Feb. 28—NEW BOSTON — Twenty-one students earned "Outstanding" awards during the District Mock Trial, Jan. 22-30, and three Scioto County high school teams — Portsmouth, South Webster, and Portsmouth West — advanced to the Regional Mock Trial Competition which was held virtually on Feb. 19.
Portsmouth Coach Stephanie Boling said her team was excited to qualify for regionals.
"I'm really proud of them. They overcame the apathy of virtual and they really got into it once we were competing against another school. You can tell that they worked very hard," she said.
The 2021 Ohio Mock Trial case takes an inside look at the justice system by examining what prosecutors are required to disclose during plea negotiations. Because of current COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns, the 2021 Mock Trial Competition was conducted via Zoom. This allowed students and volunteers to remain safely in their homes, classrooms, or workspaces while still interacting in real time.
Local students participated from Portsmouth, Portsmouth West, Wheelersburg, South Webster, Valley, and Ironton St. Joseph high schools. South Central Ohio Educational Service Center Gifted Services Coordinator Sharee Price was a facilitator for the mock trial by virtually hosting a series of district competitions.
"I had three seniors returning this year, but I don't think they knew what to expect because everything was so different this year," said South Webster Coach Cyndy Hykes. "At regionals we had people who couldn't get to the school (because of snow) so they were in their living room, so we were spread all over the place and that was a new experience for all of us."
Despite the challenges, she said her team performed very well this year.
"We were thankful to be able to compete. For us, it wasn't so much about winning as it was about the learning experience," Hykes said.
Outstanding Attorney awards were presented to Megan Conley of Portsmouth High School; Taran Willis, Evan Green, and Emily Scaff of Portsmouth West High School; Haley Williams, Abbigail Stone, and Hunter Slack of South Webster High School; Micah Bradshaw of Valley High School; Rachel Davenport of Wheelersburg High School (in two trials), and Paul Delaney of Ironton St. Joseph Central High School.
Outstanding Witness awards were presented to Scarlett Caudill and Maisy Green of Portsmouth High School; Kara Carter and Cianna Newman of Portsmouth West High School; Nicole Hughes, Briana Collins, and Audrey Litteral of South Webster High School; Kason Bauer and Maggie-Mae Clark of Valley High School; Alexander Thomas of Wheelersburg High School, and Drew Clark of Ironton St. Joseph Central High School.
"I was very impressed with our students' dedication since we weren't able to meet in person," said West Coach Sarah Johnson. "The competition format was wildly different this year and they adapted without any hesitation."
The Regional Competition was held Feb. 19, and regional winners will advance to the State Competition March 11-13. The 2021 state champion team will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Competition which will take place virtually May 13-16.
© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights