Archive for the ‘High School’ Category

Deer Valley High Mock Trial team members honored during annual county competition

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Team makes it to third round of competition

By Allen Payton

Six members of the Deer Valley High School Mock Trial Team led by Coach Brian Kofford from the Law and Justice Academy, received awards during this year’s Contra Costa County competition. The team made it to round three before being eliminated. (See the complete Mock Trial competition results).

The annual competition was won by San Ramon’s California High School Mock Trial Team for the third year in a row. The Grizzlies bested Acalanes, who took second place in the final round, and third place Miramonte beat Monte Vista which took fourth place in the Consolation round.

The Cal High team will represent county at the 39th Annual California State Mock Trial Finals on March 20-22 in Los Angeles, CA.

The Wolverines lost to Dougherty Valley High of San Ramon in the first round of competition on Tuesday, Jan. 28 but came back to beat De Anza High of Richmond in the second round on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Then, in the third round Monte Vista bested Deer Valley to move on to the next round of competition.

Four members of the Deer Valley team received a Judges’ Choice Honorable Mention: Janae Burks, Katherine Muster, Caitlin Todd and Savannah Turnage.

A Feb. 20th post on the Deer Valley High School Facebook page reads, “Congratulations to the DV Mock Trial Team and Coach Brian Kofford from the Law and Justice Academy. Tonight the team won several awards including Savannah Turnage, 2nd place for Best Closing Argument and 2nd for Best Cross-Examination as well as a Judge’s Choice Award, Courtney Johnson came in 1st place being a witness for the prosecution, Caitlin Todd won 2nd place for a different prosecution witness and a Judge’s Choice Award, Emma Crandell also won a prosecution witness award, Katherine Mustar won a Judge’s Choice Award as a defense witness and finally Janae Burks won a Judge’s Choice Award as an expert prosecution witness. Six students won nine awards total.”

Mock Trial Overview

The Mock Trial Program is sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF). Each year CRF creates a mock trial that addresses serious matters facing young people today.

Each team works with teacher and attorney coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, both from the prosecution and defense perspective. Students assume the roles of trial attorneys, pretrial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and bailiffs. Through these role-playing techniques, students learn about the content and processes of law in an exciting and vibrant way. Also, by studying the case and preparing strategies and arguments for trial, students increase their public speaking skills, analytical ability and team cooperation.

Some high schools offer the Mock Trial Program as a class rather than an extra-curricular activity.

At the State Finals, the winning teams from 36 counties will present People v. Matsumoto, the trial of Bailey Matsumoto. Bailey is the founder of a technology start-up that develops autonomous (self-driving) trucks. Bailey is charged with murder, which is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice afterthought. The pretrial issue involves the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Courtroom Art Contest

Students also had the opportunity to compete as courtroom artists by participating in the Courtroom Art Contest, a companion program to Mock Trials. As courtroom artists, students accompany their Mock Trial teams and sketch courtroom scenes that are later judged by a team of art judges. Download artist rules and registration information. The winner, Reese Whipple of Miramonte High, will represent Contra Costa County at the state finals.

Courtroom Journalism Contest

Students were given an opportunity to report on a Mock Trial from the perspective of a journalist. As courtroom reporters, students will accompany their school’s Mock Trial teams to the preliminary rounds of the competition. Courtroom reporters will then write and submit one 500-word news article on the trial they attended. Articles were judged by a panel of specialists. The winner, Christine Oh of California High, will represent Contra Costa County at the state finals.

See the list of all 2020 award winners here.

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Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial seeks legal professionals to volunteer

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Deer Valley High Law Academy team will be one of 17 competing

Bay Area soon-to-be, practicing, and retired law professionals are needed to provide assistance to their future brethren at the upcoming 38th Annual Contra Costa County High School Mock Trial Program, held on seven early weekday evenings during late January and early February, in the Martinez Court Rooms. Last year, close to 100 Bay Area practicing and retired attorneys and sworn judges, as well as third-year law students volunteered their time with the Mock Trials.

Coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), Mock Trial is an academic event provided for high school students. The hands-on educational program was created to help students acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society. This year’s case, People v. Klein: A young adult is charged with two felony counts: making a false report of an emergency (in this case, commonly referred to as “swatting”) and making a criminal threat.

“This program is a great tool to ensure that our students understand the workings of the trial courts and thus the importance of an independent judiciary, says,” says Contra Costa County Presiding Judge Barry Baskin. Judge Baskin, a long-time Mock Trial volunteer, encourages all of his local fellow law professional to join him in assisting with this year’s Mock Trial Competition.

Teams of high school students work with teachers and volunteer coaches to prepare their version of the criminal case, from both the prosecution and defense perspectives.  Students assume the roles of trial attorneys, pre-trial motion attorneys, witnesses, clerks, bailiffs, artists, and court journalists. Mock Trial judges and attorneys score their performance and provide immediate feedback. Winning teams advance through seven rounds of competition. The county’s champion advances to the State finals. This year, there will be 17 Mock Trial teams competing, representing high schools throughout all of Contra Costa County.

Volunteers will score two competing schools that argue the case in their assigned court. Each night, will begin with a 15-minute rules and regulations training, then the volunteers will go into their scheduled courtrooms to serve as Mock Trial judge and scorers.  The Mock Trials’ scorers are made up of Bay Area deputy district attorneys and deputy public defenders, as well as public-sector, private-practice, and corporate lawyers. In addition, seasoned law students are also welcome to participate. A practicing or retired judge or commissioner will preside over each trial, and also serves as one of the trial’s scorers.

“We applaud the hard work and time our students and their coaches put in to prepare for our Mock Trial program,” said Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey. “In addition, we are grateful for the continued generous volunteer support we receive from our county’s Judicial, District Attorney, and Public Defender offices, as well as so many of our current and retired public- and private-practice attorneys. This successful program would never come together without so much support from the community.”

Teams from the following 17 Contra Costa County high schools will be competing:
Acalanes (Lafayette), Alhambra (Martinez), California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), Clayton Valley Charter (Concord), De Anza High (Richmond), Deer Valley Law Academy (Antioch), Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), El Cerrito (El Cerrito), Hercules Middle/High (Hercules), Heritage (Brentwood), Kennedy (Richmond), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Miramonte (Orinda), Monte Vista (Danville), and Richmond (Richmond).

Last year, several students from the Dear Valley High Law Academy earned individual awards including Loren Paylage, Kyle Lewis, Jafar Khalfani-Bey Kiara Chatman, Tristen Patel, Orianna Todd, and Elizabeth Vargas.

Schedule for 2019 Contra Costa County High School Mock Trials:

Preliminaries: January 29 and 31; February 5 and 7, – 5:00-8:30 p.m. (Nine competitions each night)

Quarterfinals: February 12, 5:00-8:00 p.m. (Four competitions)

Semifinals: February 14, 5:00-8:00 p.m. (Two competitions)

Final and Consolation: February 19, 5:00-8:00 p.m. (Two competitions)

Mock Trial will be headquartered at the A.F. Bray Courthouse, 1020 Ward Street, in Martinez.

Interested volunteers can learn more by visiting the CCCOE’s Mock Trial Web page, or contacting Jonathan Lance at jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us or (925) 942-3429.

The two highest-scoring teams will advance to the finals on Tuesday, February 19. The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the California State Mock Trial Competition, held in Sacramento, Calif., March 22-23. The California state finalist team will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held May 16-18, Athens, Georgia.

In 1977, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) introduced the concept of mock trials to the Los Angeles schools. In 1980, the program expanded to the state level. The California Mock Trial Program currently involves more than 36 counties and over 8,000 student participants from more than 400 teams. Approximately 1,500 attorney volunteers serve as team coaches and scorers, and 500 Municipal, Superior, and Appellate Court judges preside over the trials.

Preliminaries: January 29 and 31; February 5 and 7, – 5:00-8:30 p.m. (Nine competitions each night)

Quarterfinals: February 12, 5:00-8:00 p.m. (Four competitions)

Semifinals: February 14, 5:00-8:00 p.m. (Two competitions)

Final and Consolation: February 19, 5:00-8:00 p.m. (Two competitions) 

Mock Trial will be headquartered at the A.F. Bray Courthouse, 1020 Ward Street, in Martinez.

Interested volunteers can learn more by visiting the CCCOE’s Mock Trial Web page, or contacting Jonathan Lance at jlance@cccoe.k12.ca.us or (925) 942-3429. 

The two highest-scoring teams will advance to the finals on Tuesday, February 19. The winning team will then represent Contra Costa County at the California State Mock Trial Competition, held in Sacramento, Calif., March 22-23. The California state finalist team will then compete in the National Mock Trial Competition, held May 16-18, Athens, Georgia.

In 1977, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) introduced the concept of mock trials to the Los Angeles schools. In 1980, the program expanded to the state level. The California Mock Trial Program currently involves more than 36 counties and over 8,000 student participants from more than 400 teams. Approximately 1,500 attorney volunteers serve as team coaches and scorers, and 500 Municipal, Superior, and Appellate Court judges preside over the trials. 

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Antioch takes Mayor’s Cup in crosstown soccer match upset over Deer Valley

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Antioch head soccer coach Conrad Diaz holds the Mayor’s Cup Trophy as his team celebrates their 3-2 upset victory over crosstown rival Deer Valley High on Friday, Feb. 1, 2018. Photos by Jesus Cano

Come from behind win after being down 2-0 at the half

Mayor’s Cup soccer match action.

By Jesus Cano

Antioch did not win a single game in Bay Valley Athletic League play, that was until the last two minutes of its Mayor’s Cup soccer match against Deer Valley.

The Panthers was awarded a penalty kick, and Liam Gammond stepped up to take it. He blasted a right foot shot in the bottom left corner to give the Panther’s the 3-2 lead.

Moments later, the referee blew the final whistle indicating that Antioch had won the game. After three long years, the Mayor’s Cup was back at Antioch High.

The entire team ran to claim the cup, held up in the air as Queen’s famous song “We are the Champions” blasted from the stadium’s loud speakers.

“This is definitely the proudest moment in my soccer career,” Gammond said.

However, at halftime Antioch was trailing Deer Valley 2-0. Isaiah Moreira scored both goals for the Wolverines.

His first one came on a three-man play, as Rudy Saucedo crossed the ball to Edgard Morazan, who laid it off to Moreira, where he easily finished the ball.

The Panthers’ soccer team celebrates winning the Mayor’s Cup Trophy for their victory over the Deer Valley Wolverines.

Moreira’s second goal came on a quick turn-around-shot that was out of the reach of Antioch goalkeeper Melvin Morales.

Staying strong emotionally and reading past Deer Valley’s defense was a key to success according to Antioch.

“The emotional maturity is what keeps them focused,” Antioch head coach Conrad Diaz said. “They kept the mistakes down tonight, and this (the Mayor’s Cup) was the reward.”

Antioch’s three unanswered points began with a goal by Gammond. From 35 yards out, he kicked the ball starting to the top right corner.

The second goal was scored by sophomore Joel Sanchez, who simply beat Deer Valley goalkeeper Edwin Serrano past the ball.

If the game were to remain as a tie, Deer Valley would have kept the cup. Fortunately for Antioch, Gammond had a two-goal night.

Coach Diaz provided the list of all the players who were part of the winning team: Soph. Joel Sanchez – Dozier Libbey, Sr. Marco Hernandez, Sr. Octavio Gonzales, Sr. Josue Lopez, Soph. Melvin Morales, Fr. Brian Sosa, Fr. Luis Ramos – Dozier Libbey, Soph. Noe Moreno, Jr. Daniel Doan, Jr. Liam Gammond, Soph. Ian Scheringer, Jr. Alberto Castillon, Jr. Israel Cardoza, Soph. Regulo Arjona, Soph. Jorge Gutierez, Soph. Josmar Belstre, Soph. Daniel Iraheta,  and Jr. Cesar Rubio – Dozier Libbey, and Assistant Coach Dan Doan.

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