By Curt Yeomans
The members of the Jonesboro High School mock trial team were filled with excitement as they prepared to fly to Philadelphia, Pa., on Wednesday.
The students were heading to the national mock trial competition which will be held Friday and Saturday in Wilmington, Del. The team was flying to Philadelphia, because the flight was cheaper, and its members would get to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and Benjamin Franklin's grave.
They headed to Wilmington last night, and the focus is now on preparing to defend Jonesboro's national championship.
Nine students, who are competing at the national event, plus a student competing in a courtroom journalism competition, and five members of the scrimmage squad, made the trip with their coaches and several parents and grandparents.
"It's going to be a fun trip, and I think we have it [the national championship] again," said Jayda Hazell, a junior on the team.
Other team members were equally as excited to finally get the chance to compete for another national championship.
"I'm stoked. Competing at nationals is a thrill rush like no other," said Joe Strickland, also a junior.
"I'm looking forward to the awards banquet when we find out we're national champions again," said Braeden Orr, another junior.
"We were nervous at the regionals [in February], but that's where the nervousness needs to stop," said Ralph Wilson, a senior. "You can't afford to be nervous at the state or national competitions. The competition is too strong."
"It's just good to be doing this again, I'm excited to see what the other teams are going to be like," said Jurod James, a junior.
One of the reasons why Jonesboro team members got excited on Wednesday was the two limousines provided by the Clayton County Board of Commissioners.
Orr said it was better than the "big yellow limousine [a school bus]" that took the team to the airport last year for the national competition.
"I feel like we're traveling in first-class style," said Brian Bady, a junior on the scrimmage squad.
Jonesboro faculty coach, Anna Cox, said it was "absolutely exciting for the kids to ride to the airport in the limousines. That was very nice of the commissioners to arrange for that."