Interview: Bob Hamar

By Ron Zyhaus

Bob Hamar has studied Bible Quiz for many years. His knowledge and predictions have come to be recognized as among the foremost in the country. Here are his thoughts on both SCQANIT and AACS as provoked by Ron Zyhaus.

First up, I have a couple of questions about the distinctions between SCQANIT and AACS. If you were a quizzer, which tournament would you rather win? Along the same lines, but with a possibly different answer, as an outsider, which do you consider the best to win?
If I were a quizzer, my highest goal would be to win AACS. It is the tournament with the biggest sense of competition and the only tournament that involves three days. As an outsider, I believe the facts prove that SCQANIT probably takes more knowledge and skill to win.

Is there a different strategy that teams should employ for quizzing at SCQANIT vs. AACS?
YES! I believe there is. There usually are more good teams at SCQANIT than at AACS. If I were coaching a good solid team who was certainly not the best but still a force to be reckoned with at SCQANIT, I would encourage my team to not try to be heroes any time early in the tournament. You have to make sure to beat the teams who are slightly below your competiton level before focusing on the teams above you. This is a tournament where a good team can barely crack the top 10. The national champions last year got 7th place at SCQANIT.

At nationals, I believe the strategy changes. Since there are about 5-7 teams who are much better than the rest, I would encourage quizzers to attempt to saddle a good team with a loss early in the morning. This tournament usually generates slow starts for good teams. If your team gets a good jump, strategize a way to pass out losses to the teams who are better than you.

Let’s talk about individual quizzers first, and then we’ll move on to the teams. Tiffany Parrot has been the top ranked quizzer at for the entire year, will she remain the dominant quizzer at these last two tournaments, and is there anyone who can match up to her?
The last word that I heard is that she will not be quizzing at Nationals. If this is true, it will be hard to call her the best quizzer without her even quizzing at the national championship. If she leads her faith team to the SCQANIT title, I don’t think that even her nationals no-show wills stop her form being quizzer of the year. I expect her to be the top quizzer at SCQANIT, and I expect Tim Keenan to pass the others and move into 2nd place by leading his team to a national title. If that happens the debate will begin on who deserves to be quizzer of the year.

This next question has two parts. Is there anybody out there that may not be in the top ten but who has a good to make a big impact? The other part, and it may be way too premature to ask this, but a lot of times, SCQANIT and AACS can be a place where we see a quizzer who may be good this year, but just seems like he/she will break out next year?
I would like to answer the latter question first because I think that it is easier. Knowing Brant and Tex well, I keep hearing them rave about Kyler Dennis. I have seen him quiz this year as well and he is going to have a breakout season soon. He is quizzing in a great program and has a decent supporting cast, and I like to compare him to Brant Callaway. I believe that he has the potential to be the next Brant for Athens, but I don’t know if the other quizzers will accept their role behind a star quizzer like the ’03 national champions did. It will take some some good straightforward coaching to get the job done by next year. Next, I believe someone not in the top 10 will make some noise at both tournaments. I officially would like to say to watch out for New Jersey. We don’t say much about them but it wouldn’t surprise me if they make it well into the top10.

We all know who most of the favorites are (Faith, FBCCF, Old Paths, Woodside, Valley, etc) but outside of the “Big 5,” who else do you expect to make a run deep into either one of these tournaments?
I will stick with New Jersey as one on this one. I know the people in Michigan swear that their Faith team is awesome; and while I don’t how good they are, I will say that confidence can be a great factor.

Of these, so called “Big 5,” does anyone of them stand out as being likely to lose early?
If you were filling out a bracket for these tournaments, Valley would scare me the most. I believe that they have the ability to beat almost any team as well as lose to almost any team. If they find their consistent game early, then they will not disappoint. If they don’t find it, it may be a noteable accomplishment for them to crack the top 10.

I think that the question that is on everyone’s mind is…Who is your pick for SCQANIT and AACS?
At SCQANIT, I am going with FAITH (SC). At AACS, I expect Old Paths and Woodside to battle it out til the end. But I will relunctantly pick Old Paths, wishing that I could pick both.


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