Radiant Life, Elkhart, IN
Coach: John Hunter. I have been coaching in Bible Quiz since 1980. I have coached at Nationals 4 times before so this will be my 5th. I have also been the Great Lakes Regional Coordinator and the Indiana District coordinator for several years but I am not holding those positions any longer. I quizzed myself when I was an 8th grader but my team never did make it out of District back in those days.
Jonathan Utley: Jonathan plans to have everything memorized before Nationals. He is a junior in high school.
Makena Schrock: Makena has earned the National memorization award. Makena is a sophomore.
Kenadee Schrock: Kenadee is an 8th grader.
Joshua Utley: Joshua is in the 8th grade
Lindsay Hershberger: Lindsey is also a sophomore.
Jonathan and Makena quizzed at Regionals last year where we lost three play-off rounds and obviously didn't make it to Nationals. Both quizzers were not nearly as well prepared last year and have worked hard to make it happen this year. We did wind up tied for 6th this year but won the play-off with Lexington #1 (I think they were actually the #2 Lexington team). While I didn't expect to make it to Nationals, my quizzers really wanted to and worked very hard to be in the position to recieve a wild card. We are really pleased and excited for the opportunity to go. We had a very good year this year in League quizzing. We took first in our league but at District Finals, Lafayette, Indiana (our chief rival) played great at Districts and won first. We were actually given a wildcard to Regionals as we were the 4th place team in Indiana. We lost at Regionals to the 5th place team from Indiana who also recieved a wildcard but we beat Lafayette, Lakeview and Munster (they all beat us at District) to move ahead of them at the Great Lakes Region. We went to two Invitationals this year but were only about 50/50 in the win column. We did win a few big matches this year though. At the Gobblefest, we beat Sarver (usually they mop the floor with us) but we won on the last question. At the Great Lakes Region we beat Lexington's teams for the first time in some time. We won on the last question against their top team and edged their second team both in the round robin and in a playoff. We have not beaten Lexington very many times over the years so that was exciting as they are a team we look up to and like a lot.
This team is one of the most fun I have ever coached. All year long I have basically asked them to just "learn the material". Makena would ask, "Do you think we can make it to Nationals?" I would just say do the work and any thing is possible. I didn't want to pressure them into working for "Nationals" so I just kept telling them that if they worked hard anything could happen. I think I missed more practices this year than these quizzers did combined. They always came excited and motivated. Not always ready but mostly they came prepared. It is great to see them make it to Nationals because I wasn't driving them to do it. I just wanted them to learn the material and see what happens. I don't think I can point to any one verse that these kids like. There are chapters they don't like as well as others but I think that is because they are still a weakness for them.
Most exciting match this season
The most exciting match of the year had to be against Lexington. I hope when or if they read this they don't take offense but we really have not done well against them and it was great to get a win. It could be that Lexington wasn't up on their game that round as that happens sometimes too but you take what you can in this type of situation. The fact that it went down to the last question showed me that my team was interrupting well and competing which was real important for us.
Favorite contest (weirdest, most clever, etc) On the first question of the play-off for sixth place at Great Lakes: My number three quizzer had a great hit on a ten point question. I don't even remember the question but she finished it and answered and they counted her wrong. After the re-read she was doing her confer and I was thinking that I am going to have to initiate a contest but as soon as time was called she called for the contest and we were both thinking the same thing. We presented the contest (Kenadee wouldn't do it so I had to) and we got it.
Favorite quiz question Only one verse contains dashes. Give this verse.
Tournaments attended this year
Favorite non-quiz related moment this year
There are just to many good times with this team to pick one out. I really like working with them and they are very easy to coach.
What opportunities has your team had to use Bible Quiz outside of the church?
I know that all of my quizzers are Christians and we have talked about our lives as Christians and how we live in the world but I can't point to any one instance to bring up right now. I appreciate these kids and their witness. I also have to say that I have the best parents in the world as they have been and are still a tremendous support to me.