Mock Trial Warriors Return to State, Place 5th
In the program’s second year, Agathos Classical School’s Mock Trial entered two teams at the District Competition and earned a berth to the 2017 TN State Competition. Following a heartwarming send off from Agathos students and staff, the Warriors won their first three rounds against Harpeth Hall, University School, and St. Mary’s. In their final round, they lost to Montgomery Bell Academy, who won the TN Championship (for the second year in a row; they finished 5th nationally in 2016.)
Individually, Luke Worsham was awarded the prestigious Robert Horton Campbell Award for Best Advocate for the Prosecution. Ethan Seago was honored with the team’s Most Valuable Player award.
“The Agathos team is exceptional because of how self-motivated they are and how capable of challenging each other,” observed attorney coach Cory Ricci. “As a coach, you try to create an environment of vibrant debate.” We are very proud of the tremendous effort these students put forth and are deeply grateful to the team coaches, Jason Whatley and Cory Ricci, who worked tirelessly to prepare the team to compete with excellence.
Heading to State Mock Trial 2017
Agathos Warriors Place 6th at State Mock Trial 2016
Agathos Classical School’s inaugural team placed sixth in the Tennessee Bar Association’s 36th annual mock trial championship in Nashville, March 18-19. Sixteen high school teams reached the state championship by winning district competitions, in which they played the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Each team represented both the prosecution and the defense in a fictitious case developed by the TBA’s Young Lawyers Division.
Agathos’ entire student body lined up to wave and cheer as the Mock Trial team left campus for State. After four rounds of intense competition over two days, an awards ceremony was held in the ballroom of the downtown Doubletree Hotel. Two Agathos students won individual recognition. Freshman attorney Josiah Burns was named MVP and sophomore Luke Worsham was honored with 2nd Best Attorney for the Plaintiff.
The team was thrilled with their debut performance and quick to credit others. “Just five months ago, Cory Ricci, one of our attorney coaches, taught us what a leading question is. Now, we’re sixth in the state,” observed Worsham. “It really is a testament to both God’s blessings and guidance of our team” and to our coaches. “We wouldn’t have won anything without their counseling and guidance.”
Coach Whatley couldn’t be more proud. “There were schools in the competition that were literally one hundred times the size of ours. These students, all very young, did more and went further than anyone thought they could. We are so proud of them and looking forward to making a run for the state title next year.”
Montgomery Bell Academy won the State Mock Trial Championship over second place Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association (CSTHEA.) The following schools also participated at this year’s state competition: Unicoi County High School, Erwin, Jefferson Co. High School, Dandridge, Clinton High School, Clinton, McCallie School, Chattanooga, Beech High School, Hendersonville, Pope John Paul II, Hendersonville, Eagleville High School, Eagleville, Harpeth Hall, Nashville, Ravenwood High School, Brentwood, Dyersburg High School, Dyersburg, Home Life Academy, Jackson, St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Memphis, and White Station High School, Memphis.
Agathos Mock Trial Team (left to right): Coach Jason Whatley, Coach Cory Ricci, Samuel Whatley, Micah Willoughby, Matthew Whatley, Luke Worsham, Jake Trainor, Ethan Seago, Josiah Burns, Luke Epley, Adriana Baena, & Advisor Grant Kelley.
Underdog Warriors Head to State Mock Trial
Agathos Classical School’s inaugural Mock Trial team emerged victorious from Saturday’s (2/20) District 11 Mock Trial competition at Williamson County Courthouse. In its debut performance, the predominantly freshman squad competed against fourteen high schools from an eleven county region. In addition, two Agathos students placed in the individual awards category: Luke Worsham was recognized as one of the three top student attorneys and Luke Epley earned recognition as one of three top witnesses.
Co-coached by local attorneys, Mr. Jason Whatley and Mr. Cory Ricci, the rookie squad was comprised of attorneys Luke Worsham-10th, Ethan Seago-10th, and Josiah Burns-9th, and witnesses Luke Epley-9th, Samuel Whatley-9th, Micah Willoughby-9th, Adrianna Baena-9th, Carter Powers-10th, Grace Masters-10th, Matthew Whatley-7th, and Jake Trainor-11th. Advisors included Mrs. Sharoon Babcock- Speech Coach and Mr. Grant Kelly Rhetoric Coach.
This year’s contest, sponsored by the TN State Bar Association, is based on a fictional civil case regarding a horse trailer fire. Teams compete in front of a jury of practicing attorneys and circuit court judges who collaborate to score each team on its performance according to set standards. “I especially appreciate the judges and lawyers who heard our cases,” expressed Coach Whatley. “It was a complete honor to be paired against some of the best mock trial programs in the state.”
“It was a complete honor to be paired against some of the best mock trial programs in the state.”
Successful teams must effectively represent both sides using the same body of evidence. The Agathos lawyers obtained favorable judgments in their two rounds representing the Defendant and in the two rounds (including the Finals) representing the Plaintiff. Team Captain Worsham speculated that perhaps their preparation from a classical school helped them thrive in their first tournament. “The classical method,” says Worsham, “is perfect for mock trial because the whole time you’re thinking on your feet.”
Grateful for their coaching and recent success, the Agathos Warriors are again working diligently to prepare for State Mock Trial on March 18th-19th in Nashville, where they will compete against the top teams from Tennessee’s 14 regional districts. Head of School Ted Trainor concluded, “We are so grateful for the investment made in the lives of our students from the legal community. From our local attorney coaches to those involved at the regional level, this competition has been an encouraging experience. As the Bible teaches, we become like our teachers. In this sense, the adults involved in mentoring the students throughout this competition have been nothing short of amazing. Thus, I know I speak for the team when I say that we earnestly hope to continue to represent those mentors, our school, and region well in the State competition. And as a Christian school, we sincerely hope to honor the Lord in all that we do along the way.”