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Local kids take 15th at national Junior Bible Quiz

David and Caleb Blomberg, left to right, with the many trophies, medals, ribbons and other awards they won during the most recent season of Junior Bible Quiz competitions. Marie Nitke/FOCUS1 / 2
The iQuiz Junior Bible Quiz group at nationals in Texas. They are, front row, left to right: Jason Rapp, Joelle Rapp, Caleb Blomberg, David Blomberg, Owen Covey, Mitchell Covey and coach Tamara Rapp. Back row: coaches David Blomberg and Jeff Rapp. Submitted photo2 / 2

Two young brothers from Dent have made an impressive showing at the 2013 National Junior Bible Quiz competition.

Caleb and David Blomberg, as part of a team called iQuiz out of New Richmond, Wisc., placed 15th out of more than 2,000 total teams in the country.

The boys were all smiles during an interview last week, their numerous trophies, medals and pins gleaming in front of them as they talked about the competition.

"I like it because it's a game, but you're actually learning," said David, the younger of the two at age 9. "It's fun. You try to beat the other kids."

"I liked going up on stage and getting a plaque at the end," added older brother Caleb, 11.

Caleb had even more reason to celebrate, as he earned the Master Quoter award, a very difficult-to-win title. To be a Master Quoter, he had to complete every one of 108 Bible quotation questions given to him; before the cut-off point and in one sitting, he had to recite every quotation perfectly, as well as give the reference for each quote, without any mistakes.

In the interview, the boys' mom, Stephanie, said only 222 other kids in the nation have ever earned the Master Quoter award.

"Well, that'll be 223!" interjected David with a laugh, pointing to himself confidently.

He hopes to win the title next year.

And, if things keep going as they have been, he has a good shot at doing it: both boys have been getting better and better as quizzers. Caleb has been competing for three years, and David for two. Last year, the boys' team went to nationals for the first time, taking 65th place.

"It seems our team has always improved from year to year," said Caleb.

With all the work they put into it, it's no wonder why.

Caleb and David study for the quizzes virtually every day during the school year, practicing with their parents and each other, listening to questions and answers on their iPods when they go to bed, and playing Junior Bible Quiz games on the internet. It all helps them get faster and more accurate, molding them into better, more knowledgeable competitors.

Stephanie said she and her husband, David Sr., are very proud of their boys for their hard work and dedication, and are "so thankful they are getting the word of God into their hearts."

The 2013 Junior Bible Quiz competition was held June 6-8 in Dallas, Texas. A total of 80 teams from all over the country qualified to compete. All teams consisted of kids in grades third through sixth.

Competitors faced off against each other at tables of two teams each, the teams sitting end-to-end, with each quizzer having his or her own buzzer. A quiz master starts reading a question, but stops before the question is complete. Part of the kids' challenge is to know what question the quiz master was about to ask; then, they have to finish that question as well as give the answer.

There are 20 questions per round, some of which test general Bible knowledge and some quotation questions that must be answered word-for-word.

Making it to the national level of competition is no easy feat. For the Brombergs, it meant regular practices, monthly league meets October through March, a state competition, and then regionals. Their team placed second in league, third in state and fourth in regionals.

It was a lot of traveling for the family, especially since they're a part of a team that's about five hours away. Before next year, Stephanie said, they'll consider joining a more local team out of Fergus Falls.

The trouble with that, though, is the boys have made some good friends with their teammates, and it would be hard to give that up now. Caleb said his favorite thing about Junior Bible Quiz is "seeing my friends and spending time with them."

Caleb has one more year in which he's eligible to participate in Junior Bible Quiz, and David has two. After that, they'll have to decide whether to continue on at the teen level, which is open to seventh through 12th graders.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa. 

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