Bloom-Vernon advances in Virtual Mock Trial

South Webster Mock Trial Team advancing to Regional Competition: Left to Right: Attorney Rob Johnson, Jacob Litteral, Audrey Litteral, Gabe Roof, Briana Collins, Nicole Hughes, Hunter Slack, Nathan Hughes, (Cyndy Hykes), Riley Cook, Dakota McClintic, Haley Williams, Abby Stone, Oksana McWharter, Payton McWharter

SCIOTO — Three local schools have advanced to regionals after competing in Mock Trials locally, Bloom-Vernon, Portsmouth City and Portsmouth West all have teams advancing to the Regional competition.

Longtime advisor of the Bloom-Vernon Mock Trial team, Cyndy Hykes, shared an overview of how different this year was and how her team was able to move forward to compete again for regionals.

Hykes explained there were codes and all kinds of things that had to be done for the competition and if that wasn’t enough, they even had a snow day where students still had to compete. Luckily, all of her team members were able to make it and by 8:05 a.m., they were to be in their rooms ready to begin. She said that basically, two people run the whole thing for the state, and she said that somewhere around 700 students were competing.

Hykes shared in their first round of the day, the other team did not ‘show’ up, and her team basically had to run through their program without another team to present their side. They did, however, get to compete completely that afternoon. The team they competed against was not at their school but at a house, making things even more interesting. She said that there are three judges during the round, one presiding and the other two scoring. They then give feedback at the end.

Attorney Robert Johnson has been working with Hykes and the Bloom-Vernon students for years, which was no different this year.

“Competing virtually, rather than in person, was a big change for our kids, but they handled it better than I could’ve imagined,” Johnson said. “It was a great learning experience to have to persevere through all of the technical difficulties and it was really fun to get to compete against some schools that we usually don’t see.”

Johnson continued, “I thought it went really well, given the circumstances. I’m just glad the kids were given the opportunity to participate. As for how the students did, they did great! I’m always proud of how the students rise to the occasion, but seeing them handle the added stress of competing virtually was even more impressive.”

Hykes spoke on the resilience of the students, “To do it by Zoom and although it was terrifying and anxiety inducing with sleepless evenings wondering how it was going to work out, what the kids did get was confidence in that they can do so many things online now and they can talk to so many other people and they can make a big project like this workout. To know in theory, you can do this and to actually do it, huge difference. And usually, you don’t have ties for the awards, but because of the Zoom, I had some tie this year.”

Hykes said that her students were super excited that they get to go again and compete in Regionals. The Regional Mock Trials are to be held on Feb. 19 and 20 and then, if teams advance, the State will be held in March, with all trials being virtual.

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights