Members of the West Feliciana High School Mock Trial team that won the regional competition in Baton Rouge in February and will compete for the state championship in Monroe include, from left, coach Connor McCain, Fiona Tully, Mary Barrow, Bailey Casteel, Landry Higgins, Sam Stewart, Ruby Roberg, Ciara Peters, coach Amy Wilson and Emma Beauchamp.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO FROM RUBY ROBERG

A team from West Feliciana High School recently won a regional Mock Trial competition and will compete Saturday in Monroe in the State High School Mock Trial competition.

The eight-team event will take place at the Fourth Judicial District Court.

Mock Trial is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Louisiana State Bar Association. Its aim is to teach young people about the legal profession in Louisiana, encourage their interest and participation in the law and to provide an exchange of ideas in, as the name implies, a mock trial setting.

The state case will involve a free speech suit.

West Feliciana defeated Zachary in the finals of the regionals in February in Baton Rouge to advance to the state contest for the second straight year. Junior Ruby Roberg earned “Best Attorney” recognition at that competition.

“We will have to win three in a row in Monroe,” said Roberg, who is in her third year on the mock trial team. “I think we have a good team and we’ll be well prepared.”

As runner-up, Zachary, the defending state champion, also will advance to the Monroe event.

Beside West Feliciana and Zachary, teams that qualified for the state finals include Caddo Magnet, West Monroe, Jesuit, McGehee, Early College Academy and Northside. The winning team will advance to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Competition on May 11-13 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Last year, Zachary chose not to advance to the nationals because of a scheduling conflict with graduation. So the West Feliciana team advanced to compete in Iowa, but its seniors didn’t make the trip because of graduation. The younger students had to step up into leadership roles and the learning experience was valuable for this year’s team.

West Feliciana’s squad has one senior along with five juniors and two sophomores. In addition to Roberg, other members of the West Feliciana team include Mary Barrow (witness), Emma Beauchamp (witness), Bailey Casteel (witness), Fiona Tully (witness), Landry Higgins (attorney), Ciara Peters (witness) and Sam Stewart (attorney). The team is coached by Amy Wilson and first-year coach Connor McCain.

“We’ve got very strong leadership on this team,” said McCain, who competed for the University of Louisiana-Monroe’s Mock Trial team for three years. Ironically, he was a judge at last year’s high school competition. “The experience this team gained going to nationals last year helps because they were able to put the work in on the front end and it helps us look more prepared to the judges.”

This squad is not the only mock trial team from West Feliciana to enjoy success this school year. The B team won the Bayou Jam tournament before Christmas in Monroe, and it just missed out on making the final four at the district competition.