Mock on! MRHS mock trial team is tops in Atlantic County

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Mainland Regional High School Mock Trial Team is the Atlantic County Champs Mainland Regional High School Mock Trial Team is the Atlantic County Champs

LINWOOD — Chris Fernandez has been the advisor to the Mainland Regional High Sschool Mock Trial Team for 17 years. Last Wednesday the team won the Atlantic County Mock Trial competition for the second year running, beating Holy Spirit High School for the title.

The team successfully completed their next step Tues. Feb 5 by besting both Millville and Middle Township high schools in the South Jersey Regional Mock Trial competition. They are headed to the South Jersey Championships

The case they are arguing this year involves the owners of a dog who are suing the manufacturer of a flea treatment product they claim resulted in the death of their dog. The manufacturer’s side of the argument is that the owners cannot prove its product caused the death.

Armed withsome background information, the teams begin building a strategy and prepare for their days in court.

All of the teams in the New Jersey Mock Trial competition sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation are given the same information and argue the same case throughout the competition.

Fernandez said Mainland’s mock trial teams have enjoyed many successes over the years but said that wiith only two returning members of last year's squad, they are a young but talented team.

The team has four new lawyers this year, as most of last year's team graduated. The team has nine members on the competition team and 14 members overall.

Mock trial is a big commitment on the part of the team members. Fernandez said they pick the team sometime in September, and while they only meet a few times a week initially, by October practice is every day after school and some weekends as well.

Team members prepare for one specific role on the team, but the coach said there have been times when other kids had to fill in roles.

"They are more than capable of taking on multiple roles,” said Fernandez.

“The team is very excited about the next rounds. Being a new, young team, they are nervous, but very talented. We haven't even seen their best performance yet,” said the coach. “Plus, they are just a nice group of kids. I'm very proud; it’s nice to see good things happen to great people.”

If the MRHS squad makes it out of the South Jersey Regional competition the students will head to the regional finals at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.

The other Atlantic County mock trial teams that competed were Absegami, the Atlantic County Institute of Technology, Cedar Creek, Egg Harbor Township, Hammonton, Holy Spirit, Oakcrest and St. Joseph high schools. The South Jersey Regional competition will feature teams from Middle Township, Millville, and Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science.

Mainland'sl team is comprised of Jake Blumberg, Amanda Etemad, Lucas Gideon, Matt Johnson, Erin Kiernan, Patrick Law, Patrick McCarthy, Noah Nardone, Tyler Newman, Roman Papadimitriou, Flannery Rollins, Bhavani Singh and Lauren Ziereis.

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