2000 Nationals - Joey Bohanon's Memories

The following are the recollections from the 2000 National Bible Quiz Finals of Joey Bohanon, captain and top scorer of the 3rd place team from Central Assembly of God, Springfield, MO.

The 2000 nationals were, by far, my favorite, mainly because it was my best performance. This was the first year that the writing team composed of Greg House and former members of his teams wrote questions. I had quizzed over Dan Smith and Rick Faulkner before and absolutely loved their questions and did well on them, so I was very excited. We began our tournament season that year at the Gold Cup in Dallas. We averaged somewhere in the 200’s that tournament and ended up losing first place to Orange on the last question of a playoff. The rest of the tournaments didn’t go so well, but we were undefeated at districts and regions. I averaged 138 at regionals and was very ready for the nationals questions. I completed the material in late November and had been working on my concordance almost non-stop, since I knew that the national questions would be heavy on concordance. I had 1,176 questions in my concordance files and I would spend 10-hour days working on it.

As regional champions, we automatically made the championship bracket. We ended up spending Monday quizzing some of the other regional champs, and did very well. I was also very happy that my hard work would pay off, since I was ready for almost all of the questions asked that day. Our first match on Tuesday was against Braeswood. This match was a complete disaster for our team. I went out backward and ended up with no points. I was so mad because I had studied one of the questions, just with one fewer answer. The question was a six part reference question, nineteen part answer. The question was asking who wrote each book and to whom was it written? The answer that I did not have was “all the brothers with me” from “Who wrote Galatians”. I didn’t even realize that this was an answer until the contesting process. We played Minier, Allison Park and Auburn next and won all three. The 26 part answer, “Of God’s” came up in the Minier match and I got it. Our Allison Park match was fairly close. It all hinged on a 30 Quotation Completion Question that Jim Fenton hit too early and turned over. Our match against Auburn had my favorite contest of nationals. It was a Five Part Reference Question, Twenty-Four Part Answer: Who did Paul describe as fellow citizens, fellow prisoners, fellow servants, fellow soldiers, and fellow workers? The question went no response, but I knew that was way too many answers. David let me present the contest and I think I successfully confused the judges so much that they decided to just throw out the question. We then lost a close match to Trinity. Our next match against Overland Park was one of my favorites. We played them in Brian Boeninger’s room. Brian had an odd habit of looking straight at you when you were answering, even if it was a multiple-verse answer (since he had memorized the material that year). Boy, did it freak you out. The first question came up. Since Overland Park was a two-man team, they didn’t hit the 10. The answer was “Onesimus”. I normally didn’t hit 10’s, but just to be obnoxious and to illustrate how different some people pronounce Biblical names, I hit it and said “One Simus”, which caused Dan Marlow to nearly wet himself laughing. Then there was a Four Part Reference Question, Eighteen Part Answer (all the analysis items in Philippians) and when I interrupted it and got it, Dan broke into applause! Then he called a time-out and shook my hand. We then lost to Greater Lansing on a call that I still disagree with to this day. We then barely beat Dunwoody. That ended Tuesday’s play.

The next day, we played Lebanon in the first match and won big. The second match, I got my first 160 at nationals that year. We then beat South Hills. The interesting thing about this round was that they threw out a 5 Part Reference Question 43 Part Answer (people named in each book) since it was “too long”, even though they asked a 44 part answer in the East-West quiz. We then beat Bothell thanks to a hairy contest. We beat Tulsa, a big competitor, in the next match. We then lost our only match of the day against the second place team, Colorado Springs. It was at least close, though. There was a “Quote and give the complete references” question with five verses. Talk about a mouthful. Next we played Ames in Brian’s room. The father of one of our quizzers had been a quizzer himself back in the early 70’s and was affiliated with the Ebony, Virginia team. He asked me to get a 160 in that round since he had never seen one. The difficulty with me getting a 160 was that Megan was always faster than me at quotes. That match even had a quote for a 30, to which I barely beat her. The one real question of note was “In which chapters did Paul refer to God’s son with the two-word phrase, quote, “Jesus Christ”?” The last answer was “Philemon 1”, and I managed to say “Philemon” right as the timer went off. Brian said “Correct, but only because Philemon has one chapter”. We then beat Buffalo to end the day. At this point we left the church, not knowing the outcome of the Las Vegas/Tulsa match. If Tulsa won, both our team and Colorado Springs would have two more losses than Vegas. Colorado Springs was to play Vegas in the first round on Thursday and we were to play them the second round. If both of us beat Vegas, we would all three be tied for first. Tulsa was staying at our hotel and when they returned and we found out they beat Vegas, James almost kissed Caleb.

Thursday was the toughest day. Not only was there immense pressure to win our matches, but all three teams were tough. Toledo was our first match. It was tied at the end and on the overtime question, David Munn from Toledo hit too early and we won the match. Vegas came next. We had played Vegas four times that year and were 2-2 against them. It seemed every match we played against them was a blowout one way or another. The first 30 of the match was the 25 part answer “of Christ”s. Valerie hit it on the “H” of “How”, then proceeded to skip one of the answer, but before I could get too excited, she came back and gave it. Since “H” is a soft letter, I didn’t think that Greg, the quizmaster, had gotten it out. We contested and at least had one of the judges convinced. After being a quizmaster myself for several years, I now understand just how subtle things like that can be. The rest of the match went in Vegas’ favor. We lost 220 to 100. Going into our last match against Orange, if we won we would be third place and if we lost we would be tied for third place. This actually proved to be an extremely tense match. Ricky turned over a 30 early in the game. As we went into question 19, the game was sealed in our favor. Like a total idiot, I interrupted it and missed it, unsealing the game and quizzing out backward. That time out afterward was not pleasant, as it shouldn’t have been. The question was from Colossians 3. Megan interrupted on “Where is”. She completed it “Where is Christ seated?” and got it correct. Orange contested and ran out two minutes of the clock, then Kent basically said “We have no basis to contest and wanted to congratulate Central”.

The rest of Thursday also went quite well. The format for the individual competition was essentially the same as the previous year, except this time four quizzers were in a room and two moved on. The key to moving on was to get 40 or 50 points early on and do nothing else. This has worked in nearly every match I’ve witnessed, except the final matches. I believe there were five rounds that year. In one of the rounds there was a duplicate question from earlier in the tournament. Ironically enough, the quizmaster had misread it the first time, so I got to actually answer the question this time around. I made it all the way to the final match along with Jordan Schneider, Dan Marlow and Steve Patient. Jordan ended up winning the match and Dan was second. I turned over a 20 thanks to mishearing what book a reference question was from. Steve and I were tied at the end of the match and Greg read the sudden death 10. I hit the question wickedly early and managed to get it.

The quoting bee came next and I went out before the final round only to find out that I had been misquoting a verse all year long! The only event left was the east-west quiz. The west had quizzers 1, 2, 3 and 5. The east had 4, 7, 8 and 15. I missed three questions in that match, but since there were no quiz out backwards, I ended up getting two or three other questions and having a positive score. The west still won big, though. This match did feature the question with the most answers I’ve ever heard. It asked to list all the people and places in the books, with 44 answers. I hit is but got tripped up somewhere around the individuals in Colossians.

I don’t know if Valerie or Jordan would agree with me, but I genuinely think that the three of our teams were evenly matched that year. Valerie, Jordan and I finished within 8 points per game of each other. Vegas had a stronger second chair than us and Radiant, but we both had stronger third chairs than Vegas. Our disastrous first match against Braeswood and our controversial loss to East Lansing cost us at least a tie for first. However, despite its shortcomings, this nationals was a great experience.