Mock Trial Team Celebrates Runner Up at State Competition


Abby Madden, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday Dec. 4, the Gering team accomplished the title of runner up at the Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse in Omaha.

This is the first time in 15 years that Gering has ever placed this high at state. From start to finish, their entire season the team went undefeated.

After competing in the preliminary hearings, the team had a chance to go into the championship round late Tuesday afternoon. The team competed against a school out of Omaha, Creighton Prep. The final outcome was split, making Creighton Prep the winner and Gering second.

The last time Gering went to state for Mock Trial was in 2003, and the team also took second.

“We’re very, very excited,” teacher and coach Andy Stobel said. “This is the first time for the Gering team to get into the finals in 15 years, so that in itself is huge for Gering. And then to be as competitive as we were with a team of Prep’s caliber is also huge for Gering.”

The team is made up of three lawyers and four witnesses. The lawyers include seniors Logan Moravec and Jaela Harden and sophomore Olivia Longmore. The witnesses include seniors Ava Marez, Salma Silva, and Spencer Lenoir and junior Adam Flowers.

With most of the team returnees from last year they were determined to place higher. The team placed fourth last year. Hardin, Moravec, Silva, Marez, Flowers, and Longmore were part of the team that went to Omaha last year.

Contributing to the team’s success was their attorney coach Bell Island. This was Bell’s 20th year helping the school’s mock trial team.

“I think it was more fun this year, because we knew what to expect. We as a team knew who our competition was, Creighton Prep, we knew that we wanted to beat them,” said Marez.

In the opening rounds at state there was a random drawing and the team was paired with Creighton Prep. Their second round on Monday they were paired with Grand Island Northwest. The third round was Tuesday morning and again the team swept past their competition from Bellevue West.

“When going up against those teams, we didn’t know we were until the very end. The judges do not tell you that you are going to the next round until they are ready for that round. When waiting to find out our coaches would make brackets and try to figure out who was going to win and who was going to go on,”said Moravec.

When preparing for state, the team only had one month to prepare and practice. The case this year was about the defendant who was accused for selling a controlled substance and tampering with other witnesses testimony.

“Preparing for state we had four hours worth of practice every single week and during practice we would question one another and have trials against each other,” said Marez.

In state mock trial competitions, the judge’s notes and results won’t be released till later on this week, however the team was told that match was very close.

“We spent four years trying to get to this point and trying to get to state to begin with. Then last year we finished fourth and this year we made it to the championship round. It felt very good, even though we didn’t win, I am completely content on how we did and how we accomplished one of our goals for the season,”said Hardin