Scholastic Games Archived radio high school quiz programs

May 26, 2021

17 News Release – The Scholastic Games Championship 2021

Filed under: — admin @ 8:19 pm

FOR RELEASE: 5/25/2021– Contact: Jim Mehrling 440-234-6021


Between rounds of questions, two excellent academic teams traded the lead and tied the score as each sought its school’s third county championship on Scholastic Games, the weekly radio quiz show which features Lorain County high schools. It wasn’t until the fourth round that Lake Ridge Academy emerged with an explosion of scoring to best Amherst Marion L. Steele High School by a score of 550 to 310. Monday, May 24th, was the season finale on WEOL radio (AM930 and FM100.3) ending the program’s 31st season on the air.

Lake Ridge Academy’s team consisted of Alex Masgras, Finley Pasatta, and team captain Tyler Young, who won his fourth Standout Scholar Award in this competition. The honor, which includes a $50 prize, is presented on each week’s program from a vote of scorekeepers to name the student who contributed the most to his or her team. Steele was represented by Donald Theisen, Grant Sooy, and team captain John Perez-Strohmeyer, a three-time Standout winner as that team made its way to the championship round.


Steele’s score was higher than nearly two thirds of this season’s winning scores, but Lake Ridge scored 200 points more than any of this year’s winning teams to claim the crown. The teams appeared evenly matched through much of the competition. With answers ranging from Jamestown to jubilee, the initial round with “J” answers went to Lake Ridge ending with a 40 to 20 score, but Amherst roared back with a perfect score in the Current Events round, which including the double-score “plus points” question, ended with an 80 to 80 tie between the two teams.

The third round, the first in which the second team can answer a question incorrectly answered by the first worked to Steele’s advantage. After a description of Jane Austin, Ridge’s Young answered “Jane Eyre…er, Jane Austin.” He fell victim to the competition policy of responding to the first answer when more than one are given. Amherst’s Strohmeyer, knowing Austin was the correct answer, was able to score. He was also able to identify Mary Ann Evans’ pen name, George Eliot, a question Lake Ridge was unable to answer. Young was able to answer one of Steele’s unanswered questions and score with the pen name George Sand, but Amherst won the round and took a slim 140 to 130 lead going into round four.

It was the fourth round of questioning in which Lake Ridge won the contest, and in which Young truly earned his Standout laurels. In that round, big scores can come to students who can respond to factual clues that are deliberately obscure at first. Up to five clues are provided for each answer. A correct answer to a first clue yields fifty points, the last only ten. Steele’s Strohmeyer scored forty points, naming Richmond, Virginia, from clues about the Confederacy and Poe’s childhood.

The rest of the round—four other high-scoring answers—went to Lake Ridge: 50 points for naming Northern Ireland, then 40 for Florence Nightengale, Clues about a “commodity produced for centuries…that might be described as uniquely processed mulberry leaves” gave 40 points to Lake Ridge when Young identified it as silk. Clues about James Polk brought a 50-point incorrect response, Andrew Jackson, from Steele’s Strohmeyer. That eliminated his team from that item, and subsequently Lake Ridge’s Young answered it correctly for 30 points from an “eleventh president” clue.

Lake Ridge entered the final round with a 290 to 180 lead, and in the round’s over nine minutes of questions on a wide array of topics, continued to dominate scoring. An astounding 390 points were scored in that round alone, two thirds of them from the Lake Ridge team. It is the school’s third Scholastic Games championship, the previous one in 2010, making this a long-awaited triumph.


Academic teams are all under the supervision of faculty advisors, who deserve much credit for their dedication to team preparation, a particular challenge during the year of Covid-19, physical distancing and a first-ever Zoom format. The relatively recently named advisor for the Amherst Steele team is Alexander Baldwin, whose team, following an initial loss, battled its way to the championship. Lake Ridge’s veteran advisor is a justifiably proud Justin Schaefer.

The Scholastic Games series began in the fall of 1990 with the support of Nordson Corporation and has continued on radio station WEOL during every school year since. Operating under the auspices of the Community West Foundation, in addition to Nordson Corporation, the program has received support this year from the Alfred T. Askew Fund of the Community Foundation of Lorain County, and from the Nord Family Foundation. The Elyria Public Library System has been sponsoring the program on WEOL and, prior to this year, provided venue space for program sessions for several seasons.

Following broadcast, and offer the programs as “podcasts,” which make the programs available on the World Wide Web. Several of this year’s “Zoom” broadcasts are available in video versions on youtube. Through the years, all public and private high schools have been invited to compete.

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), Vermilion (2007, 08), Avon (2009, 16, 17,19), Olmsted Falls (2011, 12, 13, 14, 18) and Lake Ridge Academy (2006, 10, 21).

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 are followed by a talk feature, “Dialogues in Education,” which presents education success stories with its host, award-winning journalist Bob Tayek.


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