Members of the Copperas Cove Criminal Justice Club competed at the Texas Public Service Association competition in El Paso. Matthew Smith placed third in courtroom closing statements.

Courtesy of CCISD

EL PASO — Seven-hundred students filled the auditorium at the Texas Public Service Association competition at Bel Air High School here.

Ten members of the Copperas Cove Criminal Justice Club were part of the group to demonstrate their skills.

Nia Frisby, a first-year competitor who competed in the police report writing competition and took first place honors at the regional contest, was a little taken aback when she saw the crowd.

“I felt a little intimidated after seeing an auditorium filled with over 700 participants.” Nia, said. “Though I did not place in the competition, I gave it my all and it has helped me to be better prepared for next year.”

Mekayla Tate, who placed fifth in defensive tactics at the regional contest, did not place at the state contest but still gained a lot from the competition.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of this year’s competition was meeting students from other schools and sharing stories of how they trained,” Tate said.

Kayla Pastrano competed in criminal case analysis and Tyler Stokes competed in ideal prisons/obstacle course. Both freshmen were competing for the first time.

“I was excited about the opportunity to compete and but quickly realized that state competition brings out a higher level of competition for which I plan to train harder for next year,” Pastrano said.

Matthew Smith, who used an analogy of “David and Goliath,” was the only Copperas Cove team member to place in the state competition capturing third in courtroom closing statements.

“I felt prepared for the competition and I believe I did well, but I know of some things I could have done better,” Smith said. “I am already looking forward to next year’s competition.”

Other CCHS students competing in the state competition were Alyssa Moncada in fingerprinting, Rebecca Boyd in ideal prisons, Dylan Ross in defensive tactics and Erik Salinas and Shelby Birdwell in obstacle course.

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