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Mock Trial Wins Fifth In The Nation

Photo Courtesy of Mock Trial

Photo Courtesy of Mock Trial

Emma Hoffman, Staff Writer

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At a nationwide competition that took place in Hartford, Connecticut from May 10-13, the Mock Trial DBA team got 5th place, out of 46 teams (all of whom had won at their state level). This is the highest Creekview has ever ranked at the nationals level (previously it was 17th), and the highest a team from Texas has ranked in over a decade.

The DBA team represented Texas at the competition after getting first at the state level. The team consisted of four seniors (Jacob Laxon, Ha Tram Nguyen, Bekah Pinedo, and James Ventura) and four juniors (Nick Hoffman, Kit Hawkins, Briana Cepeda, and Anonik Tep). The were led by their coach, Dr. Greg Seale.

Nick Hoffman, the team’s first ever junior attorney captain, said he estimates that over the course of a month and a half preparing for nationals, they practiced over 100 hours.

“Especially given the results, I’m very happy with the amount of work we put in,” Hoffman said. “When they announced number five, we were really excited and happy, and we were thinking about all of the reasons we worked so hard, and the fact it was paying off.”

Senior Jacob Laxon, the team’s witness caption, is one of the members to make it to nationals two years in a row

“Nationals was the be all and end all of my high school Mock Trial career,” Laxon said. “I wanted my team to be the best it could possibly be so that I could end my senior year with one for the books. We worked hard, and the product was an experience I’ll never forget. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Next year Hoffman said he  will be returning to mock trial, along with all of his fellow junior teammates, and hopes the team can make it to nationals a third year in a row.

“I’m hoping to develop a team next year, and keep Peter Myers’ legacy alive,” Hoffman said.

Each team member had accomplishments throughout the 2016-17 school year in the law academy – below is the complete list provided by Dr. Jonathan Ray.

Law and Criminal Justice Academy, 2016-2017 Accolades

  • UTEP Moot Court Tournament Champions: Joanna Boyer and Daniel Baldizon
  • UTEP Moot Court Tournament Best Attorney: Joanna Boyer
  • NYC Empire Mock Trial Best Witness: Rebekah Pinedo
  • YMCA District Mock Trial Top Attorney: Victoria Quintanilla
  • YMCA District Mock Trial Top Witness: Yusraa Tariq
  • YMCA District Moot Court Champions: Kate Smitherman and Madison Cabrera
  • YMCA District Moot Court, 2nd Place: Simon Pena and Joanna Boyer
  • YMCA District Moot Court Top Attorney: Kate Smitherman
  • YMCA District Moot Court Top Judge: Nick Hoffman
  • YMCA District Annette Kasparian Award: Nick Hoffman
  • YMCA State Qualifiers: Joanna Boyer, Madison Cabrera, Alexander Carrillo, Taylor Diaz, Miranda Dunn, Allen Mason, Katherine Jouett, Max Keough Woo In Kim, Aileen Mai, Bhavik Matta, Mahak Merchant, Evan Miller, Maxime Nee, Simon Pena, Sara Pense, Alexis Phan, Victoria Quintanilla, Kasi Reed, Chandler Schwab, Kate Smitherman, Lazet Soto, Yusraa Tariq, Amena Tep
  • YMCA State Outstanding Delegate: Kate Smitherman
  • YMCA State Mock Trial Best Defense Team: Victoria Quintanilla and Lazet Soto
  • YMCA State Moot Court 3rd Place, National Qualifiers: Simon Pena and Joanna Boyer
  • YMCA State Moot Court 4th Place, National Qualifiers: Kate Smitherman and Madison Cabrera
  • Duke Moot Court Advancing Teams (Creekview Record!): Simon Pena and Evan Miller; Joanna Boyer and Amena Tep
  • Texas High School Mock Trial State Champions: Jacob Laxson, Hatty Nguyen, Khala Hamilton, Rebekah Pinedo, James Ventura, Anonik Tep, Briana Cepeda, Nick Hoffman, Kit Hawkins
  • UIL Current Events District,  2nd Place: Alexander Carrillo
  • UIL Social Studies District Champion: Joanna Boyer
  • UIL Social Studies District Champion Team: Joanna Boyer, Kate Smitherman, Madison Cabrera, Saaquib Kazani
  • National Virtual Moot Court, 4th Place: Mahak Merchant and Simon Pena
  • National Virtual Moot Court, 5th Place: Kate Smitherman and Joanna Boyer
  • Texas Citizenship Bee Regional Champion: Katherine Jouett
  • Texas Citizenship Bee State Tournament, 4th Place: Katherine Jouett
  • Ft. Hood Moot Court, 2nd Place: Kate Smitherman and Simon Pena

Mock Trial Nationals, 5th Place (Creekview Record!): Nicholas Hoffman, Anonik Tep, Hatty Nguyen, Jacob Laxson, Rebekah Pinedo, James Ventura, Briana Cepeda, Kit Hawkins

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Mock Trial Wins Fifth In The Nation