Makers of Champions

Mrs. Coleen Crowe and Mrs. Chelsea Jones


It’s no secret that the Rocklin High Mock Trial team is good. They’ve won the county competition every year for the past seven years.

But with every successful team comes with great coaches behind them.

Mrs. Coleen Crowe and Mrs. Chelsea Jones are the coaches of the mock trial team, and they’re pretty good at it.

“When I was interviewing in the bay area for my second job, they said ‘would you be willing to coach mock trial?’ and I said of course I’d be willing to coach mock trial! I didn’t know anything about it, but I needed a job so I was willing to do anything. The teacher coach from before who had retired came back and helped me, and then the attorney coach had been there so that really helped. When I came up here I really wanted to start a program at a school that doesn’t have a program.  Rocklin high School was brand new. They had Freshmen Sophomores and Juniors, but they didn’t have seniors yet. So when I got hired I was like, I’ll start a program at Rocklin High School if you’ll let me, and they were like we totally will let you. That’s how I got started,” said Crowe.

“My story is very similar. When I was interviewing for my job here at Rocklin High School, [the] same thing [happened]. They said “Hey are you interested in coaching mock trial? We really have a need for this.” I too really wanted a job and was kinda willing to do anything and everything. I am really passionate about the law and civics. I’ve [also] coached before. I thought that an academic team was just so interesting and would be really fitting for my personal goals and life to maybe scale back on the athletic side and take a more brain centered team on. The current teacher coach was [also] willing to help out, and then there was a wonderful attorney coach who had been there before. Also very similar to how Mrs. Crowe started with Mock Trial, I’m kind of the version 2.0 of that,” said Jones.  

Both of them have had a pretty good experience coaching this season.

“You guys are awesome. I wish I could’ve been more involved, just because my schedule is crazy. So for me, I feel like I missed out just personally. But hey, you guys are phenomenal. It’s great to come in and see you guys. That part of it is really fun and it’s nice for me to not have the pressure of “Oh my gosh I have to be at practice” when I have other meetings scheduled,” said Crowe.

“Yeah and I always participated in a lot of different clubs in high school, and one of the things I loved about the clubs and activities like Journalism and ASB was that it was always very student focused. So I was so impressed with how student led and generated Mock trial is. That the students involved are really dedicated and committed. They come in, they work really hard, they’re forward thinking, they know how to plan, and they really take control of what the two hour practice is gonna look like. I just love being here to support and facilitate and help work through any problems that come up. I love just seeing kinda like the the brain power of students in action during that time. Which is again one of the reasons I was so excited to teach more of an academic team,” said Jones.  

However, coaching definitely comes with some challenges.

“For me [my biggest challenge] is really time. I wish I had more time to put into it and I wish we could clearly articulate to the school what it’s like. It’s so hard because you hear “mock trial” and people are like “yeah, whatever”. But, when they see it they’re like “Oh my gosh, that was so cool! I can’t believe you guys do that. I didn’t know about this team!” The students and faculty who see it are usually very impressed with the product like the competition piece of it. They just have no clue because you can’t explain it adequately. You have to experience it,” said Crowe.

“I would say one of the biggest challenges is just time. The season is more of a really long build up and sometimes it’s hard to be self motivated to keep going because the end seems so far away. Each day there’s little components and you don’t necessarily see a full product until you experience it. That can be challenging to remind students to stray engaged,” Jones said.

The season’s not over yet, and both of the coaches certainly have some things to look forward to.

“For me personally, I just like seeing you guys [when] the light bulbs go on or you try something outside your comfort zone and it’s successful, and just interactions. The team bonding that’s gonna happen within the next four weeks is going to be at a different level. That friendship building piece is cool to see happening. You connect on a team differently than you do with your classes. It’s just so neat to see,” said Crowe.

“Yeah, I would echo that and I would say the flashmob the witnesses are going to have to put on. (The witnesses will be doing a flashmob at a practice in the future because they sold less cookie dough than the attorneys.) And obviously state. We’re excited for state, but I think part of, like we said, the experience of mock trial is that county and state are just one weekend. A whole season encompasses so much more than that. County and State are just two weekends. There’s so many fun little things each practice. As coaches, that’s what we like to see,” said Jones.

It’s definitely been a season to remember at mock trial, but it’s not over yet. The mock trial state competition is March 22-24, and the team will continue preparing every practice for the competition.