Scholastic Games Archived radio high school quiz programs

May 25, 2020

20-13 News Release – Naming a 2020 Championship Winner

Filed under: — admin @ 8:10 pm


Contact: Jim Mehrling 440-234-6021 – (Program of May 18, 2020)


Avon Lake High School has been named the 2020 Lorain County Academic Champion of the Scholastic Games radio quiz series on Elyria’s WEOL (AM930 and FM100.3).  School closings due to COVID-19 halted this year’s playoffs, but producers found a way to name a winning school even without all the usual elimination rounds.  Fortunately, all sixteen scheduled teams were able to compete, and among the winning teams, two of them were extraordinarily high scorers, reaching nearly twice the average winning score.

The team, left to right, Cara Buck, Irwin Deng, and Eva Ferrari

In the first program Vermilion’s academic team won with 600 points, and two weeks later, Avon Lake won with 560 points.  Winning scores are usually closer to 300, but producer Jim Mehrling explained that “super-high” scores alone cannot determine a champion.  He said, “These two programs had really lopsided scores against weaker teams, while all of the other competitions were much closer in their final scores.  Fortunately, they appeared so early in our schedule, we were able to pair these two teams in our first quarterfinal, which Avon Lake won 390 to 270.  By over 100 points, Avon Lake had defeated the team that had achieved the highest score of the year.”

Mehrling conferred with his staff of judges and scorekeepers who observe each program and they concurred in the naming of a “champion with an asterisk.”  He added, “We are very sorry that we had to stop after our second quarterfinal, as there were a number of excellent teams that well could have emerged if our usual succession of playoffs had taken place.  For example, North Ridgeville won our second quarterfinal and had the third highest average score of the year, but that had to be the end.  I’m sure these can be ranked among a number of disappointments for students this year, particularly the seniors.”

Also among the extraordinary events of this year were first-round defeats of Avon (by Lake Ridge Academy) and Olmsted Falls (by Oberlin).  In the last 11 seasons, Avon or Olmsted Falls had won the program’s championship nine times.  Those two teams lost (Avon by only ten points) with the two highest losing scores of the year, meaning they would have met in the program’s “Wildcard Competition,” with the winner advancing to quarterfinals.  Scheduled for late March, that was the first among the playoff programs that had to be cancelled because of school closings.

Added Standout awardees Deng, left, and Avon’s Boesger, right.

Usually the Scholastic Games champion has to win four times: after the first, wins in quarterfinals, semifinals, and the championship.  Outstanding students with repeated appearances can also win multiple weekly Standout Scholar Award $50 prizes.  After winners were named on each of the nine programs produced this year, two additional Standout awards were announced, also unprecedented in the program’s 30 years.  Jacob Boesger of Avon High School, who was denied Standout honors by one vote in a split decision, was provided the honor as a second honoree when the program was rebroadcast.  The other was to Irwin Deng, of the designated champion team at Avon Lake, who had been the unanimous Standout winner in both of his appearances.  He is awarded a third award with the announcement of the champion school.

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.  Bonus awards usually given to the champion and runner up school will be distributed this year among all of the schools that qualified for quarterfinals.  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 strategies used during the corona virus shutdown.


Photo captions:

The Avon Lake academic team, left to right, Cara Buck, Irwin Deng, and Eva Ferrari, named 2020 champions on the WEOL Scholastic Games.

Additional “Standout Scholar” honorees name by the WEOL Scholastic Games High School Quiz, are Irwin Deng, left, of Avon Lake High School, and Jacob Boeser, right, of Avon High School.

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