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News Release 15 SF Avon Lake vs. Elyria


4/13/19 CONTACT: Jim Mehrling (

Only its 29th annual championship remains for the current season of the Scholastic Games radio quiz, a weekly program which spotlights academic teams from Lorain County high schools. Its second semifinal aired this week on WEOL (AM 930).   The academic team from Elyria High School, which had hoped for a chance to regain for the school its prominence as the county’s winningest in next week’s Scholastic Games championship, was eliminated by a powerful Avon Lake team which tallied a 470 to 220 point victory.

Avon Lake was represented by Natalie Miller, Irwin Deng, and team captain Connor NcNeill,

McNeill, left, is congratulated by program host Jim Mehrling

who won his second “Standout Scholar Award” of the year, a $50 prize given by the program to the student judged to have contributed the most to his or her team. Representing Elyria were Mattew Carson, John Schuman, and team captain Garrett Worden.  Both Schuman and Worden were named for “Standout” awards earlier this season. Avon Lake lost in its first visit to Scholastic Games, advancing to playoffs as a wildcard team. The team had been defeated by the Olmsted Falls High School team, the defending champions, which ironically was defeated in the quarterfinals by Elyria High School.

The AL team achieved perfect scores in the first two rounds. Elyria matched them in the Current Events Round with the help of a “plus points” question, but Avon Lake still had a 30 point lead going into the third round. The third is the first in which buzzers are used, giving an advantage to a team with quicker answers. That team turned out to be Avon Lake, which extended its lead to 100 points in that round, answering historic questions about American “forts,” from Fort Knox to the city of Fort Myers.

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. This round, which gave Elyria the win in the earlier program against Olmsted Falls, ended up as a draw with Avon Lake. The big scores were from history. Worden scored 40 for Elyria by naming Russia’s Nicholas II and McNeill earned 40 for Avon Lake with an early buzz naming Shea’s Rebellion. Both teams picked up points from later clues as well. At the end of round four AL still had its point advantage, and in the final round, a flurry of tossup and bonus questions, the lion’s share of points went to Avon Lake.

The teams are guided by faculty advisors, Ryan Smylie for Avon Lake High and Jeremy Secaur for the Elyria team. The program, sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support, will end its season next week. Rained out and rescheduled baseball games have modified next week’s broadcast schedule on WEOL radio, so the championship program will be heard at two alternate times: 5:05 to 6 p.m. on Monday, May 20th, and Friday, May 24th from 6:05 to 7 p.m.

Continuing a 28-year tradition, each participating school is assigned at least one $1000 tuition credit to be given to a deserving student that will attend an Ohio college or university. Additional credits are awarded to schools as they compete and win in playoffs, up to five for the winner of the championship. Contributing institutions include Lorain County Community College, 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 Public Library System, the broadcast sponsor, also provided the recording venue for Monday’s program. Following broadcast, both and 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 have been followed by a talk feature, “Dialogues in Education,” presenting education success stories with its host, award-winning journalist Bob Tayek.