The Huntington mock trial team at the Sweet 16 round match.
The Huntington mock trial team at the Sweet 16 round match.

Blue Devils Avoid Upset and Advance to Elite Eight

March 15, 2023

The Huntington mock trial team got a scare in the Sweet 16 round of the county tournament, nipping Southampton by a single point, 63-62. The victory sent the second seeded Blue Devils into the Elite Eight round match-up against No. 7 John H. Glenn this week.

As all 16 teams gathered for the opening ceremony at Suffolk County District Court the excitement and nerves in everyone were both palpable. The teenagers and their advisors headed to eight courtrooms ready to battle.

The first playoff round featured three huge upsets as the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 seeds all fell. “This was easily our first real test of the season, as Southampton put out an entirely different starting lineup from our regular season match earlier this year,” said Bryan Outsen, who along with fellow business teacher Suzi Biagi is the team’s faculty advisor. Attorney Xavier Palacios, a Huntington High School alum, serves as the Blue Devils’ legal advisor.

Huntington was shorthanded on the defensive side as sophomore star Isabella Careccia-Johnson was unavailable for the competition, but fortunately sophomore Lindsay Depeine stepped up to take on the role of of lead defense witness, which she handled with poise.

“Lindsay set the tone for both our union leader played by Vincenza Garofalo and our expert witness played by Andrew Ganley,” Mr. Outsen said. “All three witnesses were able to hold their own in their first ever playoff match against a seasoned Southampton team of attorneys.”

Sophomore Elizabeth James shined to start off the match, delivering a near flawless opening statement and captivating the toughest judge to date. Sophomore Nina Fascilla was able to recover gracefully after a difficult preliminary examination and went on to stifle the opposing attorney’s attempt to enter evidence and affidavits.

Senior Angie Hernandez-Ramos once again sealed the deal for the Blue Devils with her closing statement. “It was a brilliant display of law and showmanship to put us over the top by 1,” Mr. Outsen said.