Archived radio high school quiz programs

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News Release 4/24/18 QF3 Avon vs. Firelands

FOR RELEASE APR.  24, 2018

CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (


In the third quarterfinal round of  the Scholastic Games radio quiz,  presented each week on WEOL radio (AM 930), Firelands defeated defending champion Avon High School by a score of 400 to 380 in one of the year’s most competitive programs.  Firelands will return in three weeks to face Elyria High School in a semifinal leading up to the show’s twenty-eighth annual academic championship in May.  Olmsted Falls High, which won the first quarterfinal, will face either Midview or North Ridgeville, next week’s quarterfinalists.

On Monday’s program, Firelands was represented by Michael Durdak, Sam Formholtz, and team captain Ryan Martin, who was awarded the program’s “Standout Scholar Award,”

Martin, right, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling.

a $50 prize given to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team each week.  Formholtz won the honor on the team’s first visit to the program.  The Avon High team consisted of  Jacob Boesger, Connor Smith and team captain Alex Stamatis.  Stamatis led last year’s Avon team to the championship and earned his fifth Standout award earlier this year.

Both teams had excellent starts, ending the first round of questions with Firelands leading 50 to 40 points.  Avon scored better in the Current Events round, ending it with a 70-70 tie.  Starting with the third round, “buzzing in” often gives an advantage to a team with quicker answers, it was not so evident in this program.  In a fast round identifying homonyms, words with the same spellings but different meanings, Firelands came out with a 130 to 100 point advantage, but Avon took the lead after the fourth round.

The fourth is a multi-clue round in which an answer on the first clue yields fifty points, the second forty and so forth, with the fifth and final clue yielding only ten.  Durdak scored 40 points for Firelands on the very first item when he recognized Daguerre as an early pioneer in photography.  Then Stamatis scored 40 when he identified Johnny Appleseed from clues he was “a pioneer known by a nickname” and mentioned the state of Ohio.  Then Avon’s Boesger scored two 30-point answers (Gandhi and the Missouri Compromise) followed by Formholtz scoring 20 for Firelands when he identified Avogadro from science clues.  The round ended with a 200 to 190 lead for Avon.

Both teams nearly doubled their scores in a frenetic final round.  It is possible to lose points with incorrect answers in this round, which both teams did only twice.  With an often-tied score, it was literally a difference of one bonus answer that provided victory to the Firelands team.

BROADCASTS ON MONDAYS, 6:06 p.m. (except when sports games move the quiz to a different day or time). There is often a rebroadcast on Friday at 6:06 if schedules allow

4/30  (special time: 5:05-6 p.m.) Fourth Quarterfinal: Midview vs. North Ridgeville

5/7    First Semifinal: Olmsted Falls vs. Midview OR  N. Ridgeville

5/14  Second Semifinal: Elyria vs. Firelands

5/21  Championship

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.), sometimes with rebroadcasts the following Friday.  The teams are guided by faculty advisors.  Ms. Kelly Miller is the advisor for Firelands and the Avon advisor is Mr. Todd Sayers.

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 such 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.

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.