NORTH CANTON  The Hoover High School Black Team competed in the Canton District Mock Trial competition on Jan. 20 and advanced to the regional competition in Akron on Feb. 10. While the team isn’t moving on to the state level competition, North Canton student Ally Tsenekos did win for best witness.

Lake Local and Perry did advance to the state competition. The winners of that competition will go on to represent Ohio in the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Connecticut in mid-May.

This year’s Hoover team started with 20 students made up of freshman through seniors. Casey Clark is the advisor and Dan Campanaro is co-advisor.

"We had 10 students divided up into two teams competing at the regionals," said Clark. "I thought we had a good chance this year. It’s super competitive at the regional level and it’s hard to get through it."

According to the Ohio Center for Law Related Education’s website, more than 3,000 high school students competed across the state on Jan. 20. Ohio Mock Trial is the largest non-athletic competition in Ohio and among the largest in the nation. Teachers and legal professionals volunteer their time and expertise every year.

All teams present the same case throughout all competition levels. The case the students worked on was a defamation case involving a public official and a news station. Students assume roles of either witness, attorney, timekeeper or bailiffs.

Hoover students won six of the eight awards given at the Canton District Mock Trial, including the following:

Best Attorney: Dennis Fradkin and Sarah Meade

Best Witness: Noah Miller, Ally Tsenekos, Elizabeth Escott and Marysa Kroh

"The mock trials are a mixture of drama, law and students acting," Clark said. "It’s an experience for students who are interested in becoming a lawyer and it is good experience for those students who enjoy public speaking. Many do go on to become attorneys. It’s intense with realistic scenarios. It’s completely student driven and the students have to do a lot of work for the competition including researching case law."