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Mock trial team places high in finals

MHS Mock Trial places fourth in NYSBA competition.

MHS Mock Trial places fourth in NYSBA competition.

Provided by Liam Higgins

Provided by Liam Higgins

MHS Mock Trial places fourth in NYSBA competition.

Laura Francavilla and William Boye, Managing Editor and Copy Editor

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Massapequa High School students have once again proven themselves a force to be reckoned with. The Mock Trial team which competes in the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Competition have gotten themselves to the State competitions up in Albany.

“Honestly when we heard the verdict in the finals, it didn’t feel real. It feels like the past three years of hard work and late nights have been worth it and it’s extremely validating to know that we’re good at what we’ve been doing,” senior and Mock Trial Co-captain Sam Cupolo said.

The members of the team have spent countless hours on perfecting their cases, many of those hours taken from their own free time. On Tuesday May 14, they competed and placed fourth out of over 400 schools in New York in the competition.

“We came in fourth out of over four hundred teams in New York State, which is an absolute honor to have made it that far,” Cupolo said.

Mock Trial is very similar to how a real life court case is handled. Teams include attorneys and witnesses, with the attorneys giving their direct examination for their own witness, and a cross examination for the other teams witness.

The students who competed have shown that they have near perfect synergy with each other, both in and out of the courtroom.

“Mock Trial has brought me so close to the rest of the team and some of the people I get to work with are people I would definitely call my best friends. I think that’s what sets us apart from other teams, because everyone works so cohesively and genuinely loves being together for all of our long practices.” senior and Mock Trial Co-captain Kayla Collins said.

Not only were the Mock Trial students proud of their accomplishments, their advisor Mr. Daniel Bachman was amazed by their hard work and achievements.

Samantha Cupolo and Kayla Collins leadership was amazing.  They were available to help me and all of the other students 24/7 by either modeling trial performance or giving advice to newer members of the team.  They were both responsible for the best closing arguments ever offered in the 35 years we have had Mock Trial. Liam Higgins and Tom DiGennaro gave amazing opening statements, almost always intimidating our opponents,” he said  “Michelle was perfect in her cross examination of the prosecution witness and worked with Mary Kate Cotter to put on an impressive direct examination as well. Cassidy Kamean took a flawed witness and turned her into an impeccable expert witness.  The Juniors on our team were Alissa Popeck, Arina Fang, Amanda Doulos and Natasha Saar. Alissa and Ariana played critical witnesses in court while Natasha and Amanda were ready at a moment’s notice to play any part I needed.”

The MHS team competed against Goshen High School and Clarence High School in the preliminary rounds of the state finals, and their case involved an issue prominent in the world today. The case, People v. Carson Conners, revolved around a student who was accused of bullying and the case goes on to reveal that some students are unfairly accused of  “petty crimes to prevent them from taking exams that might lower the school’s overall average,” Mr. Bachman added.

What made this experience even more special for the team was that they had help from professionals in the law field. Two former MHS students, Alex Sylvan and Brenna Strype, are currently advisors who helped the team prepare.

Judge Douglas Lerose also helped the team when Mr. Sylvan couldn’t this year.

“I hope throughout the year the team has come to believe in themselves more. I hope they see in themselves the unbelievable talent and potential that I saw in them from the first moment we got together as a team,” Mr. Bachman said.

The MHS Mock Trial team brought their all in the finals and performed extremely well. Congratulations to all members.

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Mock trial team places high in finals