RCHS Mock Trial Club headed to Semifinals


Luca Castaneda, Staff Reporter

The Rancho Cucamonga High School Mock Trial team is advancing to semifinals in January 2021.


Due to COVID-19, semifinals will not be held in actual courthouses this year. Instead, they will be held online over Zoom. Mock Trial Advisor Mr. Arik Boles said, “This year all events will take place on Zoom in breakout rooms that act as courtrooms. We still have judges and attorneys that adjudicate the competition.”


Junior Brian Donaldson, junior captain of the team, said, “we created canvas classes, a discord server, weekly zoom meetings, prepared skill building activities, along with putting a considerable amount of time into independent work on questions, objection work, and witness prep.”


Junior Shan Murad said he wishes other new members will get the chance to experience a trial in a real courtroom. Murad said, “I do hope that non-seniors who join Mock Trial next year will be able to enjoy the intensity of an in person competition and a real courthouse. It’s an experience that you can’t forget.”


RCHS Mock Trial will face rival school, Los Osos, in the competition.


Mr. Boles said, “We are also facing our friendly rival high school, Los Osos, so this is our first time facing them in a competition.”


Junior Laila Khalilieh said, “I feel really pumped to be competing against Osos since it does add a touch of rivalry, and I really hope that we can live up to our hype and beat the school up the hill.”


Mr. Boles and his students are very proud to come this far in their Mock Trials journey. Mr. Boles said, “I am extremely proud of them for being able to accomplish this level two years in a row. Even with all of it virtual and only on Zoom or Discord. To still be one of the top 4 teams in the county out of 27 teams this year is very impressive.”


Club members are very excited for the competition as well.


Junior Ellie Park said, “This year the hype is definitely higher than it was last year, which makes it more exciting.”


There are also certain practices the club takes in preparation for competitions. Most of which are called mock mocks.


Junior Soffee Khalilieh said, “Before competition, we have a lot of what we call mock mocks, which are practice trials against ourselves.”


Other preparations are done as well. Park said, “We run practice trials every Wednesday to get the feel for competitions, and then we do workdays where we revise questions and answers.”


Scheduling is very important for practicing as well. Murad said, “Closer to peak competition time around November, we would meet four days a week, practicing with each other, and performing mock mocks as if we were in an actual trial. We would also sometimes meet up over discord on Saturdays for virtual practice, since we would usually meet up in person on saturdays in previous seasons.”


Park said, “I want my team to know that we’ve done a really good job competing during quarantine and that we’re going to do really well in semifinals!”


Junior Soffee Khalilieh said, “I hope my club members know how truly talented they are and how blessed I feel to be a part of our mock trial family.”