For the second year in a row, the SCDS Mock Trial team has advanced to the finals of the Sacramento County Competition.
SCDS will face Rio Americano High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 4:45 p.m. at the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse (720 9th St., Sacramento).
In the quarterfinals on Feb. 24, the team defeated Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep High School, 3-0, with a score of 450-425. This win advanced SCDS to the semifinals, held later that day, in which they faced Del Campo High School. They won 3-0 again, with a score of 522-499.
“It was the best feeling ever!” sophomore Héloïse Schep, pre-trial attorney for the defense, said. “Everyone definitely gave it their all. People seemed nervous at first, but we had a lot of fun at the end.”
Junior Blake Lincoln, pre-trial attorney and expert witness for the prosecution, added that the atmosphere was tense.
“These teams were all top-of-the-line, and we knew that if we didn’t win, we would be kicked out of the (county) competition,” he said.
The tension built as the team had to wait nearly an hour to find out that they had made the semifinals and another 30 minutes to find out they had made it to the finals, Lincoln said.
Once the team heard the news that they won, Lincoln said they made sure not to gloat.
“We wanted to be as polite and courteous as possible so that we didn’t hurt people’s feelings,” he said.
“Last year we had incidents where other teams clapped and cheered and made a big deal out of winning, and it clearly was unprofessional and rude. We tried to be better.”
According to coach Rick Lewkowitz, competing against Del Campo in the semifinals was more difficult than competing against Natomas Pacific Pathways.
“(Del Campo’s) lead attorney was very strong,” Lewkowitz said. “She was confident and very articulate, (and) she (did) a great job of bringing out the facts from her witnesses.”
Lewkowitz said junior Gabi Alvarado, co-captain and lead defense attorney, junior Jack Christian, co-captain and lead prosecuting attorney, and Lincoln all played large roles in both victories.
“They were very impressive,” Lewkowitz said. “Their superior skills really came out during the trials. They adapted well to new situations and displayed their confidence.”
Reflecting upon the season thus far, Schep said she is proud of the team’s work ethic.
“Our practices, scrimmages, and competitions can fall at busy times, so I am super-impressed with everyone always showing up and showing up prepared,” she said.
Lincoln added that everyone has contributed to the team’s victories.
“The newer students have been patient, smart and resourceful,” Lincoln said. “Even those who didn’t do much, or nothing at all, this year will be vital to Country Day’s reign in Mock Trial in the future. (They) have a lot of potential.”