Archived radio high school quiz programs

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News Release 03/06/16 Amherst vs. Firelands

FOR RELEASE:  MAR.  6, 2018

2/26/18 CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (



 The academic team from Firelands High School achieved the second highest winning of the year on this week’s Scholastic Games radio quiz on WEOL radio (AM 930), defeating Amherst Marion L. Steele’s team by a score of 520 to 140.   The quiz program features two high school academic teams from Lorain County each week with end-of-season playoffs and an annual championship.

Firelands was represented by Michael Durdak, team captain Ryan Martin, and Sam Formholtz, who was awarded the program’s “Standout Scholar Award,” a $50 prize given to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team each week.

Formholtz, right, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

The Amherst team consisted of Emma Macartney, Devan Harmych, and team captain Olivia Krugman.

Both teams started very strong, ending the first round with a 50-50 tie, and Amherst pulled into the lead following the often challenging Current Events Round, entering the third round with a 90 to 70 tally.  Buzzers came into play in the remaining rounds giving an advantage to those with quicker answers.  Both teams scored well in a theme round about state capitals ending with Amherst’s lead narrowed to only ten points, a margin of one question.

Firelands gained the lead and paved the way to its impressive victory by a near domination of the fourth round.   It is a multi-clue part of the program with a high scoring potential.   For each answer, a correct response to the first clue yields fifty points but a fifth and final clue will yield only ten.   Firelands’ Formholtz scored 50 points identifying the Northwest Passage, 20 from clues about Muammar Gaddafi,  and then 40 for naming Louisiana after the second clue.  His teammate Martin added ten points when he answered Herman Mellville giving the team a commanding lead.  The only score for Amherst in that round was 20 by Macartney when she named the Galapagos islands.

The final round is the longest with many tossup questions which are paired with bonus questions.   Firelands virtually caught fire in that round leaving their opponents, a team that led early in the competition, far behind.  It has been a year with several extraordinarily high scores, the highest having been 590 scored by Olmsted Falls on the third program.   In succeeding weeks, a total of fifteen of Lorain County’s public and private high schools will have competed, leading up to what should be exciting playoffs in coming weeks.

The program, sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support, will be heard most Monday evenings (6:05 to 7 p.m.) with two schools in competition each week, sometimes with rebroadcasts the following Friday.  A schedule of upcoming programs is below.

The teams are guided by faculty advisors.  Kelly Miller is the advisor for Firelands and Amherst Steele’s advisors are Mike Gillam and Beth Gillam.  Continuing a 27-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 when they compete and win in playoffs.  Contributing institutions include Lorain County Community, Baldwin Wallace University, Oberlin College, Ursuline College, Ashland University,  Case Western Reserve, Heidelberg, John Carroll,  Notre Dame College of Ohio, and Tiffin University.  Many of these have participated in the program for a number of years.


MONDAYS, 6:06 p.m. (except when sports games move the quiz). There is often a rebroadcast on Friday at 6:06 if scheduling permits

3/12   Elyria Catholic vs. North Ridgeville

3/19   Midview vs. Lake Ridge Academy (wildcard: highest scoring losing team)

3/26   “Wildcard competition” –two more highest-scoring runner-ups

4/2  Playoff between the two lowest-scoring winning teams

4/9 through May: quarterfinals, semifinals & Championship

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 Dr. Howard A. and Pearl L. Keiser Living Memorial, the Dorothy and Elizabeth King Memorial Charitable Fund, the Del Lumber Fund, the Ted Jacobs Fund, the Joanne MaGirl Arnold Memorial Fund and the David and Marilyn Koethe 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 has for over twenty years 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.