While Huntington High School’s county championship mock trial team is disappointed it won’t be able to compete for the state title through an in-person tournament in Albany due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Devils are nevertheless excited to vie remotely for top New York courtroom honors.
Huntington is 8-0 after winning its second Suffolk championship since 2018 and advanced to the state finals. In a non-pandemic year, teams and their coaches would be staying at the Hilton Albany in downtown Albany with state tournament trials being held at the United States District Court - James T. Foley Federal Courthouse at 445 Broadway. But with COVID-19 still raging, officials decided to hold the 2022 championship round virtually.
Huntington’s county championship squad features Isabella Careccia-Johnson, Molly Fallon, Nina Fascilla, Emily Geller, Ashley Genao, Angie Hernandez-Ramos, Elizabeth James, Sophie Laserson, Jillian LoTurco, Christopher Maichin, Robert McCallion, Dawin Preval and Kyra Scott.
Huntington’s roster is filled with talented teenagers. Team members complement each other’s strengths and are supportive and tightknit as a whole. They work late into the night and on weekends, developing a game plan for each match. The team is completely undefeated this year.
Suzi Biagi and Gregory Dieterich are the Blue Devils’ faculty advisors. Xavier Palacios and John LoTurco are Huntington’s volunteer legal advisors.
Preparations for the state finals will be intense over the next few weeks. “We’ve definitely taken some time to celebrate our win, but now we’re starting to get back into it more. I’m super excited for states and I know everyone else is, too!”
Coaches/advisors will participate in an state championships orientation on May 20. Semi-final rounds are set for May 23 with the final round slated for May 24.
“We are gearing up for states now and looking forward to competing for a state championship,” Ms. LoTurco said. “I feel this team has the determination and potential to win it all.
The New York State high school mock trial program is a joint venture of The New York Bar Foundation, the New York State Bar Association and the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program.
“In this educational program, high school students gain first-hand knowledge of civil/criminal law and courtroom procedures,” according to the NYSBA website. “Thousands of students participate each year. Objectives of the tournament are to: Teach students ethics, civility, and professionalism; further students’ understanding of the law, court procedures and the legal system; improve proficiency in basic life skills, such as listening, speaking, reading and reasoning; promote better communication and cooperation among the school community, teachers and students and members of the legal profession, and heighten appreciation for academic studies and stimulate interest in law-related careers.”