Archived radio high school quiz programs

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News Release 12 (QF) Elyria vs. Olmsted Falls

FOR  RELEASE APR. 16, 2019

4/15/19 CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (


The Scholastic Games radio quiz, a weekly program which spotlights academic teams from Lorain County high schools, presented its third quarterfinal on Monday’s broadcast on WEOL (AM 930).   The academic team from Elyria High School defeated the program’s defending champion, Olmsted Falls High School, in a fast-paced contest where the lead kept switching right up to the closing bell. It was an earned bonus question right at the end that gave a 450 to 430 victory to the Elyria team, the year’s highest total of combined final scores by hundreds of points.

Worden, left, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

Representing Elyria were Mattew Carson, John Schuman, and team captain Garrett Worden, who won his second “Standout Scholar Award,” a $50 prize given by the program to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team. Worden won the prize when the team competed earlier this year. The Olmsted Falls team included Nick Gaba, Harrison Graham, and team captain Ben Meredyk, a “Standout” winner from that team’s previous performance.

The Olmsted Falls team got off to an early lead, with a ten-point advantage after the first round which increased to 30 points in the often challenging Current Events round. The third round is the first in which buzzers are used, giving an advantage to a team with quicker answers, and it looked like a runaway win was in store for the defending champions. In a theme round with “color” answers (John Brown, yellow journalism, Green Mountain Boys, etc.) Olmsted Falls surged to a 90 point lead.

The fourth round followed, a multi-clue series in which a correct answer to a first clue yields fifty points, with diminishing point values for additional clues, was an Elyria comeback. With a birth date and a clue that this Scottish engineer’s name is a common word, Schuman scored 50 points naming James Watt. Worden buzzed in on the second item, again on the first clue (a catastrophic event contributing to the U.S. entry into WWI), naming the sinking of the Lusitania for another 50 points for Elyria. Three clues were given about Justice Thurgood Marshall before Meredyk named him to score 30 points for Olmsted Falls. Scoring returned to Elyria with Worden’s 40-point score, identifying invention of the telescope after two clues.

The final item in round four referenced a Spanish painter. An instant 50-point buzz came from Elyria’s Schuman. He answered Picasso, was ruled incorrect, and the balance of the 50-point clue was read for Olmsted Falls. A second buzz-in came before the 40-point clue, and Meredyk’s answer, Salvador Dali, yielded another 50 points for Falls. It was an extraordinary round, with Elyria’s 140 points making up most of the team’s deficit, leaving Olmsted Falls with a 260 to 230 lead entering the final round.

Both teams came close to doubling their scores in the lightning-fast final round, but Elyria managed to take the lead at the final bell, allowing the school to advance to the semifinals. In the 28-year history of Scholastic Games, these two schools have each won five championships. If Elyria survives the semifinal round, the school’s academic team will have an opportunity to break that tie.

The program, sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support, will continue to be heard mostly on Monday evenings (6:05 to 7 p.m.) with two schools in competition each week (any exceptions noted). The schedule is below.

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

4/22 Last Quarterfinal: Avon Lake vs. Clearview

4/29 Special Final-Four Preview Highlights Program

5/6 (at 5 p.m.) Semifinal : Avon vs. Lake Ridge Academy

5/13 Semifinal: Avon Lake OR Clearview vs. Elyria

5/20 (at 5 p.m.) CHAMPIONSHIP

The teams are guided by faculty advisors, Jeremy Secaur for the Elyria team and Erin DesForges for the Olmsted Falls 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 recipient of the 2019 Presidents Award from the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters, the program’s producer, Jim Mehrling, is a veteran in the field. 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.