Mock Trial places second at state competition


courtesy Shorewood Mock Trial Instagram

On the weekend of March 3, Shorewood’s Mock Trial team traveled to Madison where they competed at the State tournament for the 2023 season. 

The 202223 school year was the first year since the pandemic that students were able to compete and practice in person. Arthur Christiansen, co-captain and senior, observed that being back in person changed the dynamic of the club.

“The environment we were able to build because we were in person was so different: practicing together in the library as opposed to breakout rooms on zoom where nobody had their camera on. It was much more closely knit between everybody” Christiansen said. 

Rose Schnorr, junior, shares the timeline of the weekend.

“The competition is [held at] the Dane county courthouse in Madison. We leave on Friday afternoon and we drive up to our hotel. The day we get there we have our first round. On Saturday, we have three rounds and that night we have a big banquet ceremony and the two teams moving to the finals are announced. Shorewood was one of those teams [this year]” Schnorr said. 

Preparing for state was a time consuming process, even during the weekend of the competition.

“We met every single day, including on weekends,” Schnorr said. “The weekend [of state] was very stressful so we didn’t have a lot of time to check out the city, but it’s a lot of fun. You get to be with your teammates the whole time.”

Even while online, the Shorewood team has always been known for its rigor. 

“We’re always trying to do our best. I’m very proud that we don’t focus on maintaining our reputation as much as doing the work and then having it as a result,” Christiansen said.

It was a really rewarding end result getting to go to this competition as a team.

— Rose Schnorr, junior

Scrimmages before regionals and state were looked at in a non-competitive light, with little pressure on ballots and points.

“One thing we did right this season was treating scrimmages as practice and not going into them with the mentality to win. We used these opportunities to explore different case theories and figure out what we can improve on,” said Alexis Hu, senior and co-captain. “I do think that the finals was the best prosecution case that we had all [of state] weekend, and I thought everybody really showed out.” 

Before qualifying for state, the team typically met three times a week. However, as the state championship approached, practices were held daily for multiple hours. Schnorr believes that the work ethic and time commitment that the team put into practice created great results. 

“I would say that we were together at least 20 hours a week [near the end]. It is a lot of work, but you get to know the team so well as a result. It was a really rewarding end result getting to go to this competition as a team” Schnorr said. 

Mock Trial advisor Jesse Perez was proud of the team’s results, both at state and during the season.

“Normally we would practice only two times a week and then once on the weekends, but [the students] started upping it to every day. They really made it their goal to win. We had the hardest road to get to the finals and we successfully made it there,” Perez said. “I was super proud of them, they just put their all into it.”

To Perez, the academic rigor of the club itself came as a bit of a surprise.

We had the hardest road to get to the finals and we successfully made it there.

— Jesse Perez, advisor

“There is an opening statement the students need to know and deliver as well as a closing argument. It’s probably one of the most academic clubs that I have ever been a part of,” Perez said. There’s so much expectation around how much work goes into this. It’s so academic, in some ways it’s a class by itself.”

With daily practices, meetings and more, the Mock Trial team became a close knit community.

“Everyone was very involved this year and very dedicated to the season. It’s really rewarding to see us do well at these competitions after all the work we put in” Schnorr said. “It’s a really great group of people with a great bond. We are a Mock Trial family”.