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News Release 05 Columbia vs. Elyria

FOR  RELEASE FEB. 26, 2019    CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (


The Scholastic Games radio quiz, a weekly program which spotlights academic teams from Lorain County high schools, saw a decisive victory for Elyria High School on Monday’s broadcast on WEOL (AM 930).   The academic team matched the highest winning score of the year in defeating Columbia High School’s team by a score of 430 to 130, nearly identical to Avon High’s winning score of two weeks ago.

Schuman, right, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

Elyria was represented by Mattew Carson, team captain Garrett Worden, and John Schuman, who won the program’s “Standout Scholar Award,” a $50 prize given to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team. Columbia’s team consisted of Annie Sprinkle, Mattew Dixon, and team captain Jackson Ives. Interestingly, it was not only a private school versus a public school but an all male team opposing an all female team.

The first round, with questions on a variety of topics, ended with a tie score, but Elyria moved ahead in Current Events round, surging to a 90 to 60 lead. The third round is the first in which buzzers are used, giving an advantage to a team with quicker answers. With a historic theme of “February events,” Columbia narrowed Elyria’s lead to only 20 points, but Elyria was unstoppable in the final rounds, the ones with the highest scoring potential.

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.   Only Elyria added points, scoring with three answers. Schuman scored with two fifty-point answers, a most unusual feat, identifying New York state as the only state with two federal academies, and with no other information, that South Sudan is the newest country in the world.   Worden scored 30 points, identifying the Lewis and Clark Expedition from a mention of Sacajawea, their Native American guide.

Elyria also dominated in the final round, a lightning-fast succession of tossup and bonus questions. With its high final score, Elyria is virtually assured of a bye to the program’s quarter finals, which start in four weeks. In addition to winning teams, the highest-scoring losing teams will also have second chances at playoff eliminations as “wildcard teams.” The season will end with the Scholastic Games 29th annual county academic championship.

The program, sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support, will continue to be heard on Monday or Tuesday 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:

3/4 (Monday) Avon Lake vs. Olmsted Falls

3/12 (Tuesday) Clearview vs. North Ridgeville

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

3/25 (Monday) and 4/2 (Tuesday) First 2 Quarterfinals (teams to be announced)

The teams are guided by faculty advisors, Jeremy Secaur for the Elyria team and Susan Neff for the Columbia 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 Ohio 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.