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Hope Star - Hope, AR
  • Mock trial team finishes big

  • Nine Hope High School students went to court in Little Rock recently and came away with top 10 honors in the Arkansas Bar Association State High School Mock Trial Competition.
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  • Nine Hope High School students went to court in Little Rock recently and came away with top 10 honors in the Arkansas Bar Association State High School Mock Trial Competition.
    The HHS team finished the three-round competition at the U. S. District Courthouse in Little Rock eighth overall among 30 teams from across Arkansas and was the top Class 5A school in the competition.
    The seven teams above Hope were all Class 7A schools,” Eighth Judicial District-North Circuit Judge Randy Wright said in an interview. Wright was one of three sponsor-coaches for the HHS team, including attorney King Wong and HHS Assistant Principal Michael Spraggins.
    I'm very proud of our mock trial team and appreciative of the hard work they have put into this,” Spraggins said. “We also appreciate the time and effort donated by Judge Randy Wright and King Wong. Without their efforts, this team would not have been possible.”
    Spraggins said the Hope Public Schools anticipates using what it has learned from the mock trial competition to add to its career academy curriculum.
    We plan to incorporate mock trial into course work offered in our Academy of Business, Banking and Law next year at Hope High School,” he said.
    Each team is scored in three rounds of competition based upon a set of facts and applicable law with which every team must prepare a defense case and a prosecution case, Wright said. He said the team is divided into three attorneys, three defense witnesses, and three prosecution witnesses.
    We changed our witnesses whether we were defense or state,” Wright said. “Our attorneys remained the same.”
    Training and practice sessions began in November for the spring competition, he said.
    It's the same case for everybody; and, this year it was a criminal case,” Wright said. “Each team has to be prepared to be prosecution or defense; so, they won't know until the first round of competition which side they are, and, then, only one hour before the second round.”
    Page 2 of 2 - He said the team members worked for two hours, three days a week after school.
    They all have other extra curricular activities; they all have jobs,” Wright said. “I don't know how they do it all.”
    He said this year's competition was the best in Hope's three years of participation in the event.
    Hope really did well,” Wright said. “This is the best competition we have ever done. We won our first two rounds and had a close match with Jonesboro in the third round.”
    Wright said he began working with students from HHS after he learned of the competition and took the idea to HHS administrators, who allowed him to look for volunteers in school government classes.
    This year, for the first time, they went to a full state tournament without the regionals,” he said.
    Team members included Alex Coronado, Diana Nava, Verenice Perez, Davon Potts, Shelby Harbin, Tyler Dixon, Karla Castro, Tristan Sitzes, and Bryce Fincher.
     

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