STAR JOURNAL REPORT
For only the fourth time since 2000, the Rhinelander High School Mock Trial team did not reach the final round of the State Tournament. In Madison last weekend, new format was introduced which produced a champion team and runner up that had never before advanced to the finals.
“The field was expanded to 24 teams this year, with the hope of increasing interest in the mock trial program statewide,” said coach Kathy Vick-Martini. “The expanded field resulted in some interesting pairings in the semi-finals, where the traditional powerhouse teams knocked each other out of the running.”
The RHS team won matches against Green Bay East, Bay Port, and the defending state champion, Shorewood. Their only loss was a split decision to D.C. Everest.
“There have been many years in the past when that record would have been sufficient to qualify for the Finals, but unfortunately, not this time,” said attorney coach Amy Ferguson.
Brookfield Academy won the championship round. By virtue of various tie-breakers, the RHS team finished seventh.
“It wasn’t the result we were hoping for,” said Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bloom. “But our students should be proud of their performance.”
Every member of the team received one or more perfect scores. In addition, Albiona Sabani was honored as one of the top ten best student attorneys in the state.
Team members include seniors Sydney Schallock, Ellie Rickman, Albiona Sabani, and Max Holperin, juniors Tyler Fredrick and Emily McFarland, and freshmen Carmen Ibarra and Annika Timm.
Brookfield Academy will represent the State of Wisconsin in the National Mock Trial Tournament in Hartford, Conn. in May. To date, Rhinelander High School is the only Wisconsin school to win the National title.