Socastee, Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach will compete in state mock trial competition

The annual S.C. Bar Regional High School Mock Trial took place at the Horry County Government and Justice Center in Conway on Saturday.

Twelve teams from our region competed head-to-head for a chance to move on and compete in the state competition in March.

WPDE NewsChannel 15 caught up with last year's state champions from North Myrtle Beach High School.

One of the team's "Attorney Coaches" Joshua Holford said his team has devoted about six hours practicing each week since August for Saturday's competition.

"They've put a ton of time in and it really shows. I couldn't be prouder of these kids," said Holford, who is a criminal defense attorney at Golfinch Winslow, LLC in Murrells Inlet.

Although a second state championship title is important to these teenagers, the life skills they've obtained from this experience extend far beyond lessons learned in the courtroom.

"It also helps a lot with public speaking too. It helps with performances on the stage, in the classroom, and it's an all around encompassing kind of mental sport," said Shannon Cherney, a senior at North Myrtle Beach High School.

This experience has also helped other students identify career paths they'd like to pursue in the future.

"When I was in ninth grade, I wanted to be a chef. I had no clue I wanted to do anything with law," said Lukas Gschwandtner, Senior at North Myrtle Beach High School.

This year, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, and Socastee will be advancing to the state competition, which will be held at the Matthew J. Perry Jr. Federal Courthouse in Columbia from March 7-8.