Scholastic Games Archived radio high school quiz programs

February 2, 2021

02 News Release -Feb.2- Avon Lake – Oberlin

Filed under: — admin @ 12:33 am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  2/2/2021

Contact: Jim Mehrling 440-234-6021

Headline:    OBERLIN DEFEATS AVON LAKE ON THE SCHOLASTIC  GAMES  HIGH SCHOOL QUIZ

The Scholastic Games radio quiz, a weekly program featuring academic teams from Lorain County high schools, aired its second program of the season Monday, February 1st on WEOL (AM 930/FM 100.3).  Competing on their home computers, the team from Oberlin High School was victorious over defending champion Avon Lake by a score of 120 to 80.

Representing Oberlin were team captain Zenobia Calhoun, Marcus Bertoni, and Sasha Chen, who was awarded the program’s Standout Scholar Award, which is presented to the student who contributed the most to his or her team, an honor which includes a $50 prize.  Avon Lake’s team consisted of Spencer Dabney, Randy Jung, and team captain Emmet Fink.

Though similar to that used for 30 years, the program used a modified format for social distancing.  It began with the usual “Initial Round,” consisting of answers starting with the same letter.  From questions ranging from grammar to science to geography, the teams did equally well.  In the second round, which focuses on current events, Oberlin took a 70 to 50 point lead, a twenty-point advantage the team maintained through the theme round, a challenging series of questions about literary characters.

Round Four is a multi-clue series in which, for each item, 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.  The first response in this round is determined by a team member calling out the name of the team.  If the answer offered is incorrect, the other team receives the remaining clues and a chance to score. 

Clues about the Colonial village of Williamsburg earned ten points for Oberlin.  The second item featured clues about the issue of birth control.  The fifty-point clue prompted an answer of “abortion” from Avon Lake, directing additional clues to Oberlin, which subsequently scored thirty points with a correct answer.  After that, neither team scored from clues about the late Congressman John Lewis, English explorer John Cabot, or the ancient city of Alexandria.

The fourth round did expand Oberlin’s lead to sixty points, which was reduced to forty in the final round, still a comfortable winning margin.  Both teams had fallen victim to a final round rule which deducts points for incorrect answers.  Both schools have been invited to additional competitions later in the season.

Scholastic Games began in the fall of 1990 with the support of Nordson Corporation and has continued on radio station WEOL during every school year since.  The format, originally developed for a Cleveland program in the 1980s, has changed little in the run of the show, though the questions are continually updated.  Often compared to WEWS television’s Academic Challenge program, Scholastic Games has actually run without interruption for a longer period, and its focus on greater Lorain County has provided more opportunities for local schools to compete.  Following broadcast, weol.com and standoutscholars.com offer the programs as “podcasts,” which make the programs available on the World Wide Web.   

Through the years, all public and private high schools have been invited to compete.  Here is the balance of the first round schedule, with programs running between 6 and 7 p.m. on Mondays, to be followed by playoff rounds.

2/8   Midview vs. Elyria High

2/15  Sheffield Brookside vs. Olmsted Falls

2/22  Avon vs. North Ridgeville

3/1    Amherst vs. Lake Ridge Academy

3/8  through May: Return matches, Playoffs & Championship

In some weeks, live sports coverage will delay the quiz to Tuesday, same time.  This may affect some of the dates. Also, when scheduling permits, many programs will be repeated on Friday nights.)  Programs are pre-recorded with the first shows of the March series happening this weekend.

The season will conclude in May with the broadcast’s annual county championship.  Over the years, twelve different schools have won the championships, including Amherst Steele (1991, 2015), Elyria (1992, 93, 94, 97, 2000), Admiral King (1995, 1998), Oberlin (1996), North Ridgeville (1999, 2002), Avon Lake (2001, 05, 20),  Midview (2003), Keystone (2004), Lake Ridge Acad. (2006, 10), Vermilion (2007, 08), Avon (2009, 16, 17,19), Olmsted Falls (2011, 12, 13, 14, 18).

The program has enjoyed long-term support from Nordson Corporation and various funds of the Community Foundation of Lorain County, the Nord Family Foundation and the Community West Foundation.   The philanthropic fund supporting the program this year is the Alfred T. Askew Fund.  The Elyria Public Library System has been sponsoring the program on WEOL and providing venue space for program sessions for several years. 

Area colleges and universities participate by providing $1000 tuition credit awards for allocation by participating high schools.  Participating for all or most of the program’s thirty-year history were Lorain County Community College, Oberlin College, Ursuline College, Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve, Heidelberg University, John Carroll University, with more recent additional awards from the University of Findlay, Lake Erie College, Tiffin University and Notre Dame College of Ohio.

A member of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Akron and Cleveland, the program’s host and 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 filled a similar role with Cleveland’s  WCLV-FM for over 25 years.  He is recipient of a 2019 President’s Award from the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters.  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.

BROADCAST ON AM 930 – WEOL By Jim Mehrling, MEHRLING STUDIOS

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