Perennial Powerhouse Augustine Classical Returns to State Tournament Semifinals
Augustine Classical Academy, a small Christian school in Saratoga County, is returning to states this year following a decisive win against Greenwich in the Region III finals.
The school is no stranger to post season play, having appeared at states four times previously and won the state title in 2011. Coach and pastor Thomas Trouwborst recounts that win when the team was called LEAH, a homeschool cooperative. That following year, a group of adults from LEAH formed Augustine Classical Academy. This year is the team’s fifth appearance at States.
The team, nicknamed the Hippos, after their patron Saint Augustine of Hippo, admits it struggled at the start of the season. The team is made up of 14 members from all grades, which is more than half of the high school student body at Augustine Classical.
“We lost our first trial of the season and it was against the team that we lost to at the end of the season last year. That was a really hard loss,” said Carter Van Amburgh.
Other members admit anxiety as they entered the post season. “Regionals were scary for us because we hadn’t been in a while. We didn’t have a lot of confidence, but with each trial, we gained more confidence and realized how in control we were,” said veteran team member Christiana Trouwborst.
Thomas Trouwborst marvels at the personal growth in the students he is able to witness as their coach. “To see juniors and seniors flourishing and coming into their own, to see that maturity and growth is sweet,” he says. “They are learning life lessons in communication and handling high pressure situations. It’s the sweetest part of mock trial.”
In keeping with the school’s faith filled mission, Mr. Trouwborst ends by repeating the team motto “Honor the Lord, Have Fun and Win Medals!”