Jesuit Mock Trial finishes in strong second

Sports teams are the usual recipient of Jesuit High School’s afternoon salutational announcements. In these last few weeks, however, we have heard a great deal about our mock trial team, who placed second in the county tournament.

Mock trial competitions are simulated court cases in which students play the roles of attorneys, witnesses, and other important participants from our actual justice system.

Schools compete against each other, with one team playing the defense and the other the prosecution. The cases are judged by actual judges, and the later rounds take place in actual courtrooms.

This year’s team made it to the championship round where they faced powerhouse Elk Grove High School, who have won the county tournament four out of the last five years.

Jesuit lost to EGHS in a close match, but the members of Mock Trial are proud of their performance and their season, especially their semifinal round when they defeated rival Rio Americano High School.

“Making it all the way to the finals after upsetting a perennial powerhouse and rival Rio Americano was surreal,” said Austin Sutter ’19, trial attorney for the prosecution. “I never would have imagined making it this far four years ago when we finished next to last.”

The team was never a favorite throughout the county tournament, but their performance showed that hours of hard work really pay off.

“For an underdog team that had never come close to making the finals, just entering the finals was great,” said Jarek Marcinek ’19, captain of the defense. “Everyone on the team worked harder than ever, so it was nice to see such work pay off.”

The competition allows high school students to learn how our court system works and immerse themselves in learning how to create legal arguments. Many team members professed how much they enjoyed different parts of the trials, such as cross-examinations or legal arguments.

The team was anchored by a core group of seniors, but there is a good amount of underclassmen who will make the team competitive for years to come.

“It was an incredible run,” said Ryan Albiani ’19, pretrial attorney for the defense. “I believe that within the next few years our team will make states.”

Mock Trial is on the rise at Jesuit, and hopefully this team will develop into another storied Jesuit High School institution.