End of an era
RHS mock trial team misses out on state tournament berth
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
For the first time in 32 years, Rhinelander High School mock trial team lost the regional championship Saturday, and the opportunity to compete in the state tournament. The regional title was won by D.C. Everest #1, who went 4-0 on the day. Marshfield, Lakeland Union, and Rhinelander all tied for second place with 3-1 records. By virtue of the tie-breaker procedure, Marshfield was declared the second-place winner, thus qualifying for the state tournament as well.
The Hodags’ only loss was to Everest, by three points.
“Our students performed well,” said head coach Kathy Vick-Martini. “In fact, we were the top team in speaker points on the day with 758, compared to 723 for Everest, 628 for Marshfield, and 675 for Lakeland. But unfortunately, speaker points aren’t the first tie-breaker”
Nine of the 15 teams that competed Saturday have previously qualified for the state tournament, Vick-Martini added, making this “the largest and most competitive regional tournament in the state.”
The Rhinelander team was led by seniors Tyler Fredrick, Emily McFarland, and Mason Hageny. The team also included junior Ben Kubisiak; sophomores, Carmen Ibarra, Holly Puza, Alexa Adams, Nathan Roberts, Rory Schwarz, and Alyssa Wiedeman; and freshman, Makenzie Denny.
“Our team is every bit as deserving of congratulations as any of the mock trial teams Rhinelander has fielded in the past,” said attorney coach Ann Munninghoff Eshelman. “I, for one, couldn’t be prouder of their exceptional performances and more importantly, the dignity, grace, and civility with which they conducted themselves during this grueling competition. I hope the school and community will join in congratulating this team…and that the kids will congratulate themselves on a job really well done.”
In addition to Vick-Martini and Eshelman, the RHS team was assisted by Oneida County Circuit Court judges Michael Bloom and Robert Kinney; attorneys, Steve Michlig and Amy Ferguson; and Nicolet play director, Jim Nuttall.