Debate competes in state mock trial


On Saturday, March 4, the Wildcat mock trial team walked into a Little Rock courtroom, poised to take on the Conway Wampus Cats in the mock trial state finals. The Wildcats had worked countless hours together for weeks in advance to prepare for the competition according to sophomore Sam Myers and Mason Wait.

Mock trial is a competition structured around the imitation of a real life court trial, according to Penn Mock Trial. As competitors, students will be evaluated by legal professionals who serve as tournament judges on their performance and preparedness. Students compete as attorneys and/or witnesses. A team is composed of 3 lawyers and 3 witnesses. Myers, a lawyer, notes that the preparation was certainly arduous, even months before the trial.

“There was a ton of review early on,” Myers said, “and we practiced constantly for 4 hours at school and about 6 or 7 more at home.”

Once the trial got closer, debate teacher Daniel Caudle implemented an even more time consuming practice strategy: “Hell Week”.

“We stayed after school everyday until 9 P.M. the week before the trial,” Myers said, “going over objections and exceptions in my head, and trying to find loopholes in the case.”

The Wildcats made their way through the bracket and eventually found themselves in the state finals. It was certainly a fulfilling feeling for Wait.

“I was super glad and happy that we had made it that far, “ Wait said, “but I knew the job wasn’t finished, so I had to keep my emotions in check.”

Myers expressed many of the same emotions when he found out that the team was in the finals. However, when he walked into the courtroom where the finals were being held, he felt a whole new wave of emotions.

“I felt focused and in a rush,” Myers said. “I knew that there was no more preparation to do and that this was it, this is what I had been working for all this time.”

Unfortunately, the Wildcats didn’t win the state championship, but did get runner-up, which gives them a chance to possibly attend the National Mock Trial Competition, which will also be held in Little Rock, and compete against teams from all over the nation. Myers is grateful for this opportunity and urges others to get involved in debate.

“Everyone can do well and have fun in Mock Trial,” Myers said. “It’s just a matter of who will, and I encourage everyone to give it a shot.”