Hopkins Academy’s Newest Regional Champions


Allison Kowal-Safron, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, January 31st, 2018, the Hopkins Academy Mock Trial Team made its way to the Franklin County Courthouse to compete in its third mock trial match of the season. As the team members entered the courtroom, they knew that there was a lot riding on this match. If they won, not only would they make school history by obtaining the best record of any Hopkins Academy mock trial team, but they would also become regional champions. Juniors John Soto-Guzman, Kiernan Wackerbarth, Gage Spanknebel, Simon Wilhelms-Tricarico, sophomores Allison Kowal-Safron, Davide Rotunno, Carolyn Kowal-Safron, Virginia Cannella, Catherine Kowal-Safron, and freshman Kevin Soto-Guzman had all played key roles in the team’s prior victories.

A mock trial match consists of two teams from different schools going head to head in a mock court case. One school serves as the defense side while the other serves as the plaintiff side. Throughout the trial, the two teams introduce their respective witnesses while attempting to falsify the other’s arguments through objections. The Hopkins Academy team has played the plaintiff side twice, winning those matches before having to try the defense side, which was arguably the most exciting and nerve-wracking. Playing its toughest competitors yet against Mahar, the team remained victorious by outscoring its opponent by one point, ultimately sealing its status as regional champions in their third match. Team member Carolyn Kowal-Safron took some time to reflect on the teams performance: “I play both a witness and a lawyer, and both are fairly challenging. Being a witness, I have to be prepared to answer any kinds of questions the other team has for me, and being a lawyer, I have to quickly think of objections and responses to other objections. But it is a lot of fun and a great experience.” The team’s coach, Mr. Burns, believes that the team has lots of potential as seen by their effort throughout the season thus far: “This team is super dedicated to the competition. They’re willing to put in extra practice time, and they’re good at thinking on their feet.” After having meetings at lunch and practicing after school for the past few months, it is clear that the time these ten students have been putting in has been beneficial for the team’s overall success.”

The time will be thrown back into action on Sunday, March 4th, in Worcester, where it will face its next opponent in the state semifinals. Leader Mr. Burns, to offer some concluding thoughts for the team, admitted, “I think the team should be very proud of themselves, because as long as I’ve been at Hopkins Academy, this is the first time the team has gone to the semifinals. I wish that they would get as much recognition for that as the sports teams do when they achieve the same things.” Whatever happens next for the Hopkins Academy Mock Trial team, they should rest assured that they have already accomplished a great deal this season after going 3-0 and becoming regional champions for the first time in school history.