Chesterton Academy Goes to State for the First Time in School History

By: Scoop Gilbertson, Esq.
FEBRUARY 22, 2019

The Chesterton Academy Varsity Mock Trial Team

The Chesterton Academy Varsity Mock Trial Team

ST. PAUL – Last night at the Ramsey County Courthouse, the 3-0 Chesterton Mock Trial Team delivered a stunning performance, defeating Nova Classical Academy in the Regional Round by taking 2 of the 3 judge’s ballots (and outscoring Nova 372 to 366). The previously unbeaten Nova, widely considered the odds-on favorite to win next week’s state championship, was simply unable to handle the Lady Knight witnesses and the Chesterton attorneys more than equaled the Nova squad. Facing a Nova program that had won the Minnesota state championship four of the past six years, it had been a nervous week of hectic preparation.  

“The witnesses were the difference in this competition,” according to Coach Jeff Campbell. “Chesterton’s superior academics, as well as the excellent drama program, ensured that our team was rock solid.” Captain Grace Justice added, “I felt super anxious and nervous, but our team managed wonderfully. We owe everything to God, to be honest. We worked hard and prayed hard, but our patron saints of St. Thomas More and St. Joan of Arc had our backs.”

Chesterton Academy at the December Freeze Fest at Hamline.

Chesterton Academy at the December Freeze Fest at Hamline.

During the pre-season invitationals in December, The Knights took first place at the University of Minnesota “Golden Gavel” Invitational (with 24 teams participating), and second place at Hamline’s “Freeze Fest” Invitational (where 40 teams vied for honors). Their hard work and dedication set them up for a strong season this year, but the winter weather threw a wrench into the plan. Had there been a fourth round, Chesterton Academy probably would have moved up in standings and matched against an easier team. In the end, however, things worked out perfectly as Chesterton advanced to state while knocking an extremely dangerous team out of the competition.

There are two or three judges during each of the four Mock Trial sub-regional competitions. Each judge fills out a scoring ballot. Competing teams earn points in different categories such as opening statement, closing argument, cross-examination, witness performance, etc. The team that wins the match must win the majority of ballots, regardless of points. Chesterton went 3-0 in the Sub-regional competitions, which earned them a spot, along with seven other teams in Ramsey County, in Regionals. The Regional round is a knock-out round, with the four winning teams advancing to the state tournament.

The Mock Trail State Competition will be held February 28 and March 1 in Duluth. The champion of each of the 16 regions in Minnesota will be vying for the state title.

The team would like to thank their hardworking coaches, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Zinos, their classmates, the Chesterton Academy administration and faculty, as well as their parents for all of the support during the 2018-19 season!

2018-19 Mock Trial Varsity Team:


Suzanne Nereson
Sidney Meyer
Mary Kracht


Julia Favorite
Mariajose Gracia
Grace Justice


Lara Campbell – Timekeeper
Joe DeReuil – Bailiff
Patrick Hess – Backup