Perrysburg's Team Freedom Fighters includes, from left, Nehal Methi, Alisa Leong, Alisha Ohanian, Julia Gonzales, Savannah Guy and Michael Kepner.
More than 3,000 high school students will enter courtrooms across the state today, prepared to take part in the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education 31st Annual Ohio Mock Trial District Competition.
Students will assume the roles of witnesses and attorneys and argue both sides of an original case based on a constitutional issue.
In this year’s case, fictitious Philips High School agrees to license naming rights of its field to a large corporation. Students protest this action both in school and on the field. The school district responds by installing security cameras and searching the students’ lockers.
The students claim the school district has violated their rights under the First and Fourth amendments.
Mock Trial District Competitions will be hosted in 29 counties and involve more than 1,000 legal professionals who serve as volunteer judges, competition coordinators, and team advisors.
Mock Trial is Ohio’s largest high school academic competition and among the largest high school mock trial programs in the nation.
Presenting a trial before a panel of judges and attorneys is an authentic experience the participants will remember.
Each mock trial team consists of five to 1 students who prepare both plaintiff and defense cases and participate in two trials against opposing teams.
District winners will advance to regional competition on Friday, Feb. 21. The state competition will take place March 6-8 in Columbus, where the championship round will be held at the Ohio Statehouse. The state champion will advance to the National High School Mock Trial Championship May 8-10 in Madison, Wisc.
The Perrysburg Court Law & Government Explorer Post is sending four teams to district mock trial competition. Two of the teams travel to Findlay and two will travel to Bowling Green to compete against other high schools from northwest Ohio.
Team Sugar Daddies, coached by Kent Riesen, is composed of Alex Leong, Niara Williams, Michael Gerber, Clara Thornberry, Emily Cottle, Alex Miller, Irsyad Sjah, Will Robinson, and Zack McKenna.
Team Legal Lightning, coached by Peter R. Casey III, consists of Areeb Ahmed, Alexandra Phlegar, Ben Hirt, Ryan McConnell, Steven Hugg, Joseph Rakowski, Henry Yang, Michael Kepner, and Ceimoani Bumrah.
Team Freedom Fighters, coached by Dan Weiss, is made up of Nehal Methi, Alisa Leong, Ali Kopp, Julia Gonzales, Nate Dobbs, Sam Malhas, Alisha Ohanian, Savannah Stein, William Baldoni Jordan, and Nathan Rowland Miller.
Team Justice League, coached by Adam Nowland, who was a member of the first Explorer Post mock trial team, contains Noah Rossler, Ross Grilliot, Kaity Lauman, Meric Pope, Alex Katko, Mahnur Khan, Savannah Guy, Megan Galle, and Amanda Parent.