Mock Trial team prepares for county competition

Captain, Angeli Indran, stands to make an argument as mock trial participant, Mehek Nagpal, takes notes during a practice tournament.

Captain, Angeli Indran, stands to make an argument as mock trial participant, Mehek Nagpal, takes notes during a practice tournament.

Sanya Sandhu, Staff Reporter

Tracy High’s Mock Trial team has participated in many practice tournaments this season in order to prepare for the San Joaquin County competition on Feb. 16-27 at the Stockton Courthouse.

These practice tournaments include the NorCal Invitational hosted by Menlo High School and the Carmel Invitational hosted by Carmel High. The team has also competed against schools such as Elk Grove, Moreau Catholic, and Tamalpais High School. Although the participating schools are not given scores, the Tracy High’s team feels confident in its performances at these practices.

“I think our standings are pretty good. We’re doing really well this. I’ve seen a lot of growth and talent in this team and it’s really an exciting time for us,” Fatima Mohamadi, third year mock trial participant, said. “We recently competed in two tournaments, and I think that overall we performed really well.” 

We’re doing really well. I’ve seen a lot of growth and talent in this team and it’s really an exciting time for us”

— Fatima Mohamadi

“This season we have a veteran varsity team, meaning most of our team members are repeaters, and three out of four attorneys are repeaters as well. Thus, we have an experienced team. We have been to four invitationals so far and have performed strongly,” Ron Indran, co-coach, said.

“This year’s mock trial is more talented than in the past. They’re smarter and better actors. I think we can achieve our goal of winning county by just being awesome and outperforming the other teams,” Justin Nunn, co-coach, said.”We’re going to be a little more dramatic this year and forceful.”

In addition to these practice tournaments, the team spends a lot more time preparing for the anticipated county competition.

“Personally, to prepare for all trials I use flashcards to memorize my lines, but, specifically, to practice for county we go against other teams. This takes up most Saturdays from January to the end of February,” Jessica Robison, first year mock trial participant, said. “They last from three to eight hours. Two day tournaments are especially gruesome. We have at least two trials, if not three, each day and we can’t break character while in trial.”

“The schedule can get pretty hectic, because we compete against different schools almost every other week,” Mohamadi said. “Competitions can be very long depending on how many trials we do. A typical trial for us lasts about two to three hours.”

With this constant practice improvement has come from the beginning of the season.

“This experience has changed my demeanor in professional settings. It is also enhanced my ability to speak in front of crowds. I now feel relaxed and able to portray personality in front of a large audience,” Robison said.

“Some of the students have gone from being fairly shy to being not shy at all and other have gone from playing their characters poorly to putting on stellar performances,” Nunn said.

With this improvement, Tracy High hopes to overcome their biggest threat to winning county, Venture Academy.

“We’ve competed against some of the best teams in Northern California, and I think we’ve held up pretty well against them. I would say our biggest rival is Venture Academy, because they are the team we need to beat in order to win our county competition,” Mohamadi said.

“The team hopes to win the county championship and make an impression at the state tournament in March. We have consistently placed in the top two, losing by only one point in the last two years to Venture Academy,” Angeli Indran, fourth year participant and captain, said.

Although the effort put into this activity can be extremely difficult and time-consuming, the participants are still able to enjoy themselves.

“My favorite memory of the season was the Carmel Tournament when we stayed overnight in a hotel. There was even a mock trial dance where everyone let loose from their otherwise sophisticated personas that we had been witnessing all weekend,” Robison said.