Archived radio high school quiz programs

Scholastic Games header image 3

News Release 06 Avon Lake vs. Olmsted Falls


3/4/19 CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (


It was the highest-scoring game of the year for the Scholastic Games radio quiz, a weekly program which spotlights academic teams from Lorain County high schools. Monday’s broadcast on WEOL (AM 930) brought a win to the program’s defending champion, Olmsted Falls High School, when its academic team defeated Avon Lake’s by a score of 480 to 330, eclipsing Elyria High’s record-setting score from the prior week’s program by 50 points.  Avon Lake set a record as well, with a final tally that was 60 points above the year’s previous highest losing score.   Earning wildcard status puts Avon Lake in the championship playoffs as well.

Meredyk, right, is cogratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

Olmsted Falls was represented by Nick Gaba, Sam Gray, and team captain Ben Meredyk, 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. He had won the honor once before on one of last year’s programs. Avon Lake’s team consisted of Natalie Miller, Irwin Deng, and team captain Connor NcNeill. The strength of both teams was evident in the first round of questions in which each team scored a perfect round. There were misses on both sides in the Current Events round, ending with a 100 to 70 lead for Falls.

The third round is the first in which buzzers are used, usually giving an advantage to a team with quicker answers. In this match, both teams did equally well in this ten-question round dealing mainly with American history. It maintained the 30 point advantage for Olmsted Falls entering the rounds 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.   No final clues were reached in this week’s competition however. The first clues dealt with the conquest of Mount Everest. Meredyk scored 30 for Falls at the mention that one of the explorers was from New Zealand. He followed that up with 40 points from a clue about F. Scott Fitzgerald, and 30 more by naming North Carolina. First clues about the state concerned its prominence in cloth manufacture, wood furniture and tobacco farming and an early settlement. A quick buzz followed from Avon Lake, answering Virginia, eliminating the team and allowing Meredyk to score.

The biggest score of the round, however was McNeill’s 50 points for Avon Lake, when he named India based on a single clue about the size of the country. He also scored on clues about the Italian dictator Mussolini, earning 30 points after a mention of his conquest of Ethiopia. It was a total of 80 points for McNeill f in that round against Meredyk’s 100 for Olmsted Falls.

Though Falls maintained a slight lead throughout, it was the final round, a lightning-fast succession of tossup and bonus questions, that assured the team’s win. Meredyk and company outscored their opponents by 100 points. Both teams will return to the program, however, as winning teams and highest-scoring losing teams return for playoffs beginning in two weeks. 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:

3/12 (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, Erin DesForges for the Olmsted Falls team and Ryan Smylie for the Avon Lake 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.