The Edinburg High School Mock Trial Team once again out-argued and out-objected 12 other teams to take home the first-place trophy in the Region One Annual Mock Trial competition. The Edinburg High School team beat their cross-town rival, Edinburg North High School to claim the title of Regional Mock Trial Champion. The two teams will advance to state competition on March 5, 6 and 7 in Dallas.

Members of the first place Edinburg High School Mock Trial Team are Andrea De La Vega, Alexis Garcia, Noe Gonzalez, Doris Gutierrez, Ricky Hernandez, Andrea Jimenez, Michael Kasprzynski, Victoria Nava, Pete Ramirez, Ashley Rocha, and Coaches Melissa Rowland and Melissa Zamora.

Members of the second place Edinburg North High School Mock Trial Team are Alissa Garza, Laura Gonzalez, Maria Aissa Guerra, Daniel Gutierrez, Sebastian Ramirez, Alice Regalado, Alyss Saenz, Erin Valdez, Samantha Valdez, Danielle Vasquez, and Coach Sam Milligan.

The Texas High School Mock Trial competition is a statewide extracurricular program whose primary purpose is to increase students’ understanding of the judicial system by providing a first hand experience in court, explains Region One ESC Mock Trial Coordinator, Esequiel Martinez. The competition requires students to address legal issues, legal procedures, reasoning skills in a “real life” setting, and critical, productive, and creative thinking, explains Martinez. By participating in the Mock Trial competition students prepare the role of witnesses and attorneys and employ legal strategies for the hypothetical case assigned to all teams.

“The students and coaches work extensive hours studying and preparing for this competition,” says Martinez. “These dedicated teams work after school, weekends, and sometimes even during their school breaks to perfect their case.” In addition to working with their school Mock Trial Team Coach, students also get advice and pointers from practicing attorneys who share their expertise with students. Special thanks are extended to the Hidalgo County attorneys who donated their time to serve as “judges” throughout the varying levels of competition.

In addition to bragging rights, the Edinburg High School Mock Trial Team took home a prize of $1,000 donated by the Hidalgo County Bar Association. The Edinburg High School Team was awarded a monetary prize of $500.

The Competition, which began on Saturday Feb. 7, went into the final round of competition on Feb. 9 at the Hidalgo County Courthouse.

Teams participating in the competition were Edinburg North High School, Edinburg High School, and Economedes High School (Edinburg CISD), Weslaco East High School (Weslaco ISD), Pace High School, and Porter High School (Brownsville ISD), McAllen High School and McAllen Memorial High School (McAllen ISD), PSJA North High School (PSJA ISD), Edcouch-Elsa High School (Edcouch-Elsa ISD), Raymondville High School (Raymondville ISD), and Cigarroa High School (Laredo ISD).