The Hillsdale mock trial teams participated in the 10th Annual Spartan Throwdown Invitational at Case Western University, placing 7th and 27th.
Team 1106 took 7th place with a record of five wins and three losses, while Team 1107 snagged 27th with a record of two wins, five losses, and one tie. While not as strong a showing as their previous tournament, the teams squared off against some of their toughest opponents yet, including Case Western University, Eastern Michigan University, and University of Chicago. Sophomore Andrew Simpson, team captain of Team 1107, was optimistic about their future performance in tournaments.
“I was very impressed to see the improvement that our freshman members have been making.” Simpson said. “We have a lot of talent on our team in regards to the public speaking abilities of our members, and it showed.”
Simpson said the team planned on making some changes and improvements before the next tournament.
“There are, of course, areas that need to be worked on,” Simpson said. “We are looking to make our defense theory clearer for the judges to understand, and improve our teams’ cross-examinations. But otherwise, we are sitting in a good position for the rest of invitational season.”
Sophomore Daniel Henreckson, an attorney for Team 1106, said he was happy the team could gain some crucial experience so early in the season.
“The teams we faced were all of a higher caliber than almost every team we faced at the last tournament in MSU,” Henreckson said. “The point of the invitational season is to give the new members practice and to develop our case theories and performances to be the best they can be by Regionals next semester. Winning is secondary. It’s a great boost to morale and means we’re doing something right, but it’s not the goal at this point.”
Freshman Andrew Shaffer participated in Mock Trial in high school and now contributes as an attorney for Team 1106.
“Our prosecution needs some improvement,” Shaffer said. “We are going to try to make it flashier: more demonstratives, timelines, and things to show to the judges. As of now, we are just kind of talking. It looks a lot better if you’re able to put it in front the their faces.”
The team will be heading to University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne for another tournament this month. Shaffer has high hopes for the rest of the invitational.
“It’s a little disappointing not to place within the top three, but I thought that the teams we faced at this tournament were a lot better,” Shaffer said. “The experience we got from that is going to be a lot more helpful moving forward in the season.”