By Tyler Vu

The newly formed PHHS Mock Trial team participated in its first matches on Tues., Jan. 31 and Thurs., Feb. 2. and last Tuesday, resulting in three narrow losses for the team.

In preparation for trials, all participating Mock Trial teams are given the same case a few months before the actual competition. This allows them to practice their arguments, polish their performance skills and study the case they are given.

This particular trial featured Cameron Awbrey, a fictional person suspected of human trafficking.  Each mock trial team is split into two sides: the prosecution and defense, one to defend Cameron’s case and another to prove his guilt in the matter.

The first match was against Castilleja High School.  Although the dedicated team practiced extensively for the trial, there were still some unfortunate mistakes that resulted in their  loss.

“Our cross examination was pretty solid, but we didn’t go through all our witnesses, so we got docked for that,” explains Vice Captain Matthew Hoang.

This loss did not deter the team, however, and the members used their new experience to better prepare for their next match.

“The first day was still really important for getting a feel of everything and to prepare for the next match,” explains team Captain Daniel Johnson.

The next match was against Gunderson High School.  The team performed much better than the previous match, just barely losing to the much older and experienced team.

“We did, in my opinion, excellent,” beams Daniel.

The third had the team facing against Pioneer. This match was as close as it could be, with the two teams tying in points. Ultimately, it came down to one vote from the final judge, who awarded the Pioneer team the win.

Losses aside, the matches were incredibly important for the future of the newly formed team.

“Some of the other schools have been around for ages and have a great support staff,” elaborates Daniel.  “With this experience, we can lay the foundations for the club for later years.”

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