STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Rhinelander High School Mock Trial team #1 claimed the top spot in Saturday’s regional competition, and in the process, broke its own state record. The Hodag team brought home its 31st consecutive regional trophy, earning a 3-1 record, 10 of 12 judge’s ballots and 772 speaker points. The only loss was a split decision to Rhinelander #2 team, which finished 2-2 on the day, with six ballots and 663 speaker points.
“Team 2 did something no other team in the Regional Tournament was able to do, defeat Team 1,” said attorney coach Amy Ferguson. “They have shown that the future of our program remains strong. Our community should be proud of both teams.”
Placing second in the Regional Tournament, which was held in Wausau, was D.C. Everest #1, followed by D.C. Everest #2. Other teams participating in the competition were Lakeland, Lincoln, Merrill, Wausau West, and Phillips #1 and #2. The tournament was sponsored by the Wisconsin Law Foundation and was coordinated by attorney Lance Leonhard of Wausau.
“Each year it becomes increasingly difficult to extend our winning streak,” said head coach, Kathy Vick-Martini. “I couldn’t be more proud of our students for handling the pressure and bringing home yet another regional championship for Rhinelander High School.”
RHS #1 is led by seniors Albiona Sabani, Sydney Schallock, Ellie Rickman, and Max Holperin. New to the team this year are juniors, Tyler Fredrick and Emily McFarland and freshmen, Carmen Ibarra and Annika Timm.
Members of RHS #2 are senior Zack DuBois, juniors Mason Hageny and Grace Payfer, sophomores Ben Kubisiak and Ben Sheth, and freshmen Alexa Adams, Karston LaDean, Maile Llanos and Holly Puza.
“We met some very stiff competition this year, but even though the quality of the teams we meet continues to improve, our students find ways to win,” said Judge Michael Bloom.
RHS #1 will advance to the state Mock Trial tournament in Madison March 11-12. In the past 33 years since the program’s inception, teams from Rhinelander have won the state championship seventeen times, most recently, in 2014. More than 100 teams statewide are competing in the tournament this year.