California High School's Mock Trial team is back home this week after a trip down south to represent Contra Costa County in the state level mock trial competition over the weekend.
The team ranked at number 14 overall amongst 32 schools from throughout California, with teacher-coach Brian Barr saying it was a close competition in which he and his students were satisfied with their performance and the lessons learned for next year.
"The team performed really well in all four trials," Barr said. "The two we lost were by just a few points, so we feel we could have won both of those. Winning one would have put us in the top 8, which is considering placing. That was one of our goals, but we'll be motivated for next season with most of the team returning."
While the team overall didn't place in the state competition, one member came in first place for an individual title. Junior Rishi Pagadala was named outstanding bailiff among all the contestants in the state for his performance on the team.
The competition kicked off on Friday (March 17) and ran through Sunday (March 19). The Cal High team was selected to represent the county at the state level following their win in the local Mock Trial Competition hosted by the Contra Costa Office of Education in February. It was their sixth consecutive win in the county-level competition.
“Mock Trial is a partnership between education, the court system, and the community," county Superintendent of School Lynn Mackey said in a Feb. 16 announcement. "This program would not be possible without support from the Superior Court and the amazing legal professionals and community members who volunteered their time. Meeting attorneys that participated in the Contra Costa County Mock Trial program in high school inspires us all to keep this program going.”
This year's state level title went to Menlo School in Atherton, who beat out Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta.
With a five-month-long training and preparation period for the competition according to Barr, the team at Cal High is set to return to preparations for next year's competition in the fall.