Breaking News
The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Defeating the Struggles: Mock Trial Club’s comeback season

EXPLAINING+THE+EXHIBIT%3A+Freshman+Dana+Elquza+explains+details+in+her+exhibit+to+the+judge+during+her+direct+examination+of+an+expert+witness.
Neil Godse
EXPLAINING THE EXHIBIT: Freshman Dana Elquza explains details in her exhibit to the judge during her direct examination of an expert witness.

Adjusting their ties and fitting their coats, Northwood students transform into lawyers and witnesses in a suspenseful trial. But this year, the verdict is already in: Mock Trial has gotten to the quarter finals for the first time since 2017. 

As one of only nine Orange County teams to have an undefeated preliminary round, the team has recovered from being virtually nonexistent as COVID-19 hybrid and online schedules hindered awareness about the club on campus. The pandemic interfered with recruitment of lower classmen who could sustain the team. 

“In the two COVID years, the team was 75% juniors and seniors and around five freshmen and sophomores,” Mock Trial president senior Ally Venezia said. “We had such a small team that really didn’t know what Mock Trial was after the upperclassmen graduated.”

Mock Trial has students assume the roles of witnesses, lawyers, defendants and other court roles to portray their case in the courtroom. Northwood’s team competes against other high schools at the Santa Ana courthouse where they have both a prosecution and defense team. Professional lawyers act as judges. However, due to strict COVID limitations at county courthouses, tournaments and meetings remained online until 2022, meaning the young team had limited time to learn and apply their skills. 

In a competition based on speaking, listening, quick-thinking and acting, it’s hard to be on an online forum and get the true experience.

— Aadya Batra

“In a competition based on speaking, listening, quick-thinking and acting, it’s hard to be on an online forum and get the true experience,” treasurer junior Aadya Batra said. “Some of the newer club members, like myself, were not completely aware of all the proceedings and rules of Mock Trial, and being online added to that because we had limited communication and less time to rehearse.”

The return to in-person competitions in 2022 meant students had to be fully off-script for their competitions, a change from the pandemic rules. The Northwood team struggled to find enough participants to have understudies for important roles; any last minute cancellations meant a rush to memorize a script and learn a character on short notice.

This year, online Instagram campaigns and publicity have increased interest in the club, bringing in a record number of auditions for the team. 

“We were able to use the large amount of people interested to grow our team to the largest size it’s ever been at Northwood,” Mock Trial publicist sophomore Leanna Lo said. 

The increase in members of the team has been key to Northwood’s success as they prepare for the quarterfinals tomorrow. 

“Everyone has put in so much hard work and it’s truly showing in our results,” Lo said. “We are so grateful for the members of the team, our attorney coaches and our advisor, Mr. Banks, for all the hard work they’ve been putting in.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Megha Kishore, Staff Writer
Megha is a Northwood sophomore and staff writer for the Howler. Her favorite drink is a matcha latte which she thinks will cure her headaches that last 24/7. Some of her hobbies include reading if she ever finds the time for it or online shopping at 1 AM with no intent of actually buying anything.
Neil Godse, Photographer
Neil Godse is a Photographer and Junior at Northwood. He used to love aviation, traveling, and youtube - until junior year happened. Now you can see him doing Physics homework, and in his 13 seconds of break time, he is mindlessly scrolling through reels until the time is just right to start work again (12:00 AM sharp). If it wasn’t obvious already, he loves taking photos, and can be seen stalking people around the school (only for Howler of course).

Comments (0)

All The Northwood Howler Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *