Mock Trial Team Places 4th at State Finals

Gold Team members gather for a photograph with Justice Sabrina Makena after the state championships. (Left to right) Jeremy Oyer, Kaycee Nakashima, Eugene Lee, Preston Iha, Anika Keuning, Jalen Sur, Talia Egami, Sydney Settsu, Jacqueline Morgan, and Jasci Ligsay.

This March, after beating Saint Louis, HBA’s Mock Trial Gold team advanced to the Mock Trial State Championships, where they finished fourth. Unfortunately, HBA was unable to defend their championship title from last year, losing to Island School, Moanalua High, and Punahou.

Sophomore Kaycee Nakashima, first year Mock Trial member, played the role of attorney in the championship case, conducting a direct examination and giving an opening statement. Nakashima said, “I was somewhat sad since I thought the season was over after we finished playoffs…but I also was excited and honored to have made it that far. Going into States, I was extremely nervous, stressed, and somewhat confident.”

Last year, HBA took home the championship title for the first time, beating veteran champion Moanalua High. Nakashima added, “From the very start of the season, everyone told me that Moanalua was tough competition and that they’re our biggest adversaries. So, I had no idea what I was up against.”

This year’s Gold team had six members who were on last year’s championship team. Junior Sydney Settsu, one of the six, went into the courtrooms this year with great confidence because of the combined experience on the team and the hard work that they had put in. Settsu said, “Obviously, I was a little disappointed because I wanted to defend our title from last year. However, our team continued to just have fun and do our best.”

Looking back at the rigorous Mock Trial season that lasted six months, Settsu added, “I’m relieved that we’re finally done because that means that I won’t have to memorize any objections or rules anymore and stay for numerous after school and six hour Saturday practices every week.”

HBA head coach Troy Egami has high praise for the team despite their last place finish. He said, “[The team] gave 100% that day and I couldn’t be prouder. In fact, I may be the proudest fourth place coach ever in history.”

Next school year will see significant changes for the Mock Trial Club. For one, 18 seniors will be graduating. Coach Egami will also be leaving after having been part of the program for over 16 years. Egami said, “This was by far the best season ever…All of the students discovered abilities they didn’t think they had at the beginning of the year, and I believe that we made clear to the Mock Trial Community that whatever the result, HBA produces formidable students for whom the sky’s the limit.”

Underclassmen in the club are already trying to recruit new members for next season. Going over some of the benefits from Mock Trial, sophomore Jordyn Kobayashi said, “Not only do you get free food, extra credit, and communication skills, but you also form strong bonds with people from different grades. You learn to be confident when you speak, to listen with intent, and to interpret both aspects of the case.

Nakashima, who also plans on returning next year, also added, “For any underclassmen interested in joining Mock Trial, I say go for it. It may seem difficult and stressful, but it is so worth it. You get to develop certain life skills, experience certain things most people can’t, meet new people, and get closer to your teammates.”

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