By defeating Lubbock High in the Regional Championship, All Saints High School has won the Regional Mock Trial Championship and will represent the region at the State Championship March 2-4 at the Dallas County Courthouse. All Saints qualified for the regional championship by defeating Frenship and Monterey earlier in the week.
Five area high schools competed in the Regional Mock Trial Contest January 30 – February 2 in the Lubbock County Court House. Coronado, Frenship, Lubbock High, Monterey and All Saints competed in a “round robin” format tournament throughout the week.
Several hundred students from across the state will represent the 20 regions in the state contest. The winner of the state contest will advance to the national contest May 11-13 in Hartford, Connecticut. All schools compete in the same contest at the same level regardless of the schools’ enrollments.
All Saints enrollment of just 70 students makes the school one of the smaller, if not the smallest, school to compete in the state contest. In addition, All Saints team is young with just one senior in contrast to most other schools’ teams composed of mostly seniors.
“The fact that we went up against schools with 2,000-4,000 students and our school of 70 students showed them [the larger schools] that it doesn’t matter the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog,” All Saints Mock Trial Coach Billy Don Hampton said. “One of the team’s strengths is that they have to persevere against much larger schools. Our weakness is that we are young with only one senior.”
Each school is responsible for litigating the same simulated criminal murder trial by presenting either the prosecuting or defending side of the case by acting as attorneys or witnesses. Teams must prepare three attorneys and three witnesses for each side of the case since it is determined just immediately prior to that’s day’s contest which school will prosecute and which school will defend in the trial.
Local practicing attorneys or judges served as contest judges for each of the simulated trials. Each judge issued a ballot to determine which school won each trial as well as to award “Best Advocates” and “Best Witnesses” for each trial. A total ballots system determined which two schools would compete for the Regional Championship the last night. All Saints and Lubbock High were tied going into the finals with four ballots each.
At the Finals Championship round Lubbock High acted as the prosecution while All Saints acted as the defense. All Saints defeated Lubbock High with a 2-1 ballot ratio for their defendant portrayal. All Saints sophomore Susannah Bumstead received two ballots as Best Witness.
All Saints defeated Frenship with a 2-1 ballot ratio on the first night of the contest. All Saints litigated as the prosecuting team with Frenship as the defense. All Saints juniors Alexandra Shropshire received one ballot as Best Witness while Sajan Dihenia received two ballots as Best Advocate and Natalie Chaudhuri received one ballot as Best Advocate.
The second night of the competition All Saints defeated Monterey with a 2-1 ballot ratio. All Saints litigated as the defending team with Monterey acting as the prosecution. All Saints sophomore Susannah Bumstead received two ballots as Best Witness while senior Lena Tello received one ballot as Best Advocate.
All Saints prosecuting team includes senior Lena Tello, and juniors Sajan Dihenia and Natalie Chaudhuri as attorneys. Their witnesses are juniors Hannah Hays, Sarah Going, and Alexandria Shropshire. The defense team includes senior attorney Lena Tello and juniors Sajan Dihenia and Ava Moran. The defense witnesses are sophomore Susannah Bumstead and juniors Raymond Rider and Anna Arnett.
All Saints Social Studies teacher Billy Don Hampton is the team’s coach. Judge Mark Hocker and attorney Charles Chambers advise the team. Debbie Rowan worked with the team for two months last fall while Mr. Hampton was out on personal leave.