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Can we talk about how awesome Moorpark College is?

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  • Can we talk about how awesome Moorpark College is?

    Like, seriously, they came out of nowhere this year and killed it at the Claremont Regional. At the end of the first day they were, at least according to the TAB summary, one of the top four teams. They also picked up a bid to ORCS.

    In 2017 and 2018 they went 2-6. In 2017, they picked up their two ballots against Rio Hondo in the last round, a school that went 0-8. In 2018 their two ballots came from hitting Harvey Mudd College (also 0-8), which is a school that was rocked by a scandal that year. The scandal involved professors having a "homework cold war" where each class was assigning a ridiculous amount of homework in a bid to monopolize their student's time. In 2019, neither Harvey Mudd nor Rio Hondo were able to attend the Claremont Regional; both teams signed up and subsequently dropped out. I hope they compete in future years, as their competitors are very sweet and intelligent people, but they simply neither have the time, experience, nor coaching power to form a team that can win a bid, or even pose a serious threat to a well-prepared team.

    No one that I encountered can remember encountering Moorpark at any invitational or at interschool scrimmages in any year, and I can't find any record of them competing at anything other than Regionals from 2017-2019.

    This weekend, Moorpark was a completely new team. An experienced AMTA competitor from the West Coast circuit and judge said of a team they scored for, "I thought they were UCLA". We later confirmed that this team was Moorpark. They apparently showed a great knowledge of the law, performance, and public speaking, and were extremely well-prepared. During captains I saw them being confident, respectful, and professional. They were both nice and skilled, which are not two things that always go hand in hand in Mock Trial.

    I have heard that the reason for this transformation may be better coaching this year or their members gaining more experience, or dedicating more time to preparing for Regionals. However, probably the biggest reason is that they picked up some serious all-stars from High School Mock Trial Programs, at least from what I've heard. One of their members received a witness award. I assume this individual was one of the all-stars they have recruited.

    If these all-stars are freshmen, I can only imagine how scary they'll be next year.

    Let me just say that there tends to be some elitism in Mock Trial. I have definitely overheard lots of people say things like "it'll be an easy round, ____ school isn't very good". At least on the West Coast, with top-ranked schools like Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC having such a dominating presence in Mock Trial, it's not hard to see why school elitism transfers to perceptions about Mock Trial. I know last year that several teams were disrespectful to community colleges (Moorpark is a community college) at the Claremont Regional. As best as I can piece together based on several people's statements, one community college (not Moorpark) was prosecution in a round. The defense team lied to them about the order of selection and chose the first witness instead. One school (unnamed) had a parent say in front of this school something to the effect of "oh, they're just a community college, we'll win for sure". The competitors of this school were very discouraged by this and other unacceptable behavior towards them.

    So I want to give a big congrats and thanks to Moorpark College. Don't let the big players get complacent. Show them that teams can turn around and win big. I hope to see you next year, and I hope you continue to pick up ballots and bids for years to come. If my school ever runs an invitation, we'd love to have you come out. I'd also be happy to recommend your school to get invites to other West Coast Invitationals. If you're reading this, you should talk to Berkeley, UCLA, Claremont McKenna, and UCSD about getting invites to their invitationals next year.

    Also, if anyone from Moorpark ORCS team transfers to my school and wants to keep doing Mock Trial, we have spots reserved for you.
    Last edited by PanamaCottage; February 11th, 2019, 04:05 PM.

  • #2
    Love the positivity. The team that really deserves it from Week 1 is Juniata College. First year program getting a bid to ORCS after facing Cornell and Columbia, that is respect. A lot of teams have received bids on pretty kind schedules (as always happens with regionals), but others have had to battle their way there and deserve it even if nobody knew their name before.

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    • #3
      Gotta second both of these. It's really encouraging and inspiring to see smaller colleges like Juniata College and community colleges like Moorpark shaking things up in the West Coast!! For what it's worth, I'm really rooting for those schools. Elitism is all-too-common in the college mock trial circuit, and I love seeing teams dispel it by succeeding like this.

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