Startup Your Week: Five Tournaments, Five Champions

Welcome to this week’s edition of Startup Your Week. I’ll get back to answering questions later this month, but having recently returned from last Saturday’s monthly FQA event, I chose a different topic. And let’s face it, whenever I get a chance to put over Florida teams, I’ll take it!

Come on, Jesse, not ANOTHER Florida article!!!

I see your point, random non-Floridian quizzer/coach/quizmaster/fan, but let me say this: earlier this year Florida was responsible for four of the top ten at Athens. Florida got 2nd place at AACS, after winning in 2005. Florida teams also made up 3 of the top 5 teams at the Midseason this year. And more locally, coinciding with the purpose of this article, of the 5 FQA tournaments this quiz year, the winner has been a different team. 5 different defending champions from 3 different ministries! Competitive? Of course! A clear cut winner for our AACS qualifying event, FAACS? No way! My column details each of these 5 teams, through their successes and failures, and what to expect from them in the future.

Open Door: When they’re hot, they’re on fire! Open Door started the year off right by taking out the new FBC-CF team in the August FQA event, and a great part of their success is because of the D’Amico family. With mom and dad there at monthly events coaching and giving their support, to Alex and Grace making their presence felt by scoring and scoring often, the D’Amico’s have elevated their game to par with the former champs FBC-CF consistently. When they’re on their game, Open Door is almost untouchable, and last Saturday for the December FQA event, they were looking great and ready to take another victory. Unfortunately, it was not to be, but considering they were the number 1 seed, and they were ultimately defeated by the team that would go on to win that tournament, they did a great job. However, they do have their off days, and just as it’s motivating to maintain a winning streak one day, it’s just as easy to fall into a slump and never get out of the box on other days. What Open Door needs to do is to avoid falling into a losing pattern, pick themselves up, and start fresh each quiz. Confidence, in my opinion, can play a huge part in swinging the tides.

FBC-CF Vets 1/Ace/Strangers: For those confused (I know I am), this is the FBC team consisting of Praise, Elisabeth, sometimes Katie, sometimes Luke, and sometimes Willie, and sometimes other people, but what’s consistent about it is Praise and Elisabeth. Praise has been given the opportunity to lead FBC-CF, and she is doing it, and doing it well. In September FBC-CF (as Team Ace) scored the victory in the final round to give FBC their first win of the quiz year, and Praise has been the number 1 highest quizzer 4 out of the 5 FQA events. The question with this team (and with FBC as a whole) is not “can Praise deliver?” it is “Who else can deliver with Praise?” So far, the answer is still unknown, but only for the fact that there are many talented quizzers still left on FBC-CF, and they must decide who can carry the torch. On this particular team, Elisabeth has found her home as a solid competitor, and look for her to be a deciding factor for FBC’s success. If Praise has one bad quiz (as we all do at one point during the day), can the team rebound? If they cannot, it is a glaring weakness that needs to be addressed. If they can, watch out.

FBC-CF Vets 2/ L&J/Heirs of Salvation: For those confused (I still am), this is the FBC team consisting of Josh, John, most of the time Luke, most of the time Katie, and most of the time Willie. In October they dethroned their other FBC-CF team to win the tournament, and it’s mostly due to a solid team synergy. The whole 1 + 1 = 3 thing is clearly evident by the duo of Luke and John, and a very solid supporting cast in Katie, Willie, and Josh only enhances that growth. They managed to find a winning formula in October, and since then, they have topped the other FBC team both in stats and in the tournament. A great thing about this team is that, unlike other teams, your best quizzer could go down with 4 errors, but the rest of the team has enough to guarantee a victory. I’m not saying that this has ever happened with this team (because it hasn’t, to my knowledge), but having quizzers you can count on to get one to two questions per quiz is great. Their weakness is, in my opinion, a lack of a leader. Stick someone like Praise (which I’m sure they’ll do, come FAACS time) on the team and you have a team that can achieve really high scoring games, and come out of a close quiz safe. When it gets to the end of a major tournament, a lot of pressure is transferred from the team to their star player, who has to score big or go home, and other team member contributions make a difference, but only to supplement to score of the #1 quizzer. Expect them, like I said, to use this formula in the future (maybe even at Athens), and expect them to succeed.

Calvary Tyrrell: After returning from a grueling trip to West Virginia, Calvary won their first tournament of the year by topping the defending champs in November in the last quiz, on question 20. This 4-person team, and Calvary in general, has been able to raise the bar for the FQA. If you had forgotten, Calvary was the team that stopped the 18+ month undefeated streak (in the FQA) for FBC-CF last year in December, and Calvary has certainly made a name for itself by placing strong (tied for 5th) at Athens, and making top three at the Midseason, including teaming up with The Greatest College Team Ever to give PVKY a loss (essentially two losses, but due to some tactual problems, Calvary dug their own grave there). Like I said earlier, this is a four-person team, led by David and Joanna Tyrrell, and come Athens, they should be able to add Kelsey, Paige, Brittany, Devon, Joshua and others to make a Calvary all-star team. No doubt they can pull out an upset at Athens to win and beat PVKY, and in my opinion, they are one of the only organizations left that can do it. However, I believe their weakness falls under the category of weak strategy. I pinpointed exact tactical errors made at the Midseason, and it would be wise to re-read that and focus on position during a quiz. Pacing themselves, avoiding stupid mistakes, and always thinking ahead are things I believe they can work on to get on target. They have many years ahead of them, and over time they will learn, in that I am confident.

Calvary RAMS/RAMS combo team: In December, the Calvary RAMS combo team took it to the defending champs, and won the FQA event with ease in the finals. But just how amazing is it that this is a RAMS team? With children ages 10, 8, and 6! Just think about the future of Bible Quiz, and in 6-10 years time we’ll hear the names of Grace D’Amico and Daniel Tyrrell leading their teams to success. As they are the current champions I have no weakness advice I can give them, except for: Keep up the good work! It is so exciting that in a league where Praise, Alex and Grace, and David Tyrrell continue to have great quizzes, that a RAMS team can also elevate their game and take home the trophy! Well done, Calvary RAMS!

Next week I plan on discussing Pleasant View Kentucky. George Lindsay wrote:

#1 Kentucky
As if there were any doubt. If you need justification for this, I don’t care about you. They won EVERYTHING last year and were very solid at the Midseason.

Well, I guess he doesn’t care about me. Kentucky is still number one in my mind as well, but you know what, I DO need justification. If you put a team in the number one spot, you need to justify it. I will discuss/justify why I think PVKY is number one, why I think they weren’t “very solid” at the Midseason, what they can do to correct their mistakes, and what other teams can do to exploit them. Sound like fun? You bet!

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