In their record 23rd appearance in the state finals of the Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Tournament, Rhinelander High School was defeated by Shorewood High School, last year’s second place finisher. In 2014, the two teams also met in the Finals, with RHS prevailing.
“Qualifying for the finals is the goal of all sixteen teams at the State Tournament,” noted legal adviser, Judge Michael Bloom, “And since 2000, Rhinelander High School has been one of the two finalists fourteen times.” The RHS squad qualified for the Finals this year by defeating teams from Appleton West, Dodgeland, Wausau West, and Lodi.
“We were undefeated going into the state finals,” stated attorney coach Amy Ferguson. “The quality of our students’ performances was excellent, but unfortunately, our competition keeps improving, as well. Each year it becomes more difficult to prevail.”
RHS has won the state title seventeen times and has placed second six times in its 30 consecutive trips to State. “I know our students are disappointed with the end result this year, but, as I told them, I know there are a hundred teams in the state who wouldn’t mind finishing where we did,” commented faculty coach Kathy Vick-Martini. “Their individual performances in the tournament were amazing, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Team members include co-captains Anna Catlin and Emily Ditzler, Jarod Hoha, Max Holperin, Ellie Rickman, Albiona Sabani, and Sydney Schallock.
By virtue of their state championship win, Shorewood High School will represent the State of Wisconsin in the National Mock Trial Tournament in Boise, Idaho,May 13-15. To date, Rhinelander High School is the only Wisconsin school to win the National title.