The following recollections were written by Daniel Wagner of the national championship team from Owasso, OK. Daniel also won the individual tournament.
Round 9: Bothell. Mrs. Fortunato’s room.
We came out firing, getting the first three. Then Brandon had an excellent hit on the 30, which we usually own. We got the next one. And then disaster for us and life for Bothell struck. Josh hadn’t all week and wouldn’t, for the rest of the tournament, miss a quote. But something strange, very unorthodox happened. We kept on hitting, and Josh had an excellent hit on a twenty for a quote. He finished the question with no problem, but then mis-quoted. If you know Josh, and know how he quizzes, he doesn’t miss quotes. So, on the reread, Jenna-jo comes alive, and answers it correctly, of course. A few questions later, Josh gets another perfect hit, and finishes the question perfectly. He sat there for a few seconds, and I began to get nervous, and then, as he started to quote, my shoulders slumped. He described it later as being able to see the verse in his mind, and just not being able to quote it, like he had all year. So, after Jenna-Jo gets another thirty, another question that we had owned all week, we were down 75 with only a few question to go. Then I hit another, and I think that Brandon and his sister started to realize that we were definitely not going to go down quietly. So, the next thirty, Jenna-Jo hits far too early, and turns it over, and I take it to quiz out. All of the sudden, over the course of a few questions, we’re now up by a few points. Now it’s in my brothers hands. Josh hits the next one, a quote nonetheless, and finally answers perfectly. So now Bothell needs the last three. Brandon got the first one, but on question 19, Josh buzzed in quickly and had a perfect hit on a ten. As he took about 25 seconds to make sure he had the answer correct, my heart pounded, but he pulled it out. It was the best match I’ve ever been a part of, and I am still very surprised that it was not taped.
Round 18: Garfield. Mrs. Steele’s room.
This was messier than I would have liked. Due to a few wrong on our part, New Jersey was up by thirty with about 8 questions to go. I had three right, two wrong, and Josh and Jesse hadn’t been very big factors thus far. I know I needed to play it safe, but I also knew that a quizout would be very appreciated. Josh had an amazing hit on the last thirty. So now we were a little more evened up. With only a few questions to go, it was still very close, and I still only had three, and still two wrong. I knew I needed to get in, so on a statement and 2 part quotation question, I buzzed in early, and not a key word awaited me, but rather, “two verses”. As i sat there, I knew had had messed up big time. It would have been really bad for me to go out backward. So I just sat there, and prayed God would help me out, and I said “two verses refer to Jesus as a Nazarene. quote and give the complete references for these verses”. When the judges started following along, my heart jumped out of my chest, and I got very excited. I knew I couldn’t quote it again, but I gave those references about four times. I got it correct, and had an excellent hit on the next twenty to quiz out. That was closer than we would have liked.
Round 19: O’Fallon. Mrs. Turner’s room.
Going into the last match, I had no idea what needed to be done. Personally, I thought we had already won. Turns out, we needed to win the last one to avoid a playoff. So it was a good thing when Josh, Jesse and I came out of the gates ready. Josh really had a few nice hits, and quizzed out pretty early. Jesse and I both had a few questions right, and by question 14, my Dad called a time-out, and informed us that we had just won Nationals 2009. I didn’t really dwell on that for a while, because I wanted to make sure that was true, and quiz out. And I did just that, and was out a few questions later. Moments later, we had 300 points, and were announced the 2009 National Bible Quiz Champions. And just a few moments after that, my teammates and coaches and I very emotionally congratulated each other. It was an amazing journey, and it was an amazing ending.