Con Team places second at state


Jamie Bikales

One of the judges (left) at the We the People state competition fist bumps sophomore Anna Rosenberg after the Unit Six hearing. Lincoln placed second in the state.

The Constitution Team took second place at the state We the People competition on Jan. 13 at Mark O. Hatfield Federal Court-house, finishing behind Grant for the second year in a row.

The team, comprised of 36 sophomores, juniors and seniors, spends ten months studying the Constitution and its related court cases front-to-back, as well as all of their modern day implications. It then competes in “units” of six in a simulated congressional hearing, presenting a prepared statement followed by several minutes of questioning from judges.

A group of eight dedicated volunteer coaches, including several team alum, work with social studies teacher Rion Roberts to mentor the team.

Lincoln’s team placed first in its districts competition on Jan. 3, as did Grant, which is in a different district. The Generals then came out on top at the state-level competition, breaking a nine-year pattern of the two schools switching off first place finishes. After also winning state last year, Grant placed third at Nationals in Washington, D.C.

The annual competition attracts important names in state politics to hear from what Governor Kate Brown called the next generation of “City Council members, state legislators, and, somewhere in this room, the next governor.” Brown and Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Balmer presented the awards.

While it may not have been the first-place finish coveted by the students and coaches of the storied Lincoln team, which has captured six national championships in the competition, coach Jason Trombley said that the team members still had a lot to be proud of.

“All of them exceeded my goals for what I thought they could do come competition. They gave the strongest and consistent morning and afternoon performances that I’ve seen at state in years.

“I look forward to the day when they return home to Portland from college or career. When they do, I hope they’ll join the coaching staff alongside their former coaches because future students deserve to see role models like them in their lives.”

Applications for the 2018-19 team will open later this month.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email