Mock trial team growing at Mount

Courtesy photo Mount Aloysius College’s mock trial team includes (from left): seated — Jessica Bressler of Julian; Gracie Arbitell of Allentown, N.J.; Tessa Boyles of Beaverdale; Teresa Goc of York; and Krista Wenturine of Nicktown; standing — Attorney David Andrews, head coach of the mock trial team; Rachel Cain of Cresson, assistant coach; Ross Bebout of Bedford; John Branick of Ebensburg; David Regala of Ebensburg; Mandie Leithner of Ridgway; Rachael Moreland of Gallitzin; and Mariya Kozhukh of Portage.

CRESSON — Mount Aloysius College’s mock trial team is preparing for its next competition. The competition will take place Jan. 19, 20 and 21 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Attorney David Andrews, who left his Altoona law firm in 2016 to join the Mount Aloysius faculty, teaches several courses in the Mount Aloysius MBA and undergraduate programs.

He launched the college’s mock trial team last season and serves as head coach.

“I am very pleased with the progress of our mock trial team at this point of the season,” Andrews said. “We’ve been successful in national tournaments and, unlike college sports where Division III teams compete exclusively against other Division III teams, in mock trial we have gone up against some of the best schools in the country — Division I if you will — and we competed toe-to-toe.”

Intercollegiate mock trial is structured around rules established by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). The most recent competition at Carnegie Mellon University featured teams from 13 states, representing Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Missouri and others.

“We competed against Penn State, Hamline University from Minnesota, the University of Dayton, and Eastern Michigan University,” Andrews said.

Following the competition at Johns Hopkins, the Mount squad will enter the National American Mock Trial Association Tournament in regional competition in February.

AMTA hosts 25 regional tournaments, eight opening-round championship tournaments and a national championship tournament each season.

Approximately 600 teams from more than 350 universities and colleges are involved.

In total, AMTA provides a forum for more than 5,300 undergraduate students each academic year to engage in intercollegiate mock trial competitions across the country.

“Mock trial is an extremely valuable competition,” Andrews said, “since no matter what a student does after graduation, it is important to have good communication skills and be able to respond quickly on your feet. Mount Aloysius mock trial students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as knowledge of legal practices and procedures.”

Mount Aloysius team members include Tessa Boyles of Beaverdale; Teresa Goc of York; David Regala and John Branick, both of Ebensburg; Krista Wenturine of Nicktown; Rachael Moreland of Gallitzin; Joshua Devlin of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Jessica Bressler of Julian; Mandie Leithner of Ridgway; Gracie Arbitell of Allentown, N.J.; Mariya Kozhukh of Portage; Jordan Terry of Portland, Tenn.; and Ross Bebout of Bedford.

Andrews is assisted by Rachel Cain of Cresson.