A team from Zachary High School’s mock trial program won the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Region 3 competition for the second consecutive year.
Twenty-three high school teams competed in the regional mock trial competition Feb. 27-28 in Baton Rouge.
The mock trials are presided over by local judges and judged by members of the local bar.
Zachary’s Team Black went undefeated in the competition, winning the regional championship over a team from Baton Rouge Magnet High School, teacher Chris Staggs, a mock trial coach and sponsor, said.
Zachary’s Team Blue went 2-1 in the competition, losing in the quarterfinal round to West Feliciana High School.
As a result of the regional win, Team Black advances to the Bar Association’s state mock trial championship tournament in Lake Charles on March 28.
The state tournament includes the top two teams from each LSBA region, and this will be the third consecutive appearance in the state tournament by a ZHS team, Staggs said.
In 2014, Zachary finished as the state runner-up after winning the state championship in 2013. ZHS took second place in state in 2009, advanced to the state finals in 2006, has won three regional championships and has a long list of regional runner-up finishes, Staggs said.
The winner of the state competition will compete in the national mock trials.
“We’ve had a very successful mock trial program at ZHS for an extended number of years. All of that is a direct reflection of the time and effort our kids put in,” Staggs said. “We demand a great deal out of them, but they still have to be the ones willing to put in the time. Honestly, when students choose to participate in mock trial, it’s almost like picking up an additional class as it involves homework and hours of practice after school and on weekends.”
“I love mock trials because we’re able to come together as a family and compete at a high level while developing communication, critical thinking and teamwork skills,” said Eddie Veal, who was named outstanding witness in 2014 and 2015.
Zachary High’s mock trial teams are sponsored and coached by Staggs and teacher Adrianne Dykes as well as attorney Craig Kaster.
ZHS’s Team Black includes Zoe Heeter-Collins, Nash Joyner, Jordan Kozar, Reagan Staggs, Eddie Veal and Shelby Waddell.
Team Blue members included John Carl Begley, Aasha Henderson, Olivia Hurst, Ellen Manuel, Jake Robertson, Jessica Staggs and Juliana Voiers.