PORTSMOUTH-The Scioto County District Mock Trial Competition took place on Friday, January 27, in all four courtrooms at the Scioto County Courthouse in Portsmouth. The team from Wheelersburg emerged as the Scioto County District Champions and will now advance to regional competition on February 17, joined by the Runner-Up team from St. Joseph Ironton and advancing team Valley High School.
Wheelersburg Mock Trail Coach, Evan Wills, commented that “All the credit goes to the students for all the time and hard work they’ve put into preparing for this event. They’ve stayed focused and are remaining focused while preparing to compete at the Regional level. It was refreshing to be back to having Mock Trial in person. Being in an actual courtroom and seeing everyone face-to-face (after Covid) made the experience much more realistic and motivated everyone to really do their best. I’d also like to recognize Eric Kephas for volunteering to work with our students. He brings a lot to the table as a mentor and he’s great at inspiring our students.”
Regional winners will compete in the state competition March 9-11. The 2023 state champion team will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Competition which will take place May 18-20 in Little Rock, AR, hosted by the Arkansas Mock Trial Foundation.
The Scioto County District Competition included teams from 7 schools – Clay, Chesapeake, Portsmouth West, South Webster, St. Joseph (Ironton), Valley and Wheelersburg.
The champion Wheelersburg High School team included Legal Advisor Eric Kephas, Abyghale Jones, Addison Mullins, Addison Bowling, Kaleigh Bentley, Trevan King, Hayden Lewis, Jerry Zheng, Nick Sylvia, Brady Schomburg, and Coach Evan Wills. The runner-up St. Joseph team included Legal Advisor Joseph Merkel, Mark Hodges, Elizabeth Kline, Samuel Walker, Gavin Simpson, Josie Pauley, Alex Gnau and Coaches Karen Terdoslavich and Maria Goldcamp-Hodges. The advancing team from Valley High School included Legal Advisor Adrienne Buckler, Micah Bradshaw, Jake Meeker, Kason Bauer, Bryce Greene, Maggie-Mae Clark, RW Cochran, Marcus Franke, Nathan Cooper, Miriam Phipps, Travis Thompson and Coach Dan Kauffman.
Outstanding Attorney awards were presented to Emily Scaff, Abyghale Jones, Trevan King, Micah Bradshaw, Emily Graff, Mallory Swords, and Mark Hodges.
Outstanding Witness awards were presented to Hunter Swann, Addison Bowling, Jerry Zheng, Kason Bauer, Macie Jones, Nathan Cooper, Delaney James and Alyssa Yates.
The Scioto County District Competition is coordinated by Sharee Price of the South Central Ohio ESC and Judge Howard H. Harcha, III. Local sponsors include: American Legion James Dickey Post 23, Velma Feagans, The Honorable Howard H. Harcha, III, Dr. Robert and Mrs. Chris Knox, Portsmouth Bar Association, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Southern Ohio Medical Center, and The Scioto Foundation.