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Big donation means big win for the Mock Trial team

The Lycoming County Law Association donated $3,500 to the Montoursville Mock Trial team to help them go to the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral Classic.

“We received $3,500 which covered the student hotel cost for the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral Classic, the registration for the team, and dinner at Red Robin and lunch from Panera,” said Mock Trial Adviser Mrs. Susan Wise.

The Mock Trial team submitted the application for the grant in September. Senior Captain Lucia Catino said what allowed the team to receive the donation was, “The hard work that we have put in. This team is so dedicated, we practice before school everyday, and the Lycoming Law Association saw our dedication.”

Members of the Mock Trial team pose with a check from members of the Lycoming Law Association. The check was presented to the team before a school board meeting.

The team started practicing for the tournament as soon as the case packet was released in November.

Wise said, “The team received their case materials in the 2nd week of November and had 5 weeks to prepare their case.” The team spent a lot of time working with their lawyer and witness partners.

“I prepared by running through my direct with both the varsity and JV lawyers, and re-reading my affidavit to have my statement fresh in my mind,” Catino said.

On Jan. 6 and 7 the Mock Trial team competed at the University of Pittsburgh. The team won all eight of their trials and placed first at the competition out of 47 teams.

“The team started in the 41st spot out of 47 teams and won the tournament!” Wise said. “We won each of our eight trials. At the end of the first day, we were in the top six teams and finished the second day with a first place victory.”

Sophomore Cullen Pauling said, “It was really cool to walk in on the final trial and see the extravagant room because it was when it sunk in and we realized we were high up in the rankings. We also had two judges which was a good clue.”

Juniors Sean Frey and Brady Cohen pose with their individual awards and the team award. The team spent the weekend working hard for the win.

While at the tournament juniors Brady Cohen and Sean Frey won Outstanding Witness Awards and received a certificate for their hard work. Cohen said his success was due to his, “unique personality that reflected my witness.” 

While at the tournament the team spent a lot of time with each other and Junior Andrew Ware said, “Because of the weather we all had to stay together in the Cathedral and order food which was definitely a team bonding experience. It gave us more time to work on the case which then helped us win.”

Members of the prosecution team get a quick picture before the start of its first trial. The rooms the trials were held in were very small so the team was close together.

Now that the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral Classic is over the team begins competing in the state competition.

“Our competition season involves winning our district trials so we will be eligible for the district playoffs,” Wise said. “Our first district competition is Jan. 31 in Bellefonte where our defense team will compete. The prosecution competes on Feb. 14, also in Bellefonte. The trials take place in the Centre County Courthouse Annex.”

Members of the defense team get a quick picture before the start of one of their trials. As the team moved up in the rankings, the rooms got bigger.

After the tournament Catino said, “Our team really is as amazing as Mrs. Wise tells us, and we are able to go so far in competitions when we work hard, and work together.”

Freshman Rowan Fortin summarizes the competition by saying, “It was really stressful but a great experience”



Featured image (above): The Mock Trial team gets a picture with its first-place certificate after it won the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral Classic. The team won first place out of 47 teams.

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