After a season of fierce competition, Northport High School’s Mock Trial team defeated Bay Shore on April 3 for the Suffolk County Championship.
Suffolk Supreme Court Justice David T. Reilly ruled in Northport’s favor after an intense day of competition. The county championship was the first in program history.
“It was a very emotional win,” said senior Emma Canfora. “Our hours and hours of hard work paid off.”
Team members said that as they advanced further in the tournament they became more determined to win. They began practicing every day, including weekends, in order to prepare to face-off against some of Long Island’s most formidable opponents.
Once they defeated Huntington’s Mock Trial Team, last year’s county champions, the Tigers knew they had a real chance at winning county title.
Additionally, the team unanimously agreed that one of the biggest driving forces behind their success was their captain Maggie Dowling, who “exhibited true leadership and dedication as a captain in every way”, according to club advisor David Scott. Scott also commented that, after pursuing the county champion title for twenty years, the win was an honor.
Over 450 students from 26 public and private high schools participated in this year’s Suffolk County High School Mock Trial Tournament. Teams argue both sides of the case with members assuming the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Judges or attorneys score the teams on the basis of preparation, performance and professionalism.
The Suffolk County Bar Association and its Academy of Law co-sponsored the Suffolk County tournament. Bar association members Glenn P. Warmuth and Leonard Badia headed up the program.
The highest scoring team from the county tournaments proceeds to the regional competition to a mock trial against other county winners. The top teams from each of New York State’s eight regions go on to participate in the state finals.
As the SuffolkCounty regional champion, Northport will represent the county in the state finals to be held May 19-21 in Albany.