Mock Trial: A Long Road Ahead

Picture above shows the team two years ago that finished third in the state led by captains Joseph D’Angelo ( ‘18) and Nicholas Sannito ( ‘19)

Picture above shows the team two years ago that finished third in the state led by captains Joseph D’Angelo ( ‘18) and Nicholas Sannito ( ‘19)

Liam Henderson, Staff Writer

Over the past decade or two, there have been few constants in a rapidly changing society. This exclusive group of constants has been praised for its prolonged success in each member’s specific area. As a professional athlete, Tom Brady has consistently performed tremendously in the face of pressure while becoming the most feared quarterback in the National Football League. Apple has also routinely produced cutting edge technology for the past couple of decades ranging from MacBooks to iPhones and everything in between. While both Tom Brady and Apple’s success have been publicized, many people fail to realize the consistent success that the Oratory Mock Trial Team has enjoyed.

The team members, sometimes called the “Mock Jocks,” have regularly put in hours of hard work in order to maintain a high standard of excellence that Mr. Martin, the team’s coach, holds them to. In the words of Alexander Graham Bell, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” This quote embodies the mentality of the Oratory Prep Mock Trial Team because they prepare constantly over the span of a couple of months to be the best possible version of themselves in January when the competitions begin. Mock Trial has scrimmages just like any other sports team before the actual season begins in January. However, the season is structured slightly different than most sports teams. The practices begin in early November, but the first competition takes place on January 6th. There is one tournament that spans across the state and is composed of different levels. To become a state champion, one first has to win their county. In the county round, Oratory Prep Mock Trial will take on four different opponents. Generally, a team must win at least three of the four pool play trials in order to make it to the next round of counties. Then, there will be a trial with the top two teams to determine who wins the county and advances in the tournament. A loss at this stage would eliminate the losing team from contention and essentially end their season. After counties, the regional tournament is the next step, and it is based on a similar format as counties but encompasses a specific region of New Jersey as opposed to a certain county.

If a team were to win regionals, it would represent its region and face off against two other schools in the championship trial to determine the state champion. The state championship trial works a little differently than a traditional head to head matchup because three teams participate in it. It is broken down into three different trials; one trial takes place during the morning and another occurs during the afternoon of that same day while the last trial occurs several days after. The three teams’ names are placed in a hat, and two are randomly selected to compete in the first trial. Whoever wins that trial earns a spot in the second and final stage of the state championship. Even though they lost, the losing team will not be eliminated from the competition yet. They will have to participate in the trial in the afternoon with the team whose name was not originally drawn in hopes of earning the second spot for the state final. Although a state championship is a very attainable goal, Oratory has their entire season ahead of them, and they must work harder than ever to make that goal a reality.