Mock Trial is a competition that is put on by the Tennessee Bar Association each year. High school students join teams and create arguments based upon a case that is provided by the TBA. This case contains witness affidavits, evidence, and an abridged version of the “real world” rules of evidence. The plaintiff team from one school argues their case against the defense team from another school. The verdict isn’t as important as the presentation. The verdict almost always goes in favor of the defense. The competition this year was about a rodeo rider named Ashton Stepinghuf and an appliance company called Thorobern Appliances. The refrigerator in Ashton’s $176,000 trailer allegedly had a defect, exploded, and burned the trailer to the ground.
Ravenwood High School fielded two teams to the Mock Trial competition this year. Coach Dan Hollandsworth said: “Neither team had a great deal of experience. What they were lacking in experience, they made up for in intelligence, heart, and work ethic. These guys just know how to grind. We would push them to get better and they simply buckled down and did it. They wanted to win.”
Coach Hollandsworth isn’t in this endeavor alone. His wife has been coaching along with him for 12 years as has local Attorney Ben Rose who runs a private practice in Brentwood. On Saturday, both teams (Red and Black) competed in Franklin, TN. The Black team (Haley Yeager, Devin Dodson, Kaitlyn Lehman, Leah Farmer, Kyle Hanfland, and Colton McGarraugh) hit BGA, Page, and Franklin High School – White. The Red team (Alex Schramkowski, Afia Asare, Liz Oxley, Wyatt Carpenter, Rachael Gadd, and Sithara Samudrala)went against The Webb School, Spring Hill High, Agathos Classical School, and Franklin High – Maroon.
The Red team walked away with a victory against Franklin in the Final round earning Ravenwood back to back trips to the state championship, the 5th time in school history. Alex Schramkowski was additionally awarded a Best Attorney award.