Five minutes with Joyce Creed

Academic team coach relives her team's defeat of state powerhouse to win state tournament.

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Academic Team coach Joyce Creed was as surprised as her five students when their Corn Bible Academy (CBA) team beat powerhouse Drummond High School for first place in Class A at this year’s Oklahoma state academic tournament.  Creed, a CBA Bible teacher and member of Bible MB Church in Cordell, just completed her 14th year as CBA’s academic coach.

 Why was it such a surprise to win?

In our second round, Drummond crushed us, which put us in the losers’ bracket. But the kids kept smiling. Drummond had won the state championship 17 times in the last 20 years. When we actually worked our way back to the top of the bracket, we expected Drummond would beat us again, because, being double elimination, we would have to do the unthinkable and beat them twice in a row—which we did.

What was a key moment of the match?

In the 60-second round, the team picks a topic and answers 10 questions in a minute. When our kids picked “Probability with Marbles,” I froze. This could be a disaster. Once they got the first two answers, my assistant, Mr. Thiessen, the math teacher, relaxed; they knew the formula. Math really pulled us over the top.

What does a winning team need to know?

Books and authors; art and artists. They should be familiar with constitutional amendments, state and national capitals and the top 10 people in categories like architecture, philosophy, chemistry and music. Questions come from all academic subjects, but also topics like cooking, auto mechanics or sports. We prepare and prepare and prepare. I’ve taken some really good teams to state, but a good team doesn’t guarantee a win. You just never know.

What makes a good team member?

The 2017-18 Corn Bible Academy academic team is the Oklahoma Class A champions.

You should be curious about everything not just one subject. And you have to be willing to take a risk, not be afraid to answer wrong. Most of this team has been together since seventh grade. They get along well and enjoy what they’re doing.

What can Christians learn from the academic team community?

All Christians need to study for themselves, not just rely on the Internet for answers. Then have faith in what you’ve learned. If you think you’re right, go ahead—take the chance to speak up.

Interview by Kathy Heinrichs Wiest

Kathy Heinrichs Wiest
Kathy Heinrichs Wiest is a freelance writer who loves the smell of whole wheat bread in the oven, the feel of an orange being plucked from the tree and the view from her front porch in Kingsburg, California. On Sunday mornings you’ll find her in the fourth pew from the front on the left at Kingsburg MB Church, moved by the hymns and praise songs and inspired by the stories of God at work locally and around the world. She and her husband, Steve, own Dovetail Remodeling. They have two grown daughters, one son-in-law and a precious granddaughter.

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