By DYLAN MIARS
“Objection Your Honor, this is an unfair extrapolation”. These words echo in a large courtroom as attorney Bryant Miller waits on the judge’s response. Miller along with 14 other members of Redlands East Valley High School’s mock trial team attended a tournament on Martin Luther King weekend with some of the best teams that the state and country have to offer.
Leaving early Friday morning, the Wildcat team ventured via bus to the tournament that they have attended for the past 15+ years. Upon arriving at the hotel, the group heads out to the mall across the street for time to have fun, relax, and most importantly: bond as a family. But this team is not all play and no work. Shortly after their group dinner, they work deep into the night preparing their opening and closing statements, as well as practicing who is what witness. But they conclude that night like they do every night on a mock trial trip, and have an inspirational and rallying speech from their coach, Ed Berman. None of this would be possible without the guidance of the seasoned attorney coaches: Gary Fagan, Craig Kamansky, and Jim Knox. as well as assistant teacher coach Fleury Laycook, whose own son is a graduate of the program and current practicing lawyer. All of these people offered guidance and virtue to team members involved, to which the entire team is thankful for.
Bright and early the next morning, everyone has their breakfast, dresses in their court attire, and travels to the courthouse. Upon arriving, the Wildcats would face 5 trials spanning 2 days with a short luncheon and break separating the trials.
When asking team members what they thought of the event, team captain Marshall Bartley said “It was a lot of fun and we were very successful in the scrimmages.” Aaron Hill, a team member for 2 years but long time supporter of REV’s program said “It was a great experience for veteran team members to gain experience against top notch teams, while new teammates got to try their hand at Mock Trial.” Bryant Miller, another team veteran of two years but longtime supporter said “This tournament was a great experience for the team as a whole and for every individual involved. Each team member got to try out a new role, which was played both seriously or just for fun. We all had a lot of fun meeting new teams and just getting to know one another better! I can't wait for next year for the returning players and the newbies!”
This was the perfect send off to the senior members of the team as this was their last high school tournament. They are moving onto top mock trial programs across the nation, this evident by their smiles and laughs all around in the bus ride home.
When looking at the Redlands East Valley Mock Trial group, one would not see a team; one would see a family. One united by hard work, compassion, laughter, and the iconic breathtaking hit movie: Jack and Jill, starring Adam Sandler as both Jack and Jill.