On Saturday, February 27, 2021 our San Marcos Mock Trial team competed against schools inside Santa Barbara county including Carpinteria, Dos Pueblos, Laguna Blanca, Santa Barbara, and of course San Marcos. Our San Marcos team has won the county competition for the past 2 years beating against rivals, Dos Pueblos. The San Marcos Mock Trial team won the county final taking all of Santa Barbara county, and then went on to represent Santa Barbara county at the state competition held on March 18-21(held on zoom), taking home fourth place in the state.
Mock trial in a nutshell is basically a real court, with a fake case. There’s attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and even a judge. A made up case is given to schools world-wide, and students work tirelessly all fall preparing for competition. Roles are given out, attorneys work with their witnesses, and coaches help along the way to bring together for a clear and concise case on both sides. There’s a prosecution and defense, both fighting for their sides for either a verdict of guilty or not guilty. With plenty of practices, private work sessions, and scrimmages against other teams, schools reach county competition, a two weekend competition with this first weekend eliminating teams and giving out awards.
One of the recipients of the awards for both years is Katie Sipes, a sophomore, who was the defendant in this year’s trial. Katie describes her experience on mock trial telling us, “Mock Trial has really brought me a sense of community that I didn’t think I would get from a school extra curricular. From the hours of working together to traveling to competitions, it brings us all together so tightly and I have so much respect for everyone. It was really difficult to be on zoom this entire year competing, but I’m just super excited to be back next year as an attorney!”
With the year starting off with zoom, tryouts were still held online and many were accepted onto the team. A first-year sophomore, Dawson Kelly, talks about his online experience as, “super interesting! It was definitely difficult at times to know exactly what was going on since most people just wanted to start working, but I would join different breakout rooms with attorneys or witnesses, and they were more than happy to answer questions. I was a backup witness which allowed me to observe and learn that way. I can’t wait for next year to do it in person and be able to see everyone I’d been working with all year.”
Senior Jack Strand won the state award for best detective. He says “it was one of the most rewarding things, knowing that all of his hard work had paid off.” This is a great accomplishment for Jack and an amazing way to end his senior year.
With so many seniors leaving this year, the Mock Trial team is getting prepared to work over the summer and all fall to be able to win for the third year in a row. If you’d like to be on the mock trial team next fall, make sure to keep a lookout for anything about tryouts or reach out to someone already on the team!