges in the competition.

The image featured above shows the teams at the virtual award ceremony.