GPS Mock Trial Teams Advance to the Next Round

Five-team club (30 members) is largest for GPS
In today's Tennessee High School Mock Trial competition, 65 teams from across the state began their first rounds. Five of those teams were from GPS, the largest showing for our school to date.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, all proceedings were held virtually, presenting a new set of challenges for all competitors. "The girls had to learn to be advocates without the benefit of an in-person courtroom setting," says Tammy Combs, who coaches the GPS teams along with Judge Brian House. "Holding it online takes all the dynamic reactions out of the equation and their ability to read the atmosphere and reactions of the judge and opposing counsel. They overcame a lot and did a great job."
The Mock Trial Committee decided to keep the same case this year as last, so students who competed in 2020 had to devise new strategies to keep their opponents on their toes.
GPS Mock Trial president Reese Miller '21 says her teammates implemented a playbook from collegiate mock trial teams, thanks to Brianna House '19, that worked well for this year's GPS teams. This included having a four-member council—Isis Cantrell '21, Hanna Grace Kornberg '23, Julia Combs '22, and Lauren Thacker '22—and team captains. 
"It's been a real group effort this year," Reese says. "We've implemented new policies in how we conduct club, which has made it easier for underclassmen and new members to reach out for assistance. It's also helped remove the intimidation factor and how we balance our time with other school commitments. We worked to make our teams more organized and better at scheduling practices, which made each team the best possible."
The strategies have obviously paid off. Four of the teams won today, with all five advancing to tomorrow's competition, beginning at 9 a.m. EST.

Round 2 A, Saturday at 9 a.m.
GPS Blue A v. Knoxville Catholic High School 2
Round 2 B, Saturday at 1 p.m.
Signal Mountain 1 v GPS White B
GPS Black C v. L&N STEM Academy 1
McCallie 4 v. GPS Silver E
Unicoi County HS 1 v. GPS Gray D
Round 3 A Saturday at 5 p.m.:
Round 3 B Sunday at 10 a.m.:

All teams will then be rematched, according to standings, for the third round Saturday night and into Sunday morning, with Sunday's final round that afternoon. Those teams who win the finals will go on to compete at state. 
Individual awards won today include Lauren Thacker and Manasa Makam '22, best attorney (tied); Julia Combs, best witness; Abbey Katelyn Pettus '22, best attorney; Lisa Yates '23 and Abby Grace Kueter '22, best attorney (tied); Emerson Couch '24, best witness (tied); Anya Parambath '23, best witness (tied); and Aarushi Modi' 22, best witness (tied).

Congratulations, girls and coaches, and best of luck as you continue in the competition!