The William Floyd Mock Trial team has won its fifth consecutive Suffolk County Regional Championship by defeating Half Hollow Hills West High School at the Federal Courthouse in Central Islip, NY, in late March. The team, which survived four preliminary and four knockout rounds to get to this point, now begins their quest to repeat as State Champions as they prepare for the finals in May. New York State Mock Trial is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association.
The William Floyd Mock Trial team is a model of consistency. Not only are they defending State Champions and the Suffolk County/LI Champions five years running, they have not lost a match since the State Finals in 2012 when they finished fifth.
Led by head coach William Hennessy and team captain Vincent Kappel, the William Floyd team successfully defended the imaginary Penn Hydra Gas (Pennsylvania) and their CEO Mitchell Tomley, who were charged with illegally contaminating the drinking water of the fictitious Molivar, NY, a town bordering Pennsylvania, by using dangerous chemicals at a fracking site. Fracking is illegal in New York.
“The most important thing that I try to teach the younger students is work ethic,” said Vincent Kappel, a senior, who also serves as the team captain. “In mock trial and in life, the harder you work the more you will be rewarded for it.” Kappel added that his team members showed a very strong work ethic throughout the season which has paid dividends with the Suffolk County Championship.
Serving as the defense in the Suffolk County Championship round were Vincent Kappel (head and closing attorney); Shannon Beattie (opening attorney); Umar Khan (third chair attorney); Jonathan Gilbert (expert witness); Ezekiel Torres (character witness); and Numaira Khan (CEO, Penn Hydra Gas).
“Students learn about legal proceedings and get real experience in arguing cases before a Federal District Court Judge (Frederic Block),” said Mr. Hennessy, the team’s coach. “It’s a great learning experience, whether they decide to pursue a career in law or go another route.” Hennessy added that he is very impressed with this group of students especially considering that the team is very young, consisting of just two seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen.
Additional team members include: Kelsey Barnett (student advisory role); A.G. Chancellor (opening attorney); Julianna Bona (third chair attorney); Umar Khan (expert witness); Vianna Iorio (team member); Emma VanNieuwenhuizen (team member); Gabriel Stellato (team member); Carolina Fuentes (team member); and Taylor Marie Hausser (team member).
Special thanks to the team’s legal advisors, William Floyd High School alumni, Keri Joeckel, George Dellaratta and Stephanie Suarez.