Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 18, 2022

GPS, Signal Mountain teams top record mock trial field

Signal Mountain Red defeated CSAS Blue to advance to the state finals. Attorney Charlie Poss coaches the team. - Photograph provided

After two weeks of spirited high school mock trial showdowns in Hamilton County, three teams emerged to advance to the state competition: GPS Pothos, GPS Calathea and Signal Mountain Red.

The finals of the Chattanooga Bar Association YLD Mock Trial Competition wrapped up a contest in which several teams came close to reaching the finals, including GPS Snake, Homelife 1, McCallie White, CSAS White, Notre Dame Green, CSTHEA Blue, East Hamilton Green, Signal Mountain Black, McCallie Blue, Baylor Grey and Hixson.

“Congratulations to all of the teams on a very close competition,” said Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Alex McVeagh, competition chair and coordinator. “Your students put in countless hours of preparation – and it showed. Nearly every team won at least one ballot and a vast majority of the teams picked up at least one win.

“For those that did not, the scores in many of the matches were very close.”

A record 26 teams from 14 schools joined the fray, including first-time competitor Brainerd High School. Aaron Academy, Baylor School and Notre Dame all returned after multiyear hiatuses.

The large number of teams competing in this year’s local competition allowed the YLD to send three teams to the state finals in Nashville in March, McVeagh said.

The YLD also awarded the second annual Judge Curtis Collier Spirit of Civility Award to Homelife 2. The bar gives the award to the team that best demonstrated the ideals of sportsmanship, professionalism and civility during the competition.

Runners-up for the Civility Award included CCA, Hixson, East Hamilton Green and Signal Mountain Black.

As the competition drew to a close, McVeagh thanked the legion of volunteers who made the event possible, including the coaches and volunteer timekeepers, the attorneys and judges who scored the rounds, the Inns of Court and other lawyers who donated suits and money to ensure every student had business attire for the competition, honorary competition chair Judge Curtis Collier, competition co-chairs Logan Threadgill, Melody Shekari, John Jolley and Mary Frances Devoe, and CBA Executive Director Lynda Hood.

As the YLD looks toward the state competition, McVeagh encourages students who are graduating to consider competing in mock trial at the collegiate level as well as the legal profession.

“After various rounds, I would hear the attorney volunteers says they would hire certain students as their own lawyers today based on their talent. So I believe we’ll see many of these students back here as attorneys in years to come.”

The roster for GPS Pothos includes Mary Catherine Cleland, Julia Combs, Emma Hamilton, Abigail Kueter, Abby Katelyn Pettus and Lauren Thacker.

GPS Calathea consists of Abigail Carpenter, Lucie DeGaetano, Morgan Hubbard, Hannah Grace Komberg, Anya Parambath and Anisha Phade.

The Signal Mt. Red lineup includes Kaitlyn Castellanet, Lydia Miller, Hannah Morton, May Mon, Emma Wu, Joshua Dulin, Sandra Martinez, Caroline Burns, Colin Fisher, Erik Fowler, Adrian Andreescu, Ajay Patel, William Wright and Jack Gibby.