The following recollections were written by Tyler Turnage, third high scorer at the 2003 National Finals. These are also the only round-by-round results we have.
Round 1: Vs. Dallas, TX
We dropped our opener to Dallas, who was captained by Michael Pearson. He was the #1 quizzer over Luke 2 years before, and I think that because of that, I had already conceded mentally that we probably wouldn’t win (not a good way to quiz!). We proceeded to lose, with Michael quizzing out with 140, and I quizzed out with 135.
Final: Dallas, TX 195- Fond du Lac, WI 155. Record: 0-1
Round 2: Vs. Fort Myers, FL
We won our second game, no thanks to me. Their 1st chair beat me in on the 8 Part Answer “The word ‘Jewish’ is used to describe what”, which was one of my favorite questions. The second 30 of the match was “18 Part Answer. Jesus…” at which point I slammed my buzzer. I’m not sure if I was thinking “Jesus is named in which chapters” (which was dumb in and of itself, considering John has 21 chapters!), but it was way too early, and I couldn’t think of a thing. It turned out to be “Jesus made which exclamations”, which I didn’t know. I proceeded to quiz out backwards with 60, but my teammate, Zach Schaalma, quizzed out with 80 points to give us the match.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 140-Fort Myers, FL 95 Record: 1-1
Round 3: Vs. West Lafayette, IN
This was my worst game of Nationals that year. I don’t actually remember much from that game, except sitting on the bench kicking myself during the last 5 or 6 questions, having quizzed out backwards, and quietly tearing up the back cover of my portion out of frustration (the cover had fallen off months ago).
Final: West Lafayette, IN 150-Fond du Lac, WI 10 Record: 1-2
Round 4: Vs. Lexington, KY
We had gone 6-1 in the prelims the day before, our lone loss coming at the hands of Lexington, 130-65, who had an amazing 9th grader named Jon Galliers, who I hadn’t heard of before. I had gone out backwards, and it was the only blemish on what was a pretty good Monday. Because of our disappointment at having lost to them the previous day, coupled with our loss in Round 3 to West Lafayette, we came out flying against Lexington this time. Zach gobbled up question 1 for 10, I snatched question 2 for 20, question 3 for 30, and question 4 for 20 more. Zach snagged question 5 for 10 points, and we were already up 100-0. Lexington called timeout, and came out of the break fired up and grabbed the next few questions, but we continued to quiz well. I quizzed out with 115, and we were able to close it out.
Final: Fond du Lac 170- Lexington, KY 60 Record: 2-2
Round 5: Vs. Ames, IA
Ames was one of 3 teams in our region to make it to the Championship division that year. The round must not have been too interesting, because I don’t remember much from it. Except that I tried a 30 which I hadn’t studied, but thought I could pull off (I was infamous for doing that!). And true to form when I did such things, I didn’t get it. Fortunately, it didn’t affect the match’s outcome. I still quizzed out with 100.
Final: Fond du Lac 155- Ames, IA 20 Record: 3-2
Round 6: Vs. Monroeville, PA
We didn’t do so well this round. On question 3, the game turned drastically. The score was 10-0, them, before question 3, which was a 30. Their 1st chair missed it, and I picked up the reread, giving us a 30 to -5 lead. But then they contested the validity of the question, and it was thrown out. The sub was a 3 Part Ref. Quotation Question, 4 Part Answer, asking for the verses with the phrases “other side of the Jordan”, “other side of the lake” and “other side of the Kidron Valley”. I knew all the verses, but hadn’t actually studied for that particular question. I hit it with a word or two left in the question, didn’t finish it in time, and turned it over. Their first chair got it, and we were down 40 to -15. We never recovered, and I wound up going out backwards with 45.
Final: Monroeville, PA 195- Fond du Lac 80 Record: 3-3
Round 7: Vs. Murfreesboro, TN
This was the best round I ever had in National round robin play. I quizzed out with 150 points, my highest total in a non-prelim national match. When I look back, I don’t mind that I didn’t get a 160 (which was a perfect game at that time), because the other team beat me in on the first 30, and I didn’t know it any way.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 185- Murfreesboro, TN 100 Record: 4-3
Round 8: Vs. Fort Worth, TX
The previous year at Nationals, we had lost to Fort Worth, 185-135, even though I had quizzed out with 140. Fortunately, we didn’t offer a repeat performance. I got the “Son of” question that round. And coincidentally, the question asking for the 1-word exclamations came up against them. This was interesting, because when we quizzed Fort Worth at Nationals over Luke in 2001, the 1-word exclamations question came up, and I got it that time, as well. I quizzed out with 100, and we won.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 150- Fort Worth, TX 5 Record: 5-3
Round 9: Vs. Orange Hills, CA
One of my biggest weaknesses as a quizzer was that I allowed myself to be intimated. If I didn’t think we were going to beat you, I pretty much conceded the match going into it. Not that it would have mattered against Orange Hills, who were on their way to their 2nd National championship in a row, going undefeated both years. I scored 40 points that round, both off rereads. I couldn’t get in against them. It was over before it even started.
Final: Orange Hills, CA 245- Fond du Lac, WI 45 Record: 5-4
Round 10: Vs. East Lansing, MI
First rounds of the day have always been my worst. Wednesday’s opening round proved no differently. The geographical location question came up that round. I knew that question inside and out, backwards and forwards. I also knew that I wasn’t sure about 2 of the answers. This was before they printed the Chapter Analysis in the Scripture portions, and I hadn’t bought the official Chapter Analysis. I didn’t know if “Pool of Siloam” and “Siloam” were considered the same place, or if “Place of the Skull” and “Golgotha” were considered to be the same place. I had practiced the question as a 25 Part Answer, and knew to include all the before mentioned places as alternates, should the question require 26 or 27 answers. The writer asked for 26 answers. I said my 25 answers, including “Pool of Siloam” and “Golgotha”, like I’d practiced for months. Then I went back and said “Place of the Skull”, but my brain froze on me, and I couldn’t remember Siloam! It turned out that Siloam and Pool of Siloam were considered to be different places, and I was called wrong, and lost both a validity contest and a correctness of my answer contest. Fortunately, Zach was able to guide us to a victory with 60 points, after I went out backwards with 5.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 85-East Lansing, MI 15 Record: 6-4
Round 11: Vs. Lebanon, PA
This is another match for which I don’t really have any recollections. Probably has something to do with the fact that I didn’t do well and we dropped the match. For those keeping score at home, I went out backwards for the 4th time, with 50.
Final: Lebanon, PA 185- Fond du Lac, WI 55 Record : 6-5
Round 12: Vs. (Braeswood) Houston, TX
This game came down to the wire. I quizzed well, and quizzed out on question 17 with 120 points. The score was 145-110 when I quizzed out. Braeswood grabbed questions 18 and 19 for 10 and 20 points, pulling within 5. All I could do was sit on the bench and pray. They had a guy who could hit 10s as fast as anyone I’d ever seen, and he had done so throughout the match. But unfortunately, the last 10 was STQ and not very quizzer friendly. He hit on like the 2nd or 3rd word, and it was impossible to figure out the question. We picked up the re-read, though we had already won the match.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 155-Houston, TX 135 Record: 7-5
Round 13: Vs. Orlando, FL
We had already played them in prelims and won, and fortunately, we were able to do well against them again. That round contained one of the most interesting questions of the tournament. “7 Part Reference Question. 9 Part Answer. What is described as “John’s”, as “Peter’s”, as Jacob’s”, as “David’s”, as “Abraham’s”, as “Solomon’s”, and as “Pilate’s”? I didn’t know it, but it was a fun question to hear. I wound up quizzing out with 140.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 140-Orlando, FL 85 Record: 8-5
Round 14: Vs. Bethel Park, PA
We didn’t do too well this round. The only thing I remember from this round is that I contested concerning a short-lived rule about a “linear set of Scripture”. To this day, I still don’t understand what that rule meant (and I’m not sure if anyone else quite did either!). As I was contesting the correctness of my answer based on that rule, I was reading the rule to the judges and suddenly realized that the rule meant the opposite of what I was saying it meant. Figuring I had lost the contest, I wrapped up my presentation and sat down. But, like I said, the rule was confusing for judges too, and they wound up ruling me correct. Not that it really mattered, because we wound up losing, and I went out backwards for the 5th time, with 40.
Final: Bethel Park, PA 135- Fond du Lac 50 Record: 8-6
Round 15: Vs. Dunwoody, GA
Quizzing against John Porter’s teams always made me nervous, and like when we played Dallas and Orange Hills, I went into the match, thinking we probably didn’t have a shot. But we hung in there. Question 2 was a 30 pointer that Brandon Porter interrupted. “From the section titled “Jesus Talks with a Samaritan Woman”. Give…” He beat me in and started “Give all Jesus’ words”, which was exactly what I was thinking. But after about 15 seconds, it became apparent that he might not get everything in. I started racing through the material in my mind, practicing saying all Jesus’ words. Time ran out and they re-read it to us. “Give all the Samaritan woman’s words”. I was thrown for a loop. I probably still should have gotten it, but the woman talked in 8 different verses in that section, and I couldn’t pull it off. The match was really close and came down to question 19, which was a 20. We were up 45-30 (ugly game!) and trying to ice the game, I hit to early on the 20, and turned it over; Brandon got it, and sealed the match. I went out backwards for the 6th (and final) time with 15.
Final: Dunwoody, GA 70- Fond du Lac, WI 35 Record: 8-7
Round 16: Vs. Indianapolis, IN
After the close loss to Dunwoody, something changed. I was going through a lot of personal issues that year, especially during Nationals. I had had only 45 minutes of sleep Tuesday night (actually it was Wednesday morning from about 6:00 to 6:45), having been unable to sleep. With 2 matches to go on Wednesday, I was frustrated with my some of my poor performances, knowing that I had cost us some matches. It was weird, because traditionally I have always quizzed poorly when I get upset with myself. But this time, it didn’t happen. I quizzed out with 140, and we took the match.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 165- Indianapolis, IN 45 Record: 9-7
Round 17: Superior, WI
Superior, was our arch-rivals; for 3 years, we’d been the top two teams in WI and the North Central region. In 2001, we won our District finals, but they topped us at Regionals and Nationals. In 2002, they won at Districts, we knocked them off at Regionals, but they got the better of us again at Nationals (with me losing the game on question 20). In 2003, they had topped us at Districts and Regionals. This was the last of many, many times I would be quizzing against my best friends/arch-enemies in the world of quiz (For those who don’t know, my wife, Hannah, quizzed against me for 4 years with Superior!). By this point on Wednesday, I was running on fumes as my inability to sleep the previous night was beginning to take its toll. Question 14 was “2 Part Answer”. Which colors are mentioned?” I hadn’t studied the question, but for some reason, I slapped it any way. So I went through the colors of the rainbow in my head. Said out loud “purple” (thinking of Jesus’ robe). Thought to myself, what are the other basic colors? Black, gray, white. Said out loud “white” (like the angels in chapter 20). Got it right. I quizzed out on question 17 with 125 points to put the match out of reach. We had finally managed to beat our biggest rivals.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 145- Superior, WI 140 Record: 10-7
Round 18: Bothell, WA
I had gotten hot the last 2 matches the previous day, and I managed to take it into the first of our final two matches on Thursday. I came as close to getting a perfect game as I ever had. I quizzed out with 135, because I missed a 30 that I knew, but my brain quit on me for a few seconds (it was a Give a Complete Answer from 9 consecutive verses, and my brain died on me in the middle!). I quizzed out on question 14, and had to watch the last 6 questions in agony from the bench. There were still enough points for Bothell to come back. But one of their quizzers uncharacteristically missed a chapter analysis 20, and we were able to hold on.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 150- Bothell, WA 145 Record: 11-7
Round 19: San Angelo, TX
We found out before the match that San Angelo had to win the match in order to clinch 2nd place. Their 1st chair, Zach Sullivan, would wind up placing 1st in the Championship individually that year. My coach told me to do whatever I had to get myself mentally ready for this game. So as we waited for the previous round to finish up, I paced the halls with my CD player going in my ears. This always worked better to focus me than quoting or studying did. The 30s in the match were ridiculously difficult. The first one asked for the 2 verses that ended and the 3 verses that began with the name John (referring to the Baptist). The second 30 pointer was “Statement and Question. 9 Part Answer. Although only 4 females are named in the book of John, nine females are mentioned. List them”. Then the third 30 pointer asked for the 14 questions that one or more of the disciples asked Jesus. All three 30s went unanswered. This helped us to keep pace with San Angelo. But my teammate, Zach Schaalma, had a rough match and went out backwards on question 10. My coach called timeout, and Zach apologized to me for going out backwards. I told him “It’s all right. We’ll be ok.” I don’t know how I knew that, but somehow I did. We were still about even with San Angelo at that point, and I only had 2 questions so far. Somehow I knew, even with half the match to go, we could still hang on. I nailed the next 20 and 10, and managed to snag another 20, for 5 correct (back when 6 questions was a quizout). By question 19, we were up 80-70, with a 20 and 10 remaining. Question 19 was 20 pointer, “2 Part Reference Quotation Question. Quote the verse that mentions “La..” I slammed my buzzer, trying to figure out what word the quizmaster had started. I used up about 18 seconds, before I figured out that the word must have been Lazarus. The only thing that I could think of that was associated with Lazarus was the cloth on his face when he emerged from the tomb. My mind immediately knew that this was it and I spit out “Lazarus’ burial cloth and the verse that mentions Jesus’ burial cloth”. I spit out the verses and finished just a hair before the timer went off. I was ruled correct, and quizzed out with 120 points in my final match as a Teen quizzer. My mom, who had been traveling with us to all of our National matches that year, hugged me, crying.
Final: Fond du Lac, WI 110- San Angelo, TX 65 Record: 12-7
Later, I found out that that win over that 2nd best team in the country put us alone for 4th place, which meant we received a team trophy, something I didn’t even dream was possible before we went to Nationals that year. I also found out that because of my strong finish in the last 4 rounds (140, 125, 135, 120), I had jumped from 6th or 7th to 3rd overall, another thing I didn’t think was possible before we went to Nationals. I still don’t know why God granted me favor during those last rounds to do as well as I was able to. But I still thank him for it, to this day, because I know myself and how I quiz and what my mindset has to be in order to quiz well. And on Wednesday and Thursday, I wasn’t there mentally to do my best. But God, in his grace, allowed our team and myself individually to succeed more than we thought possible, in the midst of trying times for myself, personally. Because we lacked the funds to do so, our team never went to any tournaments during the 6 years I quizzed. I went to one tournament as a “hired gun” with Superior in 2001, but that was it. Linda Schaalma, Zach’s mom, told us throughout my senior year that she was praying that God would allow a team to do well who couldn’t afford to go to tournaments like the other top teams. That year, we even debated whether or not to go to Nationals, because the expense was so high. But we were able to go, and God answered her prayer, as we were able to finish much higher than any of us dreamed that we could.