Archived radio high school quiz programs

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News Release 02 Amherst vs. Vermilion


2/4/19 CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (


 The Scholastic Games radio quiz, a weekly program which spotlights academic teams from Lorain County high schools, continued this Monday on WEOL (AM 930).   The two well matched teams remained close in score, with Vermilion in the lead, until the final round of questions in which Amherst Steele shot ahead to win by a score of 250 to 170.

Krugman, right, is congratulated by program producer Jim Mehrling

Steele was represented by Olivia Parson, Sam Gargasz and team captain Gabby Krugman, who won the program’s “Standout Scholar Award” for her efforts, a $50 prize given to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team. Vermilion’s team consisted of Kennedy Hughes, Sterling Benko, and team captain Rachel Frisky.

The first two rounds, the first with a number of historical names and the second on current events, proved to be challenging for both teams, and ended with a 50 to 40 lead for Vermilion. The third round focused on islands of the world and the larger countries with which they are associated.   Again, Vermilion maintained its ten-point lead.

The fourth round is a multi-clue series in which a correct answer to a first clue yields fifty points, with diminishing point values for additional clues, ending with a final clue worth ten points.   Three of the five items yielded correct answers, the biggest score being 30 points when Amherst’s Gargasz identified the nation of Liberia from mention of its capital Monrovia.   That was Amherst’s only score, however, and a clue about Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, that he was a “swing vote,” prompted Vermilion’s Hughes to score 20 points. This was followed by a ten point score when Hughes identified Harriet Beecher Stowe from a description of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” so Vermilion maintained its ten-point lead going to the final round.

The final round consists of nine and one half minutes of quick questions, and being first with the buzzer becomes very important. Correct answers are also important as it is possible to lose points for incorrect tossup questions. Both teams were cautious, however, and that only happened one time for Steele, and not at all for Vermilion. Perhaps Vermilion was too cautious, however, as Amherst buzzed in successfully to build up a lead and win the contest.

In weeks to come, at least fourteen more of Lorain County’s public and private high schools will compete, leading up to the broadcast’s annual county championship. Winning teams are all asked to return for playoffs, with highest-scoring teams getting a bye to quarter finals. The highest-scoring losing teams will also have second chances as “wildcard teams.” The program, sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support, will continue to be heard most Monday evenings (6:05 to 7 p.m.) with two schools in competition each week. The schedule is below.

Upcoming programs, to be broadcast on Mondays, except as noted:

2/11 Avon vs. Midview

2/18 Brookside vs. Lake Ridge Academy

2//25 Columbia vs. Elyria

3/4 Avon Lake vs. Olmsted Falls

3/12 (Tuesday) Clearview vs. North Ridgeville

3/19 (Tuesday) Wildcard Competition (teams to be announced)

The teams are guided by faculty advisors. Mitch and Beth Gillam are co-advisors for the Amherst Steele team; Rebecca Jessen and Jim Klein advise the Vermilion team. Continuing a 28-year tradition, each participating school will be assigned a $1000 tuition credit to be given to a deserving student that will attend an area college or university. Many additional credits are awarded to schools as 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, Lake Erie College, Notre Dame College of Ohio, the University of Findlay, 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 the charter sponsor, the 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, the Ridge Tool Company Fund, and the Bowers Family Fund. The Elyria Hampton Inn and Suites provided the recording venue for Monday’s program and following broadcast, and will 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, a part of the Ideastream public broadcasting organization. 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.