Oratory Prep School of Summit was named the Mock Trial Team State Champions when they beat High Point High School of Sussex County on Thursday, March 22.
The Honorable Barry T. Albin, the Chief Justice of the NJ Supreme Court, one of two judges presiding over the Mock Trial finals for the state held at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, announced the decision. Bill Martin, adviser to the Mock Trial Team at the Roman Catholic all-boys school in Summit was elated.
“Union County has never won the state competition before,” said Martin, “and Oratory has never won the state competition before, so we didn’t know our chances going in.”
After scores of Mock Trial scrimmages and matches this year among 221 high school teams in New Jersey, there could only be one winner. The Oratory team had an uphill battle which was made easier with expert coaching from former OP parent, and lawyer Bob Scirocco.
“We are a young team, but they are eager and well prepared,” Martin said of them. The team to compete in a series of trials to become the Union County Mock Trial Champions and make it through the Central Jersey finals before the final round.
For Oratory’s defense team, Scott Turtur, a junior of New Providence and Conor Mooney of Basking Ridge took the roles of the attorneys while the defendant “Pat Hopper” was played by Daniel Pallone of Morristown. The two witnesses for the defense were Tom Hughes of Bernardsville and Ethan Heller of Gillette.
Parents and administrators Bob Costello, Head of School, and Owen McGowan, Dean of Academics, were there to congratulate the boys who will now go on to the national competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico the first week in May.