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Mock Trial Regionals: Repeating Success

Gavel next to book ready to be used.
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Gavel next to book ready to be used.

The courtroom reverberates with suspenseful energy after the two teams have laid out their cases and continue to battle. Each word brims with meaning as the judges, coaches, jury, and audience members all listen in to what hard-working students have been putting together for the last six months. Everybody is dressed to impress and the nervous lawyers and witnesses each have butterflies in their stomachs. However, even with the nerves, each Mock Trial team weaves a story with meaning that hopefully, will get them into the next round of the tournament hosted on March 5th in Grand Rapids at the Federal District Court.  The FHE Mock Trial team has been preparing for this moment for most of the year. After a previously successful season that saw them go the furthest they ever had in a calendar year, the Mock Trial team is eager to see what awaits them this Saturday.

The team won their regional tourney last year, and Coach McCarthy and her students went on to compete at the state level. This rigorous test in East Lansing pushed the team to their limits, with both prosecution and defense sides going up against some of the best Mock Trial teams in the state of Michigan. However, the team consisted of juniors and seniors who fought through and advanced to the state final. While there, the coin flipped the prosecution’s way, as the Eastern prosecution team competed for the team’s first state title. They would end up being successful, leading and bringing a championship to Forest Hills Eastern. 

Following their state title, the team went on to the National competition held in Little Rock, Arkansas, representing the state of Michigan. While there, they competed against some of the best teams from across the U.S. The team not only represented Michigan, but illustrated their skill as a team from Forest Hills Eastern. In Arkansas, they would compete and ultimately end up finishing in the top 20, out of over 51 states, territories, and international schools. The immense experience, intensity, and knowledge that the team’s returning seniors have gained is exponential and should help them this Saturday at Regionals. 

That is what this Mock Trial team here at FHE has been preparing for, a chance to run it back as defending state champs. It won’t be easy, the new case has loomed over them as this year is a civil case. Also, new talented faces are sprinkled throughout this team, with some juniors and sophomores getting a chance in the spotlight. It has been a long process, but this team has gained chemistry during their practices and planning periods. Combining a cohesive group of experienced seniors, along with the new faces that brim with ability, the team is looking good. Returning senior Parker Thompson explains “We are really excited about the new season and proud of our new members stepping up into critical roles.” Rishika Kokkula (’24) also expresses how “The team is very close and not only support each other during practice but also constructively help each other improve.” Hopefully, after all of their hard work, they’ll be able to make it past this first step of the season at the courthouse this Saturday and make their way to nationals once again.

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About the Contributor
Julian Zolenski, Staff Writer
Julian Zolenski is a Senior at Forest Hills Eastern. This is his second year being on the Hawk Herald Staff. Julian enjoys a number of different things about his busy life including working as a line cook, playing with his dog, and hanging out with his friends. Right now Julian has a dream of being a Sports Commentator. He intends to accomplish this goal by majoring in Broadcast Journalism in his college future. Julian knows this is a lofty goal, but he will not let anything stop him from accomplishing it.   
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