Carmel High’s mock trial coach Bill Schrier recently requested Carmel be allowed two competing teams this year in the county competition due to an increase in student participation, but this request was denied last weekend by the Lyceum, the organization in charge of Monterey’s mock trial county competition.
Although Schrier was excited to see around 50 students come out for the first meeting on Aug. 23, the increase in student participation poses a big challenge, according to Schrier.
“The problem on this team has not been a huge drop off,” Schrier says. “The problem is to have so many talented people and not being able to put them on the starting squad. There are few mock trial roles. There are even fewer trials.”
To increase student participation, Schrier requested Carmel be allowed two competing teams.
“We’ve had a JV before, but they’ve never gotten to be in county,” senior Alyssa Knapp says, “which is probably the point of our year. We’re working all year for county, so if they get to be part of that, that’s just a great experience.”
Other members share mock trial president Knapp’s thoughts.
“[A second team] serves the same purpose as JV,” junior Sidney Watts argues, “except they would get even more experience. They would feel more included and compete more.”
While it is common for most counties in California to allow schools to have more than one mock trial team, according to Schrier, the Lyceum denied Carmel’s request.
Knapp believes that Carmel was not allowed two competing teams because the county saw it as Carmel getting another shot to win.
“Our county is so small. There are maybe five, six teams who participate in this county,” Knapp notes. “If we have two, that’s a pretty heavy imbalance.”
Having a second team also posed the problem of scouting at county and the two teams even competing against one another, Schrier says.
Without a second competing team, Carmel will only be allowed to have a selected few compete during county.
According to Schrier, at county a JV team will not be allowed to compete, no substitutions will be allowed, and only half of the competing team will compete per trial.
Despite having the request for a second team denied, the club plans on having a JV team, and Schrier has already arranged scrimmages for both the starting team and JV team.
This year’s JV team will have more trial practice than some of the competing teams in the past, which Schrier says will increase participation.