I feel like my quizzing generation is coming to an end. Those who were freshmen my senior year are graduating this year, which makes this the last class that actually quizzed against me. So starting next year, every article I write will be about people against whom I never quizzed and all my knowledge comes from observation. However, this class went out with a bang, because I am pretty sure that Breanna’s team eliminated my team at FACCS my senior year. She quizzed for Central Florida Christian Academy that year, but nonetheless, I can say my final loss was to a quizzer who won AACS to end her career!
Israel was a couple years ahead of me, and it was a great honor to write about him earlier. But one thing I noticed when looking at his placement is that his last three years were exactly duplicaed by a California placing the next year. That means that Israel got 7th in 1998, a Thursday qualifying 4th in 1999, and 2nd in 2000. Valley got 7th in 1999, a Thursday qualifying 4th in 2000, and 2nd in 2001. So, that leads me to believe that the two teams are pretty analogous from a quality standpoint. However, the thing I remember most about that Valley team is that they were the best team at quizzing well and still having fun.
Valley became just as known for their outfits as their dominance. We always referred to them as the “Valley Girls” and we feared them. Katie Paulding probably was as remembered for her team and their attitude as she was for her stellar quizzing. While Valley was clearly a great team, and only a hot team led by Craig Scott, after a post-state championship takeover could oust the Valley Girls. But never have I ever lost and still felt like I needed to keep quizzing then when we quizzed against them. They were so encouraging, gregarious, and jovial, that I learned that Bible Quizzers don’t need to be serious to be good.
We lost to many teams in Bible Quiz in my years of quizzing, but I always felt that the good teams “didn’t have a life” or “lost sight of why we quizzed” or “were just plain strange.” Valley shifted my paradigm. This was a group of normal kids, who didn’t look weird, and were obviously compassionate enough to encourage the teams they beat. I’ve heard it said that you should be nice to the little guy on your way up or you’ll meet him on your way down. Well, Valley certainly was nice to all of us little guys. Further, we knew they were still reverant about the material. The thing that made Katie so well known of the group, aside from her quizzing, was that she always quoted with her eyes closed.
When you look at the contribution she made to me and my team, it isn’t strange to think that she was elected to the Hall of Fame in the year that my Bible Quiz generation completes. The Circle of the Bible Quiz cycle is now complete. I feel a quizzer who shows reverance for the text, encourages others to do the same, and reflects the joy of the Lord at all times is truly a representative of our Lord.
Continue to Shine God’s Light, Katie. You’re on the List.