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The Paly Voice

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Mock trial team delivers verdict on season: Next year will be better

Mock trial team members Charlie Dulik, Jessica Tam and Sophia Sholtz prepare for a trial.
Mock trial team members Charlie Dulik, Jessica Tam and Sophia Scholtz prepare for a trial on Feb. 5 at the Santa Clara County Courthouse. The team won one out of its four trials this season. “Overall, we all did very, very well,” Scholtz said. Photo courtesy of Zach Segal.

Palo Alto High School’s days of seeing students carrying briefcases and dressed head-to-toe in a suit and tie are, for the time being, over, as the mock trial team’s season concluded on Feb. 19 with a loss in a prosecution trial.

Even after losing three out of four trials in this season, several mock trial team members praised themselves and their team for a job well done despite obvious shortcomings.

Led by senior co-captains Sophia Scholtz and Nadya Nee, the mock trial team competed against Pioneer High School, Mountain View High School, Cupertino High School and Saint Francis High School over the past season.

Divided into prosecution and defense competitions, the prosecution lost both of its trials by incredibly small margins — in one case only a couple points out of 200, while the defense team won one once by a huge margin, and lost the other competition handily.

The season concluded on Feb. 19 when the prosecution section lost a deciding trial that determined whether their season would continue past February and into the quarterfinals. A record of 2-2 would have made making the playoffs a possibility, but with the close loss the season ended with a 1-3 record.

The team, relatively inexperienced and essentially self-coached, only practiced once every couple of weeks for an hour according to co-captain Scholtz. However, Sholtz felt satisfied with the team’s performance despite its lack of practice.

“Overall, we all did very, very well and hopefully the team is on a good track [for next year],” Scholtz said. “For the amount of effort that we put in compared to other teams… we do pretty well.”

All in all, Scholtz enjoys partaking in mock trial as a fun, low-commitment activity.

“It’s super, super fun,  and it combines debate and acting,” Scholtz said. “It’s a really fun extracurricular activity.”

Nee echoes this positive outlook and also has high hopes for next year.

“It was a good season,” Nee said. “We had a lot of new freshmen, and it was fun to teach them about mock trial. Hopefully, next year will be better because this year we didn’t have that much experience.”

Jessica Tam, another senior team member, thoroughly enjoyed the season despite the losses.

“I thought we did a good job even though we didn’t win every single time,” Tam said. “I think that everyone on the team worked really well together, and I think we all got a lot out of it.”

Next year the team will be led by junior Emily Willick, who foresees a bright future for the mock trial team.

“Our team has a ton of potential,” Willick said. “We have a bunch of really promising underclassmen who will be able to lead the team in a few years. I’m confident that with a little more dedication, we can do really well next year.”

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About the Contributors
Becca Raffel, Author
Callie Walker, Author

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    thetruthMar 16, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Wow this is a really great story. Keep it up Becca and Callie!! You guys are gifted.