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17-15 News: Semifinal – Amherst vs. Avon

FOR  RELEASE:  MAY 9, 2017 – 5/8/17 CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (



The Scholastic Games high school quiz, heard weekly on WEOL (AM 930), broadcast its first semifinal on Monday, May 8th,  as Avon High School, battled a highly competitive team from Amherst Steele to a 500 to 310 victory.  Avon will pursuing a second consecutive championship on the May 22nd broadcast when the team faces the winner of next week’s semifinal between Lake Ridge Academy and Olmsted Falls High School.  Both of these schools have won championship honors in past years, as has Steele.

Stamatis, left, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

The winning team consisted of Bree Collins, Sam Gerak, and team captain Alex Stamatis, who won his third “Standout Scholar Award,” a weekly $50 prize given to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team.    The Steele team consisted of Olivia Krugman, Emma Macartney, and team captain Nathan Frankart, a two-time Standout winner earlier this season.

Steele provided stiff competition throughout the contest, achieving a losing score higher than more than half of this season’s winning scores.  Avon’s near-perfect first round of questions ended with a 20 point advantage for that team.  The teams performed equally well in the usually challenging Current Events round, but the first buzzer round (focusing facts about lakes of the world) ended with a 50 point advantage for the Avon team.

The fourth round consists of up to several clues for each answer.  A correct response to the first clue yields fifty points while the final clue provides only ten, with intermediate scoring possibilities in between.  Stamatis scored 40 when he identified the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions from the first pair of clues.  More challenging subjects included the Pentagon, with Krugman scoring 20 for Amherst, then Thomas Jefferson, with 20 points scored by Avon’s Stamatis.  Macartney came back for Amherst with 30 points for identifying Queen Victoria and the round ended with Amherst’s Krugman scoring 40 by naming Iwo Jima from little more than the name of photographer Joe Rosenthal.   The ladies of Amherst Steele outscored their competitors in that round, but still trailed by twenty points.

A flurry of rapid-fire questions in the final round resulted in a frenzy of buzzing and correct answers.  Both teams scored exceptionally well, with a record-breaking 410 points amassed by the teams in that round alone, but the majority of points were on the Avon side, assuring the team’s advance to the championship.  With its 500-point final score, the Avon team bested its own record for highest score of the year.

A total of sixteen Lorain County public and private high schools have competed this year with two schools in competition each week.  The program is sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support.  Remaining broadcasts on WEOL (AM 930) are:

MONDAYS, 6:06 p.m. (5/15 is to be moved because of live sports coverage)

5/15, 5pm or 5/17, 6:05pm –SEMIFINAL 2 –Lake Ridge Acad. vs. Olmsted Falls

5/22  Championship: Avon vs. winner of semifinal 2

The teams are guided by faculty advisors.  Mr. Todd Sayers is the advisor to the Avon team and Mitch and Beth Gillam are co-advisors for Amherst Steele.  Continuing a 26-year tradition, each participating school will receive a $1000 tuition credit to be given to a deserving student that will attend an area college or university.  Additional credits are awarded to schools as they compete and win in playoffs.  Contributing institutions include Lorain County Community, Ashland University, Case Western Reserve, Heidelberg, John Carroll, Notre Dame College of Ohio, Baldwin Wallace University, Ohio Wesleyan, Oberlin College, Ursuline College, and Tiffin University, many of which have participated in this program for a number of years.

 Scholastic Games, on WEOL radio since 1990, is presented on the station by the Elyria Public Library System.  Production of the program is made possible by funding from Nordson Corporation, the Nord Family Foundation, the Community West Foundation, and the following funds administered by the Community Foundation of Lorain County:  the William J. and Flora Hearn Durling Fund, the Dorothy and Elizabeth King Memorial Charitable Fund, and the Miraldi and Barrett Fund.  The Elyria Public Library System and the Elyria Days Inn provide recording venues, and following broadcast, and offer the programs as “podcasts.”

A member of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Akron and Cleveland, the program’s producer, Jim Mehrling, is a veteran northeast Ohio broadcaster.  After seven years as Chief Announcer at WEOL, he was Production Manager at Cleveland’s WERE-AM for over a decade, and for over twenty years has been with Cleveland’s  WCLV-FM, now a part of Ideastream public broadcasting.  Again this year, most Scholastic Games programs will be followed by a talk feature, “Dialogues in Education,” which presents education success stories with its host, award-winning journalist Bob Tayek.



Attached Photos:

The academic team from Avon High School, left to right, Sam Gerak, Alex Stamatis and Bree Collins, were heard on the Scholastic Games quiz on WEOL Radio (AM 930).

The academic team from Amherst Marion L. Steele High School, left to right, Olivia Krugman, Nathan Frankart and Emma Macartney, were heard on the Scholastic Games quiz on WEOL Radio (AM 930).

Alex Stamatis, left, of  Avon High School, is congratulated by program producer Jim Mehrling for winning additional “Standout Scholar” honors on the Scholastic Games quiz program on WEOL radio (AM 930)