Congratulations, high school mock trial team! Bob Jones Academy won the South Carolina Bar High School Mock Trial state competition composed of public and private schools. This is a major accomplishment and represents tremendous flexibility and hard work on the part of students and coaches.
This is the seventh time BJA has won the state championship and the first time since 2010. The COVID-19 protocols added a new twist since all teams competed in a virtual environment with the significant technological complications.
The season began with virtual practices which led to the regional competition in February. After qualifying for the state competition with a wild card bid, BJA competed virtually against the other 11 top teams in the state on March 11–13.
At the three-day state competition, the BJA team competed on both the plaintiff and defense side of a negligence case. Team members played the roles of both attorneys and witnesses.
After three preliminary rounds, the top two teams in the state were announced—Bob Jones Academy and Carolina Forest High School from Horry County.
These teams competed in two final round trials, allowing both teams to perform both sides of the case. By the end of a long day, the BJA team had won the majority of ballots from the attorney-judges for both of the cases.
The eight-member BJA team—Joshua Cancino, Ian Hamrick, Madigan Lawlor, Eli McGee, Cayden Meissner, Spencer Nicolay, Bella Vita Sanders, Maria Smith—will represent South Carolina at the virtual National High School Mock Trial Championship May 13–15.
Several members of the team also won individual awards:
- Ian Hamrick – Best Witness Award & Best Attorney Award (multiple awards)
- Eli McGee – Best Witness Award (multiple awards)
- Josh Cancino – Best Attorney Award
- Cayden Meissner – Best Attorney Award
- Madigan Lawlor – Best Attorney Award
We are grateful for the experienced coaching of Chuck Nicholas (Teacher Coach), Allen Fretwell (Attorney Coach), and Ryan Parimi (Assistant Teacher Coach).