Creekview Mock Trial Team Best in State

Emma Hoffman, Staff Writer

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On March 4, the mock trial team emerged as the number one team in Texas. This is the fourth time in the last five years that Creekview is the state champion.

To make it to the state level competition, the team first had to compete at the regionals level against other DFW teams. The top 28 teams in the state advanced to the Texas championship, after already beating out 100 teams. At state level, they competed in a total of eleven rounds, and beat the 27 other teams.

The school’s mock trial team that won is called the Dallas Bar Association (DBA) team, and is comprised of nine of the school’s top law academy members. The team is comprised of juniors Nick Hoffman, Kit Hawkins, Briana Cepeda, and Anonik Tep, and seniors Jacob Laxon, Khala Hamilton, Bekah Pinedo, James Ventura, and Ha Tram Nguyen. They are led by the coach Dr. Greg Seale, attorney captain Nick Hoffman, and witness captain Jacob Laxon.

The team often stayed after school everyday until 9 p.m., and would then also have scrimmages throughout the week, adding up to literally hundreds of hours of practices, in hopes of continuing Creekview’s legacy of being Texas’ state champion. The dedication continued outside of school as well with the attorneys having to memorize rules on their own time, and witnesses having to create entire personas for their parts.

Senior James Ventura went even further, keeping up a British accent in and out of mock trial.   

“It was worth staying after until 9 p.m., even though I got a bit behind on my grades,” Ventura said. “Winning was the best thing, it was like after all of this hard work, it paid off”

The team faced hardship when their coach from previous years, Peter Myers, who had worked at Creekview until last year, suddenly passed away. However, rather than tearing them down, senior Ha Tram Nguyen said it brought the team closer together.

“Thanks to Myers, we really pulled together and remembered why we had started doing mock trial in the first place, and why it had started really mattering in the first place,” Nguyen said.  “That was the push we really needed to pull our team together again.”

Despite the struggles, this year was a big one for Creekview history. Junior Nick Hoffman became the team’s first ever attorney captain as a junior and Dr. Seale managed quite the feat winning state his first year as a mock trial coach.

In addition, Junior Anonik Tep made history being a witness on the champion team last year, but competing as an attorney this year.  

“Winning state as a witness and an attorney feels really great, no one at Creekview has done that before. I made my own history, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.” Tep said.  

The team will be representing Creekview, and Texas, at the nationals level May 11-13 in Connecticut.

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