By Richard Rourk
Unicoi County High School made it to state competition yet again when the UCHS Mock Trial team competed in the State Mock Trial Competition, which was held virtually on March 19-20.
“We are so proud of this group,” said Lois Shults-Davis, local attorney and coach of the UCHS Mock Trial Team. “We have an amazing group of students,” Shults-Davis said. “They truly are like family. This year we have ten students that make up the team.”
She explained that students have to be able to successfully formulate arguments for complex cases. The students rotate serving both sides of the case as well as serving as witnesses.
“We have to know these cases inside and out,” explained Mairead O’Hare, one of the members of the Mock Trial Team. “There is a lot to these cases.”
According to Shults-Davis, the trial team fell short of winning the Grand Division Competition, but the group was still invited to compete at the state level.
“They really had done great rounds and we did have a winner stand out,” Shults-Davis said. “Ashleigh Edwards won a best place attorney award.”
She had other reasons to feel proud of her team.
“We are one of ten teams out of 62 to get invited to state,” Shults-Davis said. “We are very proud of that.”
She explained that mock trials are so much more than just honing the students’ craft.
“This group raised roughly $500 dollars for Relay for Life,” Shults-Davis said “We are always looking for more students to serve and for causes to serve. We are always happy to work with businesses that are looking to serve the community by donating to worthy causes or by providing sponsorship to these wonderful students.”
The 2021 Mock Trial membership consists of Javier Castellon, Ashleigh Edwards, Ethan McQueen, Kaylee McQueen, Macy Miller, Mairead O’Hare, Daniel Shults, Matthew Sutphin, Samuel White and Trent White.
For those interested in joining the UCHS Mock Trial team, more information is available from UCHS teachers Thad Higgins or Chad Roller, who are also involved with coaching the Mock Trial Team.