Reading High School Mock Trial team continued their undefeated season at the Regional Championship in Batavia on Friday, February 10. Wins over senior teams from Mason and Milford earned the program a 9th trip to the State Championships.
Senior Maddy Brooks was named best witness in the trial against Mason. Sophomore Captain Anna Sofio will be Reading’s first student to compete in the State Championship both her freshman and sophomore years.
To make it out of the regional this year, students had to really step up their performance from districts. To make matters even more difficult than usual, Reading had arguably the toughest draw in the competition when they were pitted against a senior laden Mason squad in trial two. That team competed at State last year and also competed in international competitions in Atlanta and San Francisco the past two years. To beat a veteran team like Mason, the Reading mockers had to leave it all in the courtroom. Freshman attorney Erin Vaughn came out of the gates swinging with an absolutely flawless opening statement and the battle was on. Senior attorney Ingrid Kidwell followed Vaughn’s performance with a tenacious display of litigation. The Mason attorneys tried to rattle witnesses Anna Sofio and Maddy Brooks who bravely withstood the challenge. When the dust settled and sophomore bailiff Chandler Crawford adjourned the court, Reading emerged victorious by a razor thin margin. It takes two of the three judges ballots for a team to be declared the winners of the trial. One judge had Mason winning my one, one judge had Reading winning by one and the tiebreaker came down to the presiding judge who had Reading by two.
The first trial against Milford was probably the best performance Reading mockers have had since the season began. Near flawless performances by senior attorney Justin Becker and attorney Anna Sofio got the ball rolling and the team didn’t look back. Witnesses Maddy Brooks and senior Amber Taylor and sophomore timekeeper Skylar Harris helped lead the team to another impressive victory over Milford.
State will be a challenge but this team has cleared every hurdle thrown their way and in doing so, have truly come together as a unified unit. With continued focus and commitment, the 2017 Mock Trial team will be the first Reading squad to bring a State Championship home.
Written by: Andy Janig, RHS teacher and Mock Trial Advisor.