What happened in Florida?

Tonight, I met up with Matt West after his day of doing FACCS. We had posted the rankings this morning, and since 2 of the top 3 teams in the opinion of the voters were from Florida, this is the one time (except when there are momentous upsets) that I actually was interested in state. Because when I was at GACS, we would send multiple teams from the same school, it was weird that Florida does not allow that.

I was also impressed by the depth of Florida. Open Door and Truth, who are definitely two strong teams were unable to attend for different reasons. Also, last year’s third place team, Central Florida Christian Academy. That means that Hobe Sound, last year’s fifth place finisher, was the top seed in their first quiz. There were seven teams, but it could easily be seen from the beginning that these could be divided into three groups.

The first group included Community from Stuart, University from Jacksonville, and Summit from West Palm Beach. These three teams all seemingly had quizzers who could get questions, but they were all too new to the sport of Bible Quiz to understand how the good teams rolled. They seemed to covet those toss-up questions when one of the big boys would miss a question.

The second group consisted of Hobe Sound and Calvary from Fort Walton Beach. These two teams are similar to the teams I have seen most of the year. They each could get over 90% correct when they heard most of the question, but they just didn’t have the firepower to hang with the best teams. These teams would, at a big tournament, not be in contention, but not be the teams who have no chance of ever getting a question either. These teams relished the challenge of quizzing the top teams, but they just weren’t good enough to pull off the upset.

The third group was Calvary from Winter Garden and First Baptist Central Florida. It was obvious from the very beginning that these two teams were the class of the tournament. Of course, these two teams are the class of almost every tournament. In quizzes where they quizzed without the other team, Calvary averaged about 270 points and FBCCF averaged 297 points. Both teams also rested their top quizzers in these quizzes, so most of these numbers are without Praiselynn Santos, David Tyrrell, and Kelsey Davies. They were quite impressive. Then came the quizzes where they quizzed each other.

They quizzed against each other 6 times. They each won three times. Calvary outscored FBCCF in those quizzes by about 7 points per quiz. They were so even. I think if they quizzed 100 times, each would win 50. Of course, one team may establish dominance and win 51. It was tremendous to watch. I could have watched another 5-6 hours of just these two teams with Matt West reading questions.

Ah, yes. Who won? Well, FBCCF had 2 of their 3 wins in two team quizzes, so they were the state champion. I thought they may give it away on the last question until Alex D’Amico gave them some advice from his role as board scorekeeper. As I think about it, this may be one of the most influential quizzes that very few observed. It is now almost a foregone conclusion that Calvary cannot finish as #1. They had just beaten Pleasant View and a win at AACS against them would almost certainly have landed them as #1. Now, even a win at SCQANIT would probably be outweighed by whoever wins AACS.

On the other hand, I have stated all year (until now) that I thought Calvary would win FACCS. I have been prepared to rank them above FBCCF all year, even though FBCCF may have been more accomplished. Now, FBCCF is pretty much assured of being ranked very high with just a mediocre showing at AACS.

Prediction? Well, since my prediction of Calvary was disproved before most people’s AACS prediction even has a chance to be, I am leary to make a prediction. But, I think Calvary will recover with a win at the DC Area Invitational and a top 3 showing at SCQANIT. FBCCF will make it to Thursday for AACS. The talk afterward was that they would not attend SCQANIT. I am disappointed if they do not, but they do have a quizzer, whose mom drives the van, with a broken leg, and several quizzers who will be occupied on Easter, thereby not allowing them to leave on Sunday. I would understand if they did not make it, though I would be sort of upset.

Will we see any other Florida teams? Alex did say that his team would not be at SCQANIT because Grace is not allowed to compete. Matt says that he thinks Truth is planning to be at SCQANIT and do really well. So, Florida will have three teams representing them for the rest of the year. Of course, every team at FACCS said they would attend the Kickoff in May and get an early start on next year. But do we even think about next year yet?

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