Valdosta – While football may be king in this area, there are plenty of other sports, both physical and intellectual, bringing in awards of their own.
The students on Lowndes High School’s mock trial team are no strangers to success with 185 region, district, state, national and world competition awards since 2003.
Coach Michael White describes mock trial as a “full contact intellectual sport.”
“Our students compete with the federal rules of evidence any attorney in America would use on a daily basis in a real court case,” White said. “We expect our team to know the federal rules of evidence backwards and forward better than anyone else who walks into that courtroom. They will go brain to brain with opposing counsel and witnesses to figure out how to get the witness to offer the testimony we want and not the other way around.”
The team made its mark on the Ivy League, attending three competitions at Yale University where, in 2011, they won it all.
Next month will take the team to new territory as team members Alyssa Hewett, Madison Johnson, Troy Crow, Emma Emery, Kalaysia Kier and Kaylee Valencia head to Harvard.
“Harvard has been on our team’s bucket list for some time so when the invitation came this year, it was time to check it off,” White said.
Not only are the students bringing in accolades, coaches Michael and Michelle White and attorney Wade Krueger have all received Coach of the Year awards from The Georgia Bar Association.
The coaching received by these students can not only be seen by their accolades, but in the general love they hold for the sport, their coaches and each other.
For Troy Crow, who balances mock trial and football, his four years on this team helped mold his decision to attend law school and brought him into a new friend circle.
“I fell in love with it. It’s a rush you can’t get anywhere else,” Crow said. “The majority of people I’ve met in mock trial I might would have not been friends with outside of here, but when you’re working on a case, it’s a bonding experience.”
Kalaysia Kier, a fellow mock trial senior, is currently prepping her application for Mercer’s law school.
“I love doing mock trial. It’s so fun and it’s something I was just good at,” Kier said. “There were no other clubs for law at this school.”
While it may be the first year for Harvard, this year also marks the end for Michael and Michelle White as coaches.
Their hope, along with the hopes of the younger students, is that mock trial will continue its legacy for many years to come.