Huntington High School’s mock trial team is preparing for its season in the midst of many unknowns created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Blue Devils felt they had a good chance of winning the county title last spring when the playoff rounds were cancelled as the pandemic took hold. The new season has been delayed as well and the legal case materials are now being discussed.
All of that said, Huntington is still working on sharpening its collective skills as prosecuting and defense attorneys and witnesses. These will all be vital when competition commences between Suffolk high schools.
“Mock trial is going to look slightly different this year as we plan on having virtual competitions, but this does not change the fact that our team will work extremely hard to prepare and become state champs,” Jillian LoTurco said. “During our first couple of meetings, we discussed how to prepare an opening statement, closing statement and direct examination. As I observe our new additions to the team, I believe we have great potential to make it very far in the competition this season.”
The Blue Devils are adapting to the big changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has required. Courts across the country have gone virtual for their proceedings, too. Even the US Supreme Court has had to adopt a virtual format.
“In a typical year, my teammates and I look forward to standing in front of a judge in a courtroom,” Ms. LoTurco said. “This year, being fully virtual, we will have to use our imagination and really bring out our creative side that will allow the judge to really believe that we are playing the part. Our first competition will take place on February 4 against Stony Brook and I have full confidence that we will have our first victory of the season.”
Huntington’s mock trial team has perennially been one of the best in Suffolk and the state. That tradition is expected to continue in 2021. District residents Xavier Palacios and John LoTurco volunteer their time with the team, serving as the group’s legal advisors. The two attorneys devote hundreds of hours each year to the team.
“Mock trial is starting up in an unusual but extremely exciting way compared to past years,” said Christopher Maichin. “We have just received the case and are already starting to put in the work to maintain the Huntington mock trial team’s reputation. Although we lost some of our key seniors last year, the upperclassmen are prepared to fill their shoes and make a run for states this year. The work has already begun and although it’s much different than in years past due to COVID-19. We are prepared to come out with the same grit and tenacity as we always have. I am really looking forward to this year and to see what great things this team is capable of accomplishing.”
Team members feel good about the progress they have been making during their preparatory sessions.
“The team is doing great given the circumstances,” Ashley Genao said. “We have already begun training really hard to be the best of the best. You can be sure the whole team is going to continue working hard to be able to obtain the championship this year. I can’t wait to see what this team has in store and how much we flourish during this challenging year.”
This year’s Blue Devil team includes an exciting mix of returning veterans and newcomers. Everyone is confident about Huntington’s courtroom prospects for success.
“Lately at our meetings we have been going over the basics and prepping our new members for what’s to come,” Sophie Laserson said. “I’m really excited to see what this year will bring and how the competition has advanced.”
While Suffolk mock trial teams are all sailing into uncharted waters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Huntington feels good about how the Blue Devils are shaping up.
“We are currently in the midst of reviewing the newly released case material as a team and discussing what we believe the theme of the case is,” Emily Geller said. “Since we are fully virtual this year, we also have to review the newly implemented virtual rules and make sure we are fully prepared for this unique season. I am confident in our team and program to succeed this year and make it to states. Although we have to adjust our usual ways of preparation, especially given the fact we cannot meet in person, Huntington mock trial does not let adversities deter us form achieving our ultimate goal of a state title.”
Faculty advisor Suzie Biagi helps coordinate the team’s activities and handles important behind the scenes details. Interested in learning more about Huntington’s mock trial program or ready to sign-on as a team member? Send an email message to Ms. Biagi (email@example.com)to start the ball rolling.
To join the mock trial team’s Google Classroom, enter code nw3chci.