Scholastic Games Archived radio high school quiz programs

May 25, 2020

20-12 News Release-Flashback to 2011 and a Future Jeopardy! Champion

Filed under: — admin @ 7:35 pm

Contact: Jim Mehrling 440-234-6021 – (Program of Apr.20, 2020)


COVID-19 has prompted the Scholastic Games radio quiz series, in its 30th year on Elyria’s WEOL (AM930 and FM100.3), to turn to reruns for the first time in its history and producer Jim Mehrling has located a gem from its archives. Of the over 2000 students featured on the program, only one went on to win on television’s Jeopardy! series. It was Jim Coury of Olmsted Falls High School. As a senior, he led his team to the Scholastic Games championship in 2011, and two years later, he competed and won the Jeopardy College Championship and its $100,000 first prize.

On Monday, April 20, WEOL will rebroadcast his 2011 high school championship for the first time, along with a current interview with Coury, who is currently pursuing a JD degree at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He has fond memories of numerous academic and trivia competitions in his school days, rating his Jeopardy! appearances as a high point.

Coury, on right, top picture with Mehrling in 2011, and bottom with Trebec in 2013.

The Scholastic Games radio program has a weekly Standout Scholar award which Coury won several times during his senior year. Mehrling likes to observe, “He won $200 on our show, and $100,000 on Jeopardy! I like to think that we at least contributed a bit to his success. His quick answers on our program certainly illustrated how he has ‘the right stuff.'” He added that he was glad the show could find him “to update us on his success.”

Mehrling also noted that Coury’s television appearance was while he was studying at Georgetown University, which merited an article in the Washington Post, since he was a “local student,” and that article is still online.

Mehrling says the competition on the high school show was from Lake Ridge Academy, the private school in North Ridgeville, which gave Coury’s team a run for their money. He comments that its star player, Haddie Klima, was the most successful female student in his program’s thirty years, having won six Standout awards, more than Coury. The broadcast was presented on WEOL from 6:05 to 7 p.m. on Monday, April 20th with a possible repeat on Friday, April 24, at the same time.

Production of the Scholastic Games was halted in mid-quarterfinals which may not be completed because of school closings. If production cannot be resumed, producers promise that a formula will be devised to determine a champion based on scores from completed competitions, but alternatives, including at-home online matches, are still being actively explored. Reruns of “best of” shows will continue in the meantime. An Elyria championship from twenty years ago will be featured on the April 27th broadcast.

Sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County, the quiz enjoys continued sponsorship from Nordson Corporation, as well as long-term support from funds of the Community Foundation of Lorain County, the Nord Family Foundation and the Community West Foundation. Philanthropic funds supporting the program this year include the Alfred T. Askew Fund, the Mercedes Campana Memorial Fund, the Ruth and Ted Jacobs Fund, the Miclat Family Fund and the Stocker Foundation Fund.
The high schools have provided necessary support for the teams, including at least one faculty advisor assigned to each. The Elyria Public Library System has been sponsoring the program on WEOL and providing venue space for program sessions for several years. Programs were also hosted this year by the Hampton Inn and Suites of Elyria.
Area colleges and universities participate by providing $1000 tuition credit awards for allocation by participating high schools . Despite the shortened season, there will be a total of thirty-nine such awards this year from the University of Findlay, Lorain County Community College, Oberlin College, Ursuline College, Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Heidelberg University, John Carroll University, Lake Erie College, Tiffin University and Notre Dame College of Ohio. The majority of these institutions have supported the quiz since its outset.

A member of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Akron and Cleveland, 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 filled a similar role with Cleveland’s WCLV-FM for over twenty years. He is recipient of a 2019 President’s Award from the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters. Again this year, most Scholastic Games programs are followed by a talk feature, “Dialogues in Education,” which presents education success stories, several of which have discussed alternative learning during the corona virus shutdown.
telephone 440-234-6021 (leave message)

Attached Photo:
Coury with Mehrling in 2011, left, and with Trebec, right, in 2013.


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