For just the third time in more than a decade, the Rhinelander High School Mock Trial team failed to reach the Finals in the State Tournament this past weekend in Madison. In semi-final action at the Dane County Courthouse, the RHS team won matches against River Valley, River Falls, and Brookfield Academy, but suffered split-decision loss to Shorewood, ultimately placing third in the tournament.
Appleton Xavier defeated Shorewood in the Finals to win its fourth state title in seven years. Only Superior (5) and Rhinelander (17) have more state championship titles.
“We saw the best individual performances of the season. Our kids were true competitors against the toughest competition they’ve seen,” said attorney coach Amy Ferguson.
“There were no easy draws. Even the rounds we won were by the closest of margins. In one round, all of the ballots were scored as a tie, but we won the tie-breaker and in another round, we won every ballot by a single point,” added head coach, Kathy Vick-Martini. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“We can take some consolation in knowing that our only loss in the tournament was to Shorewood, the only undefeated team in semifinal action,” said Judge Mike Bloom, legal consultant for the team.
Team members include seniors Erin Tenderholt and Mike Anderson, juniors Anna Catlin, Emily Ditzler, and Jarod Hoha, and sophomores Ellie Rickman, Albiona Sabani, and Sydney Schallock.
By virtue of their state championship win, Appleton Xavier will represent the State of Wisconsin in the National Mock Trial Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, May 14-16. To date, Rhinelander High School is the only Wisconsin school to win the National title.