Archived radio high school quiz programs

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News Release 5/9/18 SF1 N.Ridgeville-Olmsted Falls


CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (


In the first semifinal competition of  the Scholastic Games radio quiz,  a weekly feature of WEOL radio (AM 930), the academic team from Olmsted Falls defeated  North Ridgeville High School by a score of 400 to 200, more than doubling it score in a lightning-fast final round.   The team returns to the airwaves in two weeks to face the winner of next week’s competition between  Elyria High School and Firelands for the program’s twenty-eighth annual academic championship to be broadcast on May 21st.

On Tuesday’s program, the Falls team consisted of team captain Joey Calabrase, Jake Dahlinger, and Ben Meredyk,

Meredyk, right, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

who was announced to receive 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.  Calabrase won the award twice on the team’s previous visits to the program.  North Ridgeville was represented by Aiden Cunningham, Jonah Fechner, and team captain Emily Hiles, who was proclaimed the Standout following last week’s quarterfinal broadcast.

Olmsted Falls hit the ground running, ending the first round with a perfect score of 60 points, including a rantomly-placed “plus points” question.  Ridgeville scored only 30 points in the first round, but gained ground in a particularly challenging Current Events Round in which Falls scored only 10 points.  It was 70 to 50 going into the third round, the first in which teams “buzz in,” making quickness as important as accuracy.  Both teams scored, but Olmsted Falls increased its lead to a score of 130 to 80.

In the fourth round, several clues may be given for each answer. The first clue can yield a score of fifty points, the second forty and so forth, with the fifth and final clue yielding only ten.  Early incorrect responses eliminate a team, giving the other team the remaining clues, which benefitted North Ridgeville twice, when Hiles score ten points for identifying West Point and another ten points naming the Balkan wars.  She scored an additional 20 by naming Bill Clinton on the fourth clue.  Meredyk scored ten for Falls by naming Confederate President Jefferson Davis after the final clue, but Dahlinger made the biggest score of the round when he identified El Niño from the second clue to earn 40 points.  The teams scored equally in the round, maintaining the Olmsted Falls lead.

The final round has tremendous scoring potential and Olmsted Falls, led by the scoring of Meredyk, took full advantage of it.   It is the only round in which teams can lose points with incorrect answers, but that happened only three times in over nine minutes of rapid-fire questions, though a number of the bonus questions were missed.

Olmsted Falls was the runner-up in last year’s Scholastic Games championship, losing to Avon High School.  The school does hold the record for championship wins in consecutive years (four from 2011 to 2014) but Elyria High School has still won the most championships in the history of the program, five, the most recent in 2000.  Falls hopes to tie that record this year.

REMAINING PLAYOFFS:  Airing 6:06 p.m. (except when sports games move the quiz)

5/14 (MONDAY) Second Semifinal: Elyria vs. Firelands

5/21 (MONDAY) Championship

The program, sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support, has been presented most weeks on Monday evenings (6:05 to 7 p.m.), sometimes with rebroadcasts the following Friday.  The teams are guided by faculty advisors.  Mr. Sam Rufener is the advisor for North Ridgeville and the Olmsted Falls advisor is Ms. Erin DesForges.

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.