HomeNewsTrial and error: Carmel’s path to defend world title

Trial and error: Carmel’s path to defend world title


The Carmel High School mock trial team will face a lot of adversity in seeking another world championship this season, due in large part to six of their nine former starters from their Empire team graduating last June.

After dominating the 2016 Empire New York Mock Trial World Championships, along with winning the California Mock Trial State Championships, expectations for this year could be understandably high; however, instead of comparing this team to last year’s, head coach Bill Schrier is focusing on the year ahead.

“We don’t chase results,” Schrier comments. “We are interested in having fun and doing our best.”

This style of coaching allows the students to concentrate solely on trying their best through extremely hard work.

Even though pressure might not be forced on the students, work ethic is pushed from July to May. The season can be up to 11 months of the year if the team reaches the national tournament and as few as nine if the team doesn’t make the California Mock Trial Finals.

In preparation for the international Empire tournament in New York, the team scrimmages other teams from all over the state before arriving in New York and teams from around the world during the tournament.

“In the past, we have had four scrimmages,” Schrier says. “This year we will have had seven.”

According to the head coach, some of these scrimmages, including travel time, can take 13 hours of their day on the weekends. With the students practicing approximately 25 hours per week, their schedule is strenuous to say the least. Some also play sports, participate in other afterschool clubs or even have jobs.

Holding the same mindset as Schrier about keeping the pressure to a minimum for the students is assistant head coach Joseph McCarty.

“We want to enjoy ourselves and not have the pressure of being world champions,” the fellow social studies teacher comments.

With the team comprised mostly of new mock trial students, president and mock trial attorney Becca Goren wants to focus on building team chemistry as the basis for their hard work.

“I want us all to put in more work than we think is possible, leaving only the possibility of pride and satisfaction as we arrive back in California at the end of the tournament,” Goren says.

Filip Zacek, a first-year member of the mock trial team, says that the team isn’t worried about their performance. Instead, they are working to get their respective case as well done as possible. Zacek also speaks to his excitement to have joined such a tightly banded group of competitors.

Zacek notes, “We all laugh and cry together, and we learn a lot about one another.”

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