Rhodes once again will host the Opening Round of the American Mock Trial Association′s National Championship Tournament March 20-22. Rhodes’ A and B Mock Trial teams will compete among a group of highly impressive teams to determine who will qualify for the finals in April, which Rhodes teams have participated in for the past 28 years. This is the longest existing streak in the history of mock trial, and team members are eager to carry on the college’s legacy.
“This pressure motivates us more to do our best individually for the sake of the team’s success,” says Mock Trial B team captain Elizabeth Ross ’15. Both Rhodes teams are currently ranked among the top ten teams in the nation.
Mock Trial A team captain Henry Morris ’15 also points out that the judge pool will be made up of people who live and work within the Memphis community.
“Rhodes repeatedly hosting this tournament really speaks to the support that the team has both in the college as well as the Memphis community,” adds Mock Trial A team co-captain Lauren Tesler ’15. “Faculty, coaches and students have to be on board, and benefactors in Memphis have to be willing to offer their assistance. The fact that so many people believe in us allows us to thrive.”
Win or lose, the mock trial program clearly serves as an incredible resource and learning tool for all participants. Ross says that the program complements a liberal arts education in that it “harnesses creativity, critical thinking, and reasoning.” Tesler adds that mock trial has taught her “how to communicate in a wide variety of ways, allowing her to manipulate and master language.” Morris, meanwhile, finds great satisfaction in serving as a teacher to students who are new to the program and passing on the knowledge he has learned.
Schools that will be participating in the opening round championship series here in Memphis include Baylor University, Emory University, Florida State University, Houston Baptist University, Middle Tennessee State University, Millsaps College, Quincy University, Southern Methodist University, University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of Louisiana at Monroe, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, Austin, University of Texas, Dallas, Vanderbilt University, and Xavier University.
Teams advancing from Memphis to the National Championship Tournament are: Rhodes College A, Rhodes College B, Vanderbilt University, University of Texas-Austin A, Emory University, and Baylor University A.