Mock Trial welcomes new and returning members, Hugh Roberts back as coach

October 22, 2010 — by Abhishek Venkataramana and Vijay Menon

After an intense night of tryouts on Sept. 30, the school’s Mock Trial squad determined its preliminary cast. The team features several returning members, along with some new faces who will take on big roles as the team looks to advance this year following several years of disappointing results.

Returning for another year is long-time attorney coach Hugh Roberts. The team has also enlisted the support of several new advisers, including former SHS graduate Kelly Van Aken, a recent law school graduate who will assist in coaching the attorneys alongside lawyer Rob Galvin who will be working closely with the team this season.

On the administrative end, new history teacher Jeff Scott has taken the role of teacher coach, a position that has changed hands several times in recent years after former English teacher Bill Peck gave up the post two years ago to handle other obligations. Guidance counselor Christy Cali is returning to assist the team once again this season.

During the tryouts, students were forced to take on the role of one of eight possible witnesses. They cycled through three roles, playing the witness, while also performing both direct and cross examinations on their assigned witnesses. Each student was evaluated based on several factors such as poise and voice clarity. Based on the opinions of Roberts, Van Aken and Galvin, the preliminary cast list was determined.

Many of the students are returning members. These include senior captains Shannon Galvin and Vijay Menon, seniors Navneet Ramesh, Soorya Rangan, Grace Kim and Synthia Ling, junior Michael Chang and sophomore Rohan Cotah.

In years past, the team has generally limited members to performing only one role. But in an effort to maximize talent, three of the 16 team members—Rangan, Ramesh, Menon and Galvin—agreed to take upon multiple roles on both sides of the cases. The team hopes that these changes will result in a more successful performance when this year’s competition comes around in early February.

“I’m really looking forward to working hard this season,” said Ramesh. “Since it’s our last year, we want to give it the best shot we have.”

The preliminary cast for the Mock Trial team is as follows (cast is subject to change): Pre-Trial attorneys-Navneet Ramesh and Vijay Menon; Prosecution Attorneys-Shannon Galvin (lead), Navneet Ramesh, junior Anoop Galivanche; Prosecution Witnesses-sophomore Edward Dong, Soorya Rangan, Rohan Cotah, Synthia Ling; Defense Attorneys-Vijay Menon (lead), Michael Chang, sophomore Ashwini Velchamy; Defense Witnesses: Shannon Galvin, Soorya Rangan, Grace Kim, junior Jimmy Zheng.

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