The West Morris Mendham High School mock trial team was honored this week by the Morris County Board of Freeholders and the Morris County Bar Foundation to mark their victory in the 2019 county mock trial competition, making them 14-time winners of the countywide event.
The highly regarded team also was a Northeast Region finalist in the 2019 Vincent J. Apruzzese State High School Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Under the direction of teacher and 20-year head coach Eric Heditsch and 16-year volunteer attorney-coach William Connelly, West Morris Mendham won the county championship in an exciting finals competition versus the Morris County School of Technology.
Morris-Sussex Superior Court Assignment Judge Stuart A. Minkowitz presided over the finals competition, held at the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown.
Members of the West Morris Mendham team include seniors Joe Gulino, Ishaan Laroia, Patrick Riss; juniors Greg Kerr, Nora Mulligan, Julia Trzesniowski; sophomore Audrey Sun and freshman Charlie Sager.
The West Morris Mendham team has a history of excellence, including five state championships since the 2009-10 school year.
“We are honoring these fine young people and their coaches for their dedication and hard work, which enabled them to win yet another county championship,’’ said Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo, who presented county certificates to each of the participating students.
“The coaches have done an incredible job of creating such long-term, excellent program.
“On behalf of all county residents, we congratulate all who were involved,’’ he added.
Morris County Bar Foundation President Joseph Cadicina, whose organization ran the county competition, also presented the students with certificates.
The mock trial competition seeks to increase comprehension of the American justice system, demystify the law, and help students develop and improve basic life and leadership skills. Students take on various roles, such as attorneys, prosecutors, and witnesses to in the competition.
Colts Neck High School placed first in the 2019 statewide competition, defeating Mainland Regional High School. Newton High School, which defeated West Morris Mendham, placed third. https://njsbf.org/school-based-programs/mock-trial/high-school-mock-trial-competition/