Odessa girls enjoy Bible Drill success
ODESSA—Katie Poggemeier, the Missouri State Youth representative, was named National Youth Bible Drill Champion on June 8 in Raleigh, N.C.
Poggemeier, a seventh-grader from First Baptist Church, Odessa, finished with a perfect drill and the highest number of bonus points. The Missouri State High School representative, Krystal Weigum, tied for third place in the High School Division. Weigum is an 11th-grader from First Odessa. Starting with a local church drill, Poggemeier and Weigum went to on to compete against 30 other teenagers in the Missouri State Drill in Jefferson City where they both took first place in their respective age divisions.
At the national competition, Poggemeier competed against 14 other top drillers from around the United States. A preliminary round took place at 1 p.m. Six students passed through the first drill to compete in the finals at 4 p.m.
“The final six were all girls,” Poggemeier said. “I thought that was neat.”
Weigum competed against eight other high school participants in one round. “One final round made the competition pretty scary!” she said.
The remaining participants in the Youth Division faced a panel of judges that issue “calls” pertaining to scripture references and book identification.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Poggemeier said. “The pressure was on because we had to go on a stage in front of everyone—and everyone competing was really good.”
Each driller had eight seconds to find the scripture, step forward, and answer the call.
“We have eight seconds to find the scripture,” Poggemeier said, “but in nationals, everyone knew the answer in five or six seconds.” With determination, Poggemeier led the pack in answering each call.
The final competition consisted of five identifiable sections: the books of the Bible; 25 identifying verses; doctrinal passages; Bible answers; and five verses chosen by the leader from any location in the Bible.
The winners were announced later that evening at a banquet for all of the Bible Drill participants and their families.
“The banquet was really nice,” Weigum recalled. “It was catered and there was live entertainment.”
For both girls, the best part of the evening was the awards ceremony.
“It was very exciting,” Poggemeier said. “I had to wait until the awards banquet that night to find out who won. Everyone was awarded a small trophy, and plaques were given out for perfect scores.” The national champions for Youth and High School Bible Drill were awarded with large championship trophies.
To make it fair, each student was issued a Bible Drill Bible. This was a challenge for the drillers.
The girls and their Bible Drill leader, Betsy Hodges, came up with creative practice drills.
“Betsy trained me,” Poggemeier said. “We had a stack of Bibles and after every question we would switch the Bible so I would get comfortable using lots of different ones. We would practice several times a week—and I would practice everyday on my own so I would keep getting faster.”
Weigum used different opportunities throughout the day to sharpen her skills.
“After practicing three times a week at church, I would study during study hall at school,” she said.
Hodges taught the girls a saying to aid in their motivation.
“Betsy would tell us it is really important to practice everyday until you know—that you know—that you know it!” Poggemeier exclaimed.
The Bible Drill ministry has done much more than just aiding students in knowing Scripture. It has taught them to hide the Word of God in their hearts.
“It helps me know what to do at different times in my life,” Weigum explained. “When I am discouraged, it helps me think of uplifting verses and apply them to my life.”
Poggemeier said Bible Drill has certainly impacted her walk with Christ.
“By memorizing Scripture, I know about Him more—the things He tells us and the promises that He has made.”