Montgomery County High School Mock Trial team wins national competition
Montgomery County was the only team to go undefeated at the National High School Mock Trial Championship
MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ/NEWS RELEASE) – The team from a small public high school in eastern Kentucky was never supposed to beat prestigious private academies at a national mock trial competition. They did it anyway.
The Montgomery County High School Mock Trial team was crowned the nation’s top team by the National High School Mock Trial Championship on May 7, 2022, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Hailing from the small town of Mount Sterling, Kentucky (population 6,800), the team entered a field of over 40 other state champions from across the United States and other countries, including various powerhouse programs and elite preparatory academies. They faced highly skilled teams including Phillips Exeter Academy, Faith Lutheran Academy, and Seattle Preparatory School to emerge as the nation’s top Mock Trial team.
Montgomery County was the only team to go 5-0. They defeated the state champion from Georgia in the national championship.
“This was an incredible accomplishment by these kids,” said head coach and local Mount Sterling attorney Ryan Allison. “It is very appropriate that we won the national title on Derby day. Just like the winning Kentucky Derby horse, Rich Strike, no one was expecting us to win the whole thing. Our public school kids did the impossible in defeating Mark Zuckerberg’s alma mater. It was a great day for Kentucky.”
The team consists of seven students (4 seniors and 3 juniors) who won the state title at the Kentucky Mock Trial Association’s state championship in March. The members are Maddie Brother, Caleb Cannoy, Bryce Charles, Ollie Fegenbush, Shayna Garrett, Sydney Harris, and Brooks Pinney. Assisting Head Coach Ryan Allison are Assistant Coach Elizabeth Davis (also a local attorney), and the faculty sponsor Jamie Allison (a Montgomery High School teacher).
Along with the national title, Montgomery County had two members win national recognition. Junior Ollie Fegenbush was a named a Top-10 attorney in the nation and Senior Bryce Charles was named a Top-10 witness.
Mock trial consists of students litigating a fictitious jury trial by playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses. The students become well-versed in legal procedure, rules of evidence, and public speaking. Teams had to alternate and litigate both sides of the case throughout four rounds of competition.
The national competition began in 1984.
This is Kentucky’s first appearance in the championship round, and its first national title.