The Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) team has emerged as the champion of the circuit championship of the state’s Mock Trial program for the first time in 40 years. The North Point High School team will be representing Circuit 7 encompassing Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s counties. On March 14, the Eagles prosecution team will compete against the defense from Salisbury’s James M. Bennett High School in the state quarterfinals.
The case, State of Maryland v. Ryan Grimes, is being argued by mock trial teams from around the state since the beginning of this school year. The case is centered on a group of college students standing trial for dealing drugs on the campus of a fictional Chesapeake College. Each year, mock trial teams receive a new case, either civil or criminal.
Anna Newton, the coach of North Point’s social studies team, has a mix of veteran and rookie students on the team. Newton said the team has been putting in a lot of work and has learned from each of their previous matches. The team has stepped out of its comfort zone and gotten more invested in the case this year. The team’s attorney coach is Seun Williams, a Prince George’s-based lawyer.
Mock trial teams receive a package of materials that includes pertinent details, such as background information, interviews, personal emails, text chains, and other character-building notes. Teams are shepherded by team sponsors.
Maxwell Gaynor, one of the three team captains and a senior, said it is teamwork that has taken the Eagles to the quarterfinals. “We made it this far because we’re willing to do more for each other than we would do for ourselves,” he said.
The state championship will be webcast live from the high court and is available to view at Mock Trial State Championship Webcast. The competition is not just a good introduction to the law, but it also instills other skills such as thinking on your feet.
Sanford, the team’s co-coach and business education teacher, believes the team is ready for the next level of the competition. “They’re all smart kids, smart young adults,” he said. “They all put in the individual work and work well together. They feed off each other’s energy.”
Mock Trial program has been around for 40 years, and this year, a team from Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) won the circuit championship for the first time.
North Point High School emerged as the champion of the circuit championship of the state’s Mock Trial program for the first time in 40 years. The Eagles will be representing Circuit 7 in the state quarterfinals