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17-16 News – Semifinal: Lake Ridge vs. Olmsted Falls



 The Scholastic Games high school quiz, heard weekly on WEOL (AM 930), broadcast its second semifinal this week, setting the stage for next week’s final competition to pit Olmsted Falls High School against defending champion Avon High School.  This week’s contest ended with  a 430 to 190 victory for Olmsted Falls High School over Lake Ridge Academy.  Lake Ridge actually held the lead through most of the competition but was overwhelmed by OF’s domination of a fast-moving final round.

Calabrase, right, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

The championship-bound Olmsted Falls team consisted of Ben Meredyk, Eric Andrews, and acting team captain Joey Calabrase, who earned the program’s “Standout Scholar Award,” a weekly $50 prize given to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team.  The Lake Ridge team consisted of Carter English, Quinn Sekreta, and acting team captain Katelyn Mihu.  The outcome was especially unpredictable as both teams were competing without their regular team captains, Molly McCafferty of Olmsted Falls and Joshua Lacoste of Lake Ridge, both of whom were two-time Standout winners earlier this year.

Lake Ridge scored a perfect first round, ending it with a 20-point lead, and they outscored their opponents in the Current Events round as well.  The third round, when buzzers come into play, gives an advantage to those with quicker answers.  With answers on a theme of Greek and Roman mythology, Lake Ridge again widened its lead, entering the fourth round by a score of 150 to 70.

The fourth round provides a number of clues in which a correct answer to the first yields fifty points but the final clue provides only ten.  There are intermediate scoring possibilities in between.  The round began with clues about tobacco as a cash crop, and Mihu scored a quick 40 points for Lake Ridge.  But then Olmsted Falls captured all of the remaining scoring in the round, consisting largely of American history topics.  Calabrase identified Daniel Webster for 20 points and Massachusetts for 30 and Meredyk named the Trent Affair for 40 points as well as Casablanca for 20.  This scoring brought Olmsted Falls within 10 points of the Lake Ridge lead, a virtual dead heat entering the final round.

Olmsted Falls maintained its momentum through the last round, which consists of several minutes of tossup questions with the possibility of 20-point bonuses.  Incorrect answers to tossup questions mean lost points in this round.  That and a quicker Falls team led to that school’s domination of the final round, ending with a surprisingly lopsided come-from-behind victory.

Olmsted Falls High, which won the Scholastic Games championship a record four consecutive years from 2011 to 2014, will face Avon High School, which is seeking a second consecutive championship.  The broadcast will be Monday, May 22, from 6:05 to 7 p.m. on WEOL (AM930).  A total of sixteen Lorain County public and private high schools have competed this year.

The teams are guided by faculty advisors.  Erin Stanton is the advisor to the Olmsted Falls team and Justin Schaefer advises the academic team at Lake Ridge Academy.  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.  Playoff winners are provided additional credits at each level, which will yield a total of $6000 in credits for students at the champion school.  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 Lake Ridge Academy, left to right, Carter English, Katelyn Mihu and Quinn Sekreta, were heard on the Scholastic Games quiz on WEOL Radio (AM 930).

The academic team from Olmsted Falls High School, left to right, Ben Meredyk, Joey Calabrase, and Eric Andrews were heard on the Scholastic Games quiz on WEOL Radio (AM 930).

Joey Calabrase, right, of  Olmsted Falls High School, is congratulated by program producer Jim Mehrling for winning “Standout Scholar” honors on the Scholastic Games quiz program on WEOL radio (AM 930)