Grovetown High School’s mock trial team brought home the trophy as Regional Champions in a recent competition in Covington, Ga.
The competition was one of several regional events around the state on Feb. 1, according to Tony E. Howard II, an attorney in the Augusta Public Defender’s Office, who coaches the team with Assistant District Attorney Amanda Heath and teacher Tracy Roden.
This was the second year that Grovetown’s team participated in the Georgia Mock Trial Program. In this year’s case, a defendant was “accused” of shooting and killing her “loan shark”, then fleeing the scene, Howard said.
As Regional Champions, Grovetown High advanced to the District competition, which was held Feb. 22 in Jonesboro, Ga. at the Clayton County Court House. Grovetown High ultimately came in second to the former state champion, Jonesboro High School. Jonesboro High has previously won the national championship title in 2007 and 2008.
Howard said several Grovetown team members won individual awards, such as best witness and best attorney.
The Mock Trial program gives high school students a hands-on approach to learning about the judicial system and the different roles within that system, Howard said. Mock Trials are structured similar to that of actual courts and are bound by similar rules. Students on a team portray either attorneys or witnesses.
Student attorneys must deliver opening statements, closing arguments, as well as call and question witnesses.
Competitions often contain various rounds of trial, each lasting up to two hours. Students are often competing for more than eight hours on a competition day, Howard said.