Ada, Jenks, Moore, Oklahoma City and Owasso Mock Trial Teams Head to Semifinals
February 28, 2023
Eight teams from Ada, Jenks, Moore, Oklahoma City and Owasso will participate in the 2023 Oklahoma High School Mock Trial competition. The rounds are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Tulsa at the Page Belcher Federal Building and Wednesday, March 1, in Oklahoma City at the U.S. Western District Federal Courthouse.
The winning teams from each site will compete in the final round on March 7 at the Page Belcher Federal Building in Tulsa for the state championship title. The Oklahoma champion will compete in the national competition in Little Rock, Arkansas, in May.
“The Mock Trial competition has grown and now appeals to high school students who are interested in drama, debate, public speaking, art and journalism.” OBA Mock Trial Committee Chair Jennifer Bruner Soltani said. “This competition gives students a unique opportunity to develop public speaking, presentation and critical thinking skills in a trial format but also offers courtroom artist and journalist components. The experience is one of a kind for students, teachers and legal community volunteers.”
The competition involves teams of students taking on the roles of attorneys and defendants. The “trials” are heard by a judge and attorneys in a courtroom setting where individual and team performances are evaluated.
In this year’s fictional case, drivers in Wheatville, Oklahoma, were terrorized for months by “The Freeway Menace,” who threw objects and shot at passing vehicles. After being arrested due to a tip from a witness, they admitted to 26 incidents of throwing objects or shooting at cars and now face multiple charges. The primary issue in this case is that the defendant, who had been previously diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, has raised an insanity defense to their charges.
Coaching Ada High School’s Team Varsity are teachers Rachel Keith and Jimmy Keith. Team members are Sarah Estis, Auna Friant-Mitchell, Johathan Grein, Mazi Henry, Dymon Hernandez, Emily Kemp, Suvea Neeley, Korbin Rhodes, Van Risner, Jasmine Roach, Gustavo Vasquez and Kira Zellers.
Coaching Jenks High School’s Team One are attorneys Jacob Downs, Michael Horn, Morgan Medders, Stacy Accord and Jenny Proehl-Day and teachers Michael Horn, Danielle Henry and Dana Mackay. Team members are Viktor Beauchamp, Kaden Brown, Lauren Cargal, Amelia Deyoe, Zachary Kirchhoff, Elizabeth McKeown, Emma Riley, Jeremy Song, Diego Tejada, Gabriel Tiong, Rena Uddin and Anabel White.
Coaching Jenks High School’s Team Two are attorneys Jacob Downs, Michael Horn, Morgan Medders, Stacy Accord and Jenny Proehl-Day and teachers Michael Horn, Danielle Henry and Dana Mackay. Team members are Cora Brown, Leah Brown, Alyssa Engle, Ann Gao, Elaine Gao, Satchel Grider, Sara Moreno, Samuel Meyers, Jacob Shaddock, Kimhoi Thang and Molly Thomas.
Coaching Jenks High School’s Team Three are attorneys Jacob Downs, Michael Horn, Morgan Medders, Stacy Accord and Jenny Proehl-Day and teachers Michael Horn, Danielle Henry and Dana Mackay. Team members are Chandler Brown, Din Dai, Parker Karas, Eva Mahajan, Isabel Martin, Roman Miller, Parker Minor, Jake Schissel, Jee-In Seo, George Shubitidze, Mustafa Siddiqui and Madalyn Strawn.
Coaching Moore High School’s Team Varsity is attorney and teacher Clifford Heckert. Team members are Caley Davis, Olivia Myers, Kaleb Ocha, John Shumate, Devin Smith and Essyncee Williams.
Coaching Oklahoma City’s Academy of Classical Christian Studies’ Team is attorney Jennifer Stall and teacher Anne Risch. Team members are Kate Cheng, Jackson Clark, Jack Dodson, Ethan Kazenske, Maura Koehler, George Leydorf, Ben McDaniel. Jack Miller, Charlie Peterson, Nick Simon and Logan Spencer.
Coaching Owasso High School’s Team Elle is Judge Daman Cantrell, attorney coaches Kaylind Baker and Ken Underwood, and teachers Terry Waller and Krya Schmidt. Team members are Parker Baskerville, Ava Brigman, Alyson Bushey, Lauren Hughes, Katelyn Wiehe and Anakin Wyrick.
Coaching Owasso High School’s Team Enrique is Judge Daman Cantrell, attorney coaches Kaylind Baker and Ken Underwood, and teachers Terry Waller and Krya Schmidt. Team members are Aiden Duncan, Ty Elias, Robin Ingersoll, Olivia Kerber, Naomi Lopez, Nosrat Montaha, Andie Murphy, Gavin Price, Monty Roberts, Ashley Rocha and Sophia Sim.
The Mock Trial Program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Over 400 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions.
The Oklahoma Bar Foundation, through its grants and awards program, allocates funds to nonprofit agencies and programs like mock trial. The mission of the foundation is to ensure justice is possible for all Oklahomans through the promotion of law, education and access to justice. The 18,000-member Oklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community.