Scholastic Games Archived radio high school quiz programs

March 21, 2022

p NEWS – Amherst vs. Avon

Filed under: — admin @ 10:40 am

RELEASED FEB. 22, 2022 – Contact: Jim Mehrling 440-463-2557


     Round-by-round lopsided scores evened out to nearly a tied score, as two powerful teams competed on Lorain County’s high school quiz show, the Scholastic Games, now in its 32nd year on WEOL radio (AM930 and FM 100,3).  The program is heard weekly on Mondays from 6-7 p.m. and this week it was bursts of scoring by both teams ending in a shockingly-close 210 to 200 victory for Avon High School over Amherst’s Marion L. Steele High School.  

    Many points were scored, but so evenly divided that final scores were among the lowest of the season.  Steele, which looked like a sure winner early in the competition, was represented by D. J. Theisen, Grant Sooy, and John Perez-Strohmeyer.  The team for ultimate winner Avon consisted of Nicholas Stamatis, P. J. Yug, and team captain Matthew Downing.  Downing was given “Standout Scholar” honors, a prize judges present to the student who contributed the most to his or her team.  Amherst’s Perez-Strohmeyer was a three-time Standout recipient in last year’s competitions.

Amherst looked like a sure winner following the first three rounds.  The opener, a challenging “B” round with answers ranging from Baltimore to boron to Beckett, yielded only one correct answer from Avon, giving Amherst a 30-10 lead.  The teams both did well in the Current Events round, but Amherst maintained its lead (70-40).  The third round was the first in which “buzzing in” took place.  It was the Presidents’ Day program, and in that themed round, Perez-Strohmeyer’s knowledge and a quick button finger yielded his team nine out of the ten questions, which advanced his team’s lead to 170 to 50!  Victory seemed like a foregone conclusion but Avon had different ideas.

The fourth round presents a series of clues for each answer, with a correct answer to a first clue yielding fifty points, with diminishing point values for up to four additional clues, the last of which is ten points.  From a series of clues about first lady Barbara Bush, a quick buzz from Amherst ventured Hillary Clinton as an answer, eliminating that team, clearing the way for a 20-pont correct answer from Avon.  The Avon scored two fifty-point answers, identifying Belgium from a clue about when it became independent from the Netherlands, and Wyoming from its being a pioneer in women suffrage.  A challenging series of clues about President Rutherford B. Hayes advanced to the 10 point clue, and it was Avon that scored.  Amherst’s only score in the round was 20 points for naming the Special Olympics. 

After Round Four, Amherst still had the lead, but it had narrowed to 190-180.  The teams performed fairly equally in the final round, which is the only one in which incorrect answers remove points.  It was a competition with a lot of buzzing from both teams, but a limited number of correct answers.  The score in this timed round bounced around with only minor gains for both teams, and at the final bell, it was still a 10-point difference, but the lead had switched to Avon.  It could clearly have been the most exciting competition of the year, and it is possible the teams could meet again in subsequent playoffs.

The broadcasts will end in May with the 32nd annual County Academic Championship.  Playoffs will include all winning teams and the highest-scoring runner-up teams as well, competing as “wild cards” prior to quarterfinals in April.  Following broadcast the station archives the programs online ( ).

    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.  Scholastic Games is the longest-running program of its type in the region, and its focus on greater Lorain County has provided maximum opportunities for local students to compete. 

    Here is the balance of the first round broadcast schedule, with programs running between 6 and 7 p.m. on Mondays, subject to modification when conflicts with live sports coverage occurs:.

2/21  Amherst Steele  vs. Avon

2/28   Elyria Catholic vs. Firelands

3/7    Avon Lake vs. Lake Ridge Academy (Defending Champion School)

3/14   Elyria vs. Vermilion

3/21, 3/28, 4/18 – Quarterfinal Qualifying Competitions

4/4, 4/11, 4/25, 5/2 – Quarterfinals

5/9, 5/16, 5/23 – Semifinals and 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, 21), 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, this year including the Steve Boyza Fund, the Patsie C. Campana Sr. Fund, the Schaeffer Family Fund, The Stumphauzer, O’Toole, McLaughlin, McGlamery & Loughman Co. Fund, the “Touch the Future” Fund, the Al Hillegass Fund, the Ford MacArthur Endowment Fund and the Madeleyn Metzger Fund.  Additional support is from the Nord Family Foundation and the Community West Foundation.   The radio sponsors this year are EcoTree Services and the Elyria Public Library System, which has provided 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, 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.

    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 for, first, Cleveland’s WERE-AM and later at Cleveland’s  WCLV-FM.  He was 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 – From MEHRLING STUDIOS,  BEREA, OH, 44017-2449, Telephone 440-463-2557

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