Jordan Betz, Staff Writer
February 29, 2012
Filed under News
Fists clench, knuckles whiten, and the courtroom fills with silence. Bodies shift nervously in their seats awaiting the next witness and testimony. Will this school team defend their title against all the others?
Tense Mock Trial team members, barely able to contain their nervous energy, sit on the edge of their sets, anxiously awaiting the championship verdict.
“I was very anxious and nervous. The announcers kept rambling on, making it worse,” senior Tyler Kivley said.
“Turlock – second place!” the announcer cries out. A quiet rumble spreads throughout the Enochs Mock Trial Team. Are we third or first? After the Turlock cheers die down, the announcer finally says, “And first place goes to: Enochs High School!” Deafening cheers from supporters ring out, echoing off the walls of the event center.
“I was very excited,” Kivley said. “It was awesome bringing the trophy back to Enochs.”
Mock Trial is a competition in which students perform a semi-rehearsed trial that consists of topics picked by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Over 150 students participate in mock trial, and they train as much as they can.
“Mock Trial is an activity that involves acting, debating, and appearance,” senior Donovan Souza said.
Souza and his fellow teammates train as on Mondays and Tuesdays from an hour to an hour and a half. They also attend scrimmages to get a feel for their role.
“Competitions are always intense,” senior April Utile said. “Most of the people involved in Mock Trial at all schools are highly intelligent and quick to think on their feet.”
With this “intense” energy, the team is prone to stumbling, stuttering, messing up their lines, and sometimes forgetting them. Although this occasionally happens, the team’s advantage and confidence brought them the victory.
“I felt confident for our team at a trial against Gregori,” said senior Ralph Price. “We had our lines memorized, and Gregori’s team was reading off of note cards.”
Taking it from the team members, competing against other skilled teams isn’t an easy task.
“People want to win, and when people want to win, things can get intense and a little dirty,” Utile said.
Last year, Enochs stole the title from Modesto High, who possessed a winning streak of four years. According to Souza, Johansen, Turlock, and Modesto High Schools seem to be the schools that hold the most competition.
“Enochs has won for the second year in a row,” Utile said. “Of course we deserved it. Obviously, we are the best.”
Not only did this win impact the Enochs Mock Trial record books, but it also impacted the participants.
“It felt great,” Price said. “This year, Modesto High got fifth place and it just felt great to win again.”
One things that helps the team is that they support all their members with constructive criticism that teaches how to improve their performances and gives them the confidence to keep going.
“Constructive criticism is a must in Mock Trial in order for the team to be the best they can be,” Utile said. “The attorney coaches and Mr. Hooker (Mock trail adviser) really dedicate their time to make sure everyone is prepared and performing at their greatest. The team is really supportive of each other, extremely grateful for the coaching staff, and proud to be representing Enochs High School.”
Now the team moves up into the final round to compete on the state level. Will they make it all the way?
Souza said, “If you think you are the best, you will be the best.”