(Updated at 8:30 AM Sunday): J. P. McCaskey Mock Trial team placed second in a 5 – 5 tie breaker for the Pennsylvania State Mock Trial Championship. According to a short message from Coach Kevin Webster “Both teams were amazing.”
McCaskey lost to Scranton Prep, reportedly a perennial mock trial powerhouse, who will now go on to represent Pennsylvania in the National Finals.
On Saturday, McCaskey beat Overbrook in round one and in round two prevailed over Central High School, both from Philadelphia.
In the first round of the final four McCaskey beat Pine Richland.
According to facultly member Coach Webster “Although it is disappointing not to move on, the team did not view this competition as a loss because it really was a tie. The team could not have done much more. The judge let almost all of the evidence in because they are told to error on the side of letting material into the trial. Both teams were spectacular in a trial truly deserving of a state championship.”
A ‘tie’ means that the jurors split evenly for plaintiff and defendents. However, they also keep track of points scored and the side with the most points wins.
The mock trial final will be aired three times on PCN next weekend.
Members of the team are Therese Deslippe, Bill Kelly, Amanda Lam, Tracey Nguyen, Jake Moore, Candy Thomas, Zoe Turnpaugh and Sam Weaver. Assisting Webster is Keith Moody. Attorney advisors are Kurt Shultz and Chris Tallarico.
The nine regional champions competed twice each on Friday afternoon and early evening.
The results of the eighteen trials conducted yesterday were to be announced at 9:00 PM in the evening. At 10:38 PM yesterday evening, NewsLanc received a two word message from team coach Kevin Webster: “Final four.”
Subsequently we have learned that the state semi-final (final four) will take place at 8:30 AM today (Saturday) at the Dauphin County Courthouse.
The teams compete anonymously but it is thought that McCaskey triumphed over Overbrook High School and Central High School from the Philadelphia area, Central being perhaps the elite high school in the state.
More details will follow as they become available.
How is it that the School District of Lancaster team has done so well in mock trial competition over the past few years, losing in the regionals in 2010 through a mishap and advancing to the semi final this year? Coach Webster deserves credit, as do the various team captions and the members who devote perhaps twenty hours a week to the task over half a year.
Another factor is McCaskey’s international Baccalaureate Program which provides greater academic challenge and college level courses in which so many team members have participated.
When sport teams reach state-wide finals, they receive widescale media attention, as their accomplishment deserve. Hardly reported, if at all, are the achievements of the mock trial team, yet their members move on to college and often careers as professionals and civic leaders.