Coast Union senior Riley Kennedy won the award for “Top Prosecutor” in the annual San Luis Obispo County Mock Trial Competition, held at the county courthouse in San Luis Obispo. Kennedy faced off against “prosecutors” from seven other high schools in the county.
The Coast Union Mock Trial team of 14 students reached the semifinals of the competition before losing to San Luis Obispo High School, the eventual county champion.
According to Coast’s coach, Ron Garcia, the school social studies teacher, Kennedy “is very comfortable in a courtroom in front of a judge. He’s a natural!”
Kennedy, a three-sport standout (football, basketball and baseball) at Coast Union, “is very talented, self-confident, without a trace of arrogance, and very coachable,” said Linda Dunn, a prosecutor in the county District Attorney’s Office.
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Dunn, a 29-year career prosecutor, provided leadership and tutorial assistance to the Coast Union team. She was in the courtroom when Kennedy went through three rounds of competition.
“Seeing Riley be awarded Top Prosecutor made me very proud. Last year Riley did very well, too, but this year he soared.”
The Coast Union team “did quite well — thanks to the talents of all 14 students,” Dunn explained in an email interview. “Their success proves that students from Cambria can compete against students from far bigger schools.”