Mock Trial team scores 11th at state competition


Screenshot provided by Nolan Chadwick

Members of the Mock Trial team held many zoom calls to practice their parts for the court case. Not pictured: Ashley Dickens.

Nolan Chadwick, First Year Journalism Student

This year the YCHS Mock Trial team tied for 11th out of 16 in the state competition for mock trial. The team had previously scored 2nd place in regionals before moving on to state.

The regionals occurred on Feb. 18 and 23, and the state competitions were on Mar. 12 and 13.

Mock trial as explained by team member, Claire Lapp, a sophomore, is a competition based on a court case, where different team members, which include lawyers and witnesses, have to memorize information for their roles. Then two different teams take opposing sides, and whichever side presents their case best wins. 

Lapp has participated in Mock Trial for one year, and has enjoyed the experience.

Mock trial was originally recommended to her by a friend and also her brother, who had participated the previous year.

Because of the pandemic, Lapp’s first experience with mock trial was different than it would have been in previous years, because of Zoom. All of the practices, and competitions took place on Zoom, and with all of the competitions being online some problems arose.

An example of these problems is internet issues.

 “I was about to go on stand,” said Lapp, “and… (A student) was going right before me, and during his interview, my wifi completely cut out. I got kicked out of the zoom meeting, I wasn’t able to do anything… and I ran back in to get Mr. Opitz”

Luckily Lapp was able to rejoin the meeting using a different computer without missing her part.

Matt Opitz, Social Studies/English teacher and Mock Trial coach, also felt that the Zoom platform had its downsides. 

 “Being on Zoom, there were pluses and minuses. One of the pluses was that you didn’t have to worry about moving around the courtroom, or how you present yourself because they can only see your face. But one of the drawbacks or negatives is that you don’t get that courtroom experience, which is a very cool part of doing mock trials,” he said.

Opitz said as well that it is nice to have the time between competitions where you can meet in person with all of your team members before the next round.

Opitz has coached the extracurricular for four years now, and originally began coaching on the request of the principal. 

“I was asked by the principal at the time to continue a mock trial program that had been in place. However that group was not competing in any regional or state competition,” Opitz said.

He thought that if the school had the program, the team should aim to compete against multiple schools. And the change in the program seems to have paid off. The team had advanced to state competition three times so far.

In state, there are more private schools and other tough teams are competing, making them tougher than the regionals.

“The first competition was so nerve wracking,” said Lapp. “I was so scared doing the entire thing. But over all, I think that we did really really good on our competitions, and I think that we did good both in state and in regionals.”

Nolan Chadwick is a freshman at YCHS. He has participated in Mock Trial and Cross Country this year, and spends his time reading, running, and making stop motion. He also enjoys participating in the schools theatre productions. Nolan is currently reading the Fellowship of the Ring.