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Local High School Students to Engage in Great Mock Trial Debate

Cate, Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Santa Ynez will vie Saturday for the county title with a case involving cyberbullying

Dozens of lawyers and witnesses have been preparing for this court case since September, going over every argument and piece of testimony a hundred times.

On Saturday, the Mock Trial teams of Cate School, Dos Pueblos High School, San Marcos High School and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School will be pitted against one another at the Santa Barbara County Mock Trial championships.

“Santa Barbara County has an extraordinarily good reputation in the state of California,” San Marcos coach Eric Burrows said, adding that all four teams would place within the top 10 of the state championships.

The county title has gone to either Dos Pueblos or San Marcos for the past decade, and the two teams have a “heated but very respectful rivalry,” Dos Pueblos team coach Bill Woodard said.

Last year, the two teams were in a dead heat after the points were tallied up, and the judges presiding over the competition awarded the win to Dos Pueblos, which went on to place fifth in the state championships. It was also the second win in a row over San Marcos.

“Of course, our rival San Marcos is out for blood this year, hoping to knock us off, and we’re going to fight to keep our title,” Woodard said.

While Dos Pueblos has a history of first- and second-place state championship wins going back through the 1980s, San Marcos has beaten DP nine out of the last 13 times and was state champion in 2004 and 2006.

“When San Marcos coach Eric Burrows came in, he kick-started (the team), and they’ve been one of the best teams in California the last 10 years,” Woodard said.

Members of the San Marcos team went to a Harvard University Mock Trial Team seminar in November, have an intensive scrimmage schedule and hosted the seventh annual San Marcos Invitational in January, Burrows said.

“Dos Pueblos is always absolutely fantastic,” he said. “Their attorneys are brilliant and their witnesses are imaginative, creative and skilled — they’re just, they’re really good.”

Semifinal rounds will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St., with San Marcos vs. Cate and Dos Pueblos vs. Santa Ynez. The final round will begin at 1 p.m., and it’s usually standing-room-only, so the coaches suggest spectators get there early. The winner, which will be announced around 4 p.m., will go on to the state championships slated for March 25-27 in Riverside.

Each school has a prosecution team and a defense team, so two trials go on simultaneously during the final round, and the winner is determined from points tallied by volunteer judges and attorneys.

This year’s timely case involves cyberbullying and assault with a deadly weapon.

The California Mock Trial Finals are organized by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.

Mock Trial Team Members

Cate School

Addison Mayfield
Alexis Hill
Blake Wands
Brennan Cusak
Brewer Ballard
Carly Biedul
Edward Townsend
Garrison Xian
Ian Keneally
Julie Lee
Kyle Mayfield
Meghan Killea
Omar Khurshi
Pom Bunsermvicha
Rachel Pak
Reid Jeffries
Scott Sinclair
Sofia Florimbi
Sydney Read
Vanessa Quintanilla
Won Chung
Yen Truong

Coaches: Jean Farley, Wendy Read and Joshua Caditz

Dos Pueblos High School

Pretrial attorneys: Connie Wang, Noah Connally, Jake Wiener

Trial attorneys: Jeff Campbell, Richard Cheng, Alison Mally, Cheryl Wilson, Madeline Matthys, Madeleine Centrella, Chloe Hunt, Paisha Fellows, Lea Tran-Le

Witnesses: Paige Brenner, Morgan Lunt, Albee Rothman, Emma Steinkellner, Hannah Cruz, Jackie McGuan, Juhi Khemani, Corinne Ruth, Alix de Gramont, Ryan Polito, David Chan, Erendiz Tarakci and Rishika Singh

Bailiff: Wes Cooperman

Clerk: Nimisha Shinday

Artists: Liam Fumerton-Liu, Yibing Zhang

San Marcos High School

Pretrial attorneys: Filipp Kozachuk, Caitlin Mannix, Jaimie Mayner and Isaac Wright

Attorneys: Jocelyn Flattery, Mayela Rodriguez, Ellen Gleason, Chloe Hughes, Gaby Wildfeuer and Holly Highfill

Reserve attorneys: Evan Lincoln and Will Lorenzen

Witnesses: Gabe Bastomski, Alanna Cousins, Shannon Sweeney, Clayton Brand, Ashley Ostendorf, Adrienne Simes, Lionel Rodriguez and Anjuli Das

Reserve witnesses: Manpreet Kaur and Kat Coppe

Court Clerk: Kelsey Rich

Bailiff: Megan Zink

Santa Ynez Valley Union High School

Stephanie Aichinger
Ryan Andreas
Andrea Boyer
Ryne Cannon
Linden Carty
Bernardo Celis
Dakota Garoutte
Ben Hanser
Joseph Hernandez
Ty Krystkowiak
Kendall Larsen
Suvra Mostafa
Caio Motta
Alex Peiman
Amanda Sanders
Chris Saunders
Hannah Snyder
Jillian Surey
Dane Underwood
Merrill Weber
Noah Weitz

Coach: Brett Piersma

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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