Teen Nationals Recap: Naperville, IL completes “The Double”

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Calvary Church wins 2021 Teen and Junior titles, first time in AG Bible Quiz history; Atlanta Tamil Church wins Challenger Division in playoff

By Robert Carter

Note: This update of our original story includes corrections and adjustments to the Challenger Division individual standings that were made later Thursday afternoon.

ST. LOUIS, MO — Calvary Church of Naperville, Illinois has a long and storied history in all levels of Assemblies of God Bible Quiz, both Teen and Junior versions. But at the 2021 Teen National Finals, they did something that their BQ ministry had not done before, and in the process did something that no other church has done before. (Good two-part question in the making, eh?)

Naperville’s teen team, coached by Jolene Papendick Powell and consisting of four of her children, took the title with 17 wins and two losses, including two crucial victories on the final day of play Thursday to seal the championship. They finished two games clear of the Deeper Church “Ponraj Family” team from Burien, Washington and Central Assembly of Houston, Pennsylvania, who tied each other with a 15-4 record. Burien takes second place overall by virtual of a head-to-head tiebreaker, thanks to their 200-75 win over Houston in Round 7.

Trinity Church of Cedar Hill, Texas’ #1 team placed fourth with a 14-5 mark. Two other family teams tied with 13-6 records, with the Ramsey family of Springfield, Missouri taking fifth place over the Brookbanks of Colorado Springs, Colorado thanks to a 125-75 head-to-head win in Round 2.

The Challenger Division title came down to a playoff match, as Atlanta Tamil Church of Norcross, Georgia made the playoff on the very last question of the 19th and last game in round robin play. With two teams tied at 16-2, they then went immediately into the playoff game against Living Waters Bible Church of San Diego, California, and won the trophy with a 155-70 victory.

Braeswood Assembly of Houston, Texas was third with a 15-3 record. Lexington (Kentucky) First Assembly was fourth at 14-4, and The Bridge from Mustang, Oklahoma took fifth with a 13-5 record.

In the individual quizzer standings of the Championship Division, Zachary Ponraj of Burien emerged at the top, but it was down to the wire. Ponraj score 2,140 points in 19 rounds, beating out Joshua Barajas of Cedar Hill by just 30 points. The two were tied going into the final game, with Barajas scoring 120 points in the tilt against the Ramseys. But Ponraj played to absolute perfection — literally — with five correct questions and a perfect 150-point quiz-out in his team’s win over Journey Life Church of Holt, Michigan. Ponraj and Barajas each had 16 quiz-outs, but Ponraj had a slightly better conversion percentage, answering 83% attempted questions correctly compared to Barajas’ 81%.

Samuel Jebaraj of Bethel Church, San Jose, California placed third with 1,985 points. Shreanna Powell of Naperville was third with 1,975 points, and Nigus Dawit of Word of Life Assembly in Springfield, Virginia came in fifth with 1,955 points.

In the Challenger Division, Gideon Thomas of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis was the top individual scorer. He tallied 2,120 points over 18 rounds of play for an average of 111.6 points per game, plus 16 quiz-outs and an 86% conversion percentage. Precious Cyrus-David of Houston Braeswood was second with 2,015 points, Kyli Ladd of Open Bible Church in Rapid City, South Dakota placed third with 1,810 points, Elizibeth Li of San Diego took fourth with 1,780 points, and Shreya Joy of Atlanta Indian Prayer Fellowship in Marietta, Georgia was fifth with 1,755 points.

Thursday’s competition concludes with the Individual Tournament, where quizzers compete on their own against three other quizzers in a bracket-format playoff. The 2021 National Finals ends with Friday evening’s awards ceremony at the Renaissance Airport Hotel in St. Louis.

CHAMPION DIVISION TEAM FINAL STANDINGS

PosTeam / ChurchW / LPtsAvgQ/O
1Calvary Church “J,” Naperville, IL17/24030212.134
2Deeper Church “Ponraj Family”, Burien, WA15/43880204.231
3Central Assembly, Houston, PA15/43310174.223
4Trinity Church #1, Cedar Hill, TX14/53525185.529
5Ramsey Family, Springfield, MO13/63245170.827
6Colorado Springs, CO Assembly “The Brookbanks”13/63335175.526
7Trinity Church “Terrifying Sights,” Cedar Hill, TX12/72475130.319
8Redeemer Church, Utica, NY12/72880151.623
9Bethel Church, San Jose, CA10/93110163.724
10Living Hope Church, Swedesboro, NJ9/102315121.817
11Calvary Church “S,” Naperville, IL9/102310121.618
12Radiant Life Church, Dublin, OH8/11239512615
13Journey Life Church, Holt, MI8/112075109.214
14Bellevue Church, Bellevue, WA7/122175114.513
15Cedar Park Church, Bothell, WA7/122180114.715
16Carolinas Christian Assembly, Charlotte, NC6/13189599.714
17Word of Life Assembly, Springfield, VA6/132625138.220
18First at Firewheel, Garland, TX5/142200115.818
19CrossPoint AG, Portage, WI3/16126566.64
20New Life Assembly, Sparta, WI1/18131569.28

CHAMPIONSHIP INDIVIDUALS

PosQuizzerTeam / ChurchPtsAvgQ/O
1Zachary PonrajDeeper Church, Burien, WA2140112.616
2Joshua BarajasTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX2110111.116
3 Samuel Jebaraj Bethel Church, San Jose, CA 1985104.516
4 Shreanna Powell Calvary Church, Naperville, IL 1975 103.916
5Nigus DawitWord of Life Assembly, Springfield, VA1955102.915
6Cameron RamseyRamsey Family, Springfield, MO174591.812
7Seth RobertsonCentral Assembly, Houston, PA166587.612
8Sheldon PowellCalvary Church, Naperville, IL165587.117
9Camden HaneyTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX161084.712
10Toby HillLiving Hope Church, Swedesboro, NJ158083.210
11Rachel BrookbankThe Brookbanks, Colorado Springs, CO153580.810
12Jayden NimakoRadiant Life Church, Dublin, OH152580.310
13Sam ClinstonBellevue Church, Bellevue, WA149078.412
14Shawn TimothyCalvary Church, Naperville, IL144576.19
15Alex JarrellCedar Park Church, Bothell, WA132069.510
16Kaitlyn RamseyRamsey Family, Springfield, MO130568.715
17Darcie HarrJourney Life Church, Holt, MI130568.76
18Zane BrownFirst at Firewheel, Garland, TX124565.513
19Graham HoffmannRedeemer Church, Utica, NY118062.112
20Christian StevensRedeemer Church, Utica, NY108056.89
21Jehosh JebarajCarolinas Christian Assembly, Charlotte, NC102553.99
22Noah ClaunchTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX101553.411
23Hadassah BrookbankThe Brookbanks, Colorado Springs, CO101053.28
24Cole AbbottNew Life Assembly, Sparta, WI97051.18
25Joanne RameshFirst at Firewheel, Garland, TX950505
26Simeon PonrajDeeper Church, Burien, WA91548.210
27Emma SchoessowCrossPoint AG, Portage, WI89547.14
28Hansel JohnBethel Church, San Jose, CA88546.67
29Logan WebbCentral Assembly, Houston, PA87045.85
30Elaina PonrajDeeper Church, Burien, WA84544.55
31Josiah BrookbankThe Brookbanks, Colorado Springs, CO82543.48
32Harrison StevensCalvary Church, Naperville, IL79041.69
33Amaya KocherCentral Assembly, Houston, PA77540.86
34Janelle NimakoRadiant Life Church, Dublin, OH760405
35Jonathan MafeJourney Life Church, Holt, MI75539.78
36Micah DeSanto13 Living Hope Swedesboro, NJ74038.97
37Emily ThomasCarolinas Christian Assembly, Charlotte, NC71537.65
38Josi HaugoCedar Park Church, Bothell, WA60531.84
39Seth ChristopherWord of Life Assembly, Springfield, VA570305
40Elizabeth GodavarthiBellevue Church, Bellevue, WA44523.41
41Aaron HoffmannRedeemer Church, Utica, NY42022.12
42Joseph BarajasTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX41021.64
43Joy EscobarTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX36018.93
44Shaymis PowellCalvary Church, Naperville, IL35518.71
45Bryce HelgersonNew Life Assembly, Sparta, WI35018.4 
46Ava SchoessowCrossPoint AG, Portage, WI30516.1 
47Krysle JohnBethel Church, San Jose, CA27014.21
48Julia SullivanTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX26513.92
49Lilli HaugoCedar Park Church, Bothell, WA25513.41
50Glory StevensRedeemer Church, Utica, NY21511.3 
 Ryan MattaBellevue Church, Bellevue, WA21511.3 
51Alyssa RamseyRamsey Family, Springfield, MO19510.3 
52Elijah LeeTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX1457.6 
53Jacob ThomasCarolinas Christian Assembly, Charlotte, NC1407.4 
54Abel KarthikRadiant Life Church, Dublin, OH1256.6 
55Aulora SullivanTrinity Church, Cedar Hill TX1005.3 
 David Kwabi-AddoWord of Life Assembly, Springfield, VA1005.3 
56Maddie ClementsCrossPoint AG, Portage, WI653.4 
57Shaylee PowellCalvary Church, Naperville, IL603.2 
58Reagan StevensCalvary Church, Naperville, IL552.9 
59Avinash PoguluriBellevue Church, Bellevue, WA502.6 
60Cierra ConvisJourney Life Church, Holt, MI351.8 
61Pierce StevensCalvary Church, Naperville, IL201.1 
62Ndubueze EchefuFirst at Firewheel, Garland, TX150.8 
 Eric CartyLiving Hope Church, Swedesboro, NJ150.8 
 Jerusha JebarajCarolinas Christian Assembly, Charlotte, NC150.8 

Challenger Division stats to be posted shortly.