Mock Trial team advances to Districts


Courtesy photo

The mock trial team won its first meet to advance to the District round of competition. Team members include: front row (l to r) Sarah Berkowitz, Daman Mills, and advisor Mr. Rhone; back row (l to r) Wyatt McKendree, Olivia Finelli, Lauren Young, Brendan Andrews, Abi Eckenrod, Madison Brinkman, and Andrew Crocker.

Caroline Nagle, Social Media Editor

The Bellwood-Antis mock trial team, in the midst of a pandemic, won a case involving a zombie apocalypse.

The team won its first contested meet this week in a case contested virtually on Zoom against Forest Hills. This win puts the group into districts. Now 2-0, B-A had won its first meet by forfeit over Bishop McCort. 

Mock trial is a form of debate and public speaking where schools compete against each other trying a court case. Each side has lawyers and witnesses using fictional depositions. The jury for the cases is often made up of members of the Blair County legal community.

This time, Bellwood was on the defense side of the Estate of George Romero vs. Ashley Williams. In this case, where there was a “Zombie Run” to promote energy drinks, Romero died after drinking on of the beverages. His family then sues Ashley Williams in a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. 

Each side in the trial consists of three lawyers and three witnesses. The B-A team that participated in this meet included Abi Eckenrod, Andrew Crocker, and Madison Brinkman as witnesses and Brendan Andrews, Daman Mills, and Lauren Young as attorneys. The performances of two participants stood out as judged by the opposing team, with Young winning best lawyer and Brinkman winning best witness. 

Other team members who will participate in the next meet include Sarah Berkowitz, Wyatt McKendree, and Olivia Finelli. 

The advisors of Mock Trial are Mr. Rhone and Mr. Roberts. 

“They did well under difficult circumstances,” Mr. Rhone said. “We were forced to hold our practices on teams for the last several months without any real face-to-face interaction. Our seniors showed leadership and really led by example.”

B-A will learn when it will compete again as well as its opponents over the next several weeks as some teams are still completing their two first-round meets.