Bible Quizzing is so Predictable

by David Poston


In Bible Quiz, some things are predictable. The Colorado Invitational will put on an amazing tournament. SCQANIT will boast the best field of any tournament. There will be errors, fouls, defeats, and tears. There will be upsets, comebacks, quiz outs, victories, and cheers. These predictions are practically guarantees: you can take them to the bank. After the first grand slam (Athens-New Year’s Classic), I stepped up to the plate with a strong prediction. This would be the year of Woodside! They had always been a solid program with a winning pedigree, but the national championship had shifted to the Southeast for several years. Looking back to mid-January, I don’t think my prediction was that far off base. February made my prediction look golden. Woodside came from behind to force a deciding game in the finals of the Colorado Invitational against Temple TN then displayed the most dominating performance I have ever seen in a final quiz by locking up their second grand slam of the year by question 12 or so.

First grand slam tournament in Athens-New Year’s Classic? Check. Second grand slam tournament in Denver-Colorado Invitational? Check. Ok, the prediction is looking good. Fast forward—Nationals week ushers in the final two grand slams. Early Monday, Woodside faced a tough matchup against Temple and Calvary FL. In the 5th round with 15 teams remaining in the tournament, Woodside posted 100 points but found themselves one question short of securing the middle and took their first loss.  After a strong run of quizzing throughout the afternoon rounds, Woodside skirted elimination until only three teams remained. In yet another tight quiz that resembled so many others that day, Woodside found 100 points to be insufficient for the second time. Falls and Temple would square off for the SCQANIT championship.

Yes, some things in Bible Quiz are predictable. Let me tell you what is not predictable: Falls Baptist WI winning SCQANIT (at least before this year anyway.) About the time we had learned how to correctly spell and pronounce Mukwonago, another Wisconsin program bursts onto the scene. While we do not publish our individual ballots, I will admit that I left Falls out of my pre-Nationals week top 10. WHOOPS! After their impressive showing Monday, I couldn’t help but wonder how well this team could do if they were able to compete at Nationals the next day. Their calm, steady approach would be perfect at a Nationals tournament. But 2011 yielded no such possibility for Falls (Mukwonago proudly represented Wisconsin on Tuesday.)

Yes, some things in Bible Quiz are predictable. Let me tell you what is not predictable: A team that can’t crack SCQANIT’s top ten on Monday wins Nationals on Thursday. In a tournament that lived up to its reputation, teams fighting to make the finals found every quiz to be a nail biter Tuesday afternoon. In fact, the final 5 quizzes on Tuesday saw the high team be separated from the losing team by an average right at only 50 points. Both two team quizzes in Thursday’s finals held that average. Temple struggled to adjust to the Nationals style reference questions. Double digit errors proved to be too much to overcome as the up and coming Tennessee program finished in 4th place. With 3 teams remaining, Woodside posted 100 points against Hillsdale and Heritage Mission. Have you learned anything from this article yet about Woodside scoring 100 points? In a three team quiz, 100 points quite often secures the middle. Unfortunately for Woodside, this week’s quizzing was just too good for that. Woodside finished 3rd leaving Heritage Mission with no losses to face off against Hillsdale (with one loss.)

 You that know me well may think I have legitimate reasons to root for Heritage Mission in such a quiz as this. You’re right-I do. But my reason is the same as every other person’s in Bible Quiz. As much as Michael Jordan deserved an NBA championship…as much as Ronald Reagan deserved a second term…Nada Rogers deserved a National Championship. Don’t get me wrong—it’s easy to love Hillsdale! The Barbers have been loved by the Quiz world since I can remember. The Hillsdale kids embraced quiz so quickly and came to their first tournaments a few years back with such great excitement and great attitudes. Hillsdale’s involvement has enhanced Bible Quiz. As far as I’m concerned, their quizzers are incredible young people and fun to be around. Just a month ago at the Blue Ridge Invitational, Bobby Smith (after having quizzed out) watched from the sideline as his teammates had several chances to get one question to secure a win. After Temple raced to a comeback and a tournament victory, Bobby was the first person to the stage to congratulate the Temple quizzers. This team is easy to root for.

But after several finals appearances at Nationals without a championship, the quiz world had to hope these Heritage kids could bring a championship to a lady that has done so much for Bible Quiz. This team had no star quizzers. They had no Erica Olsens, no Grace Borkerts, no Bobby Smiths, and no Kelton Balkas. They had no stellar previous tournament finishes to draw confidence from. What they did have was the scripture memorized, an understanding of how to quiz, valuable experience on the coaching staff, and the perfect quizzing style to succeed at Nationals. Glory Lofgren, Josh Brown, Stephanie Ludlow, Abigail Albert, Jessica Phillips, and Catherine Ludlow proved to be the perfect mix to complete this job. And what would a article about Heritage Mission be without mentioning the amazing depth of the Heritage coaching staff. Congratulations to Nada Rogers, Mikel Brown, John Ludlow, and Paul Lofgren! From 12th (or something close to it) on Monday to securing their first National Championship (with no losses!), it was simply put—Unpredictable!

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