Scholastic Games Archived radio high school quiz programs

June 10, 2022

e News – Semifinal 2: Amherst vs. Olmsted Falls

Filed under: — admin @ 7:28 pm

RELEASED: MAY 17, 2022 – Contact: Jim Mehrling 440-463-2557


     Lorain County’s high school quiz show, the Scholastic Games, now in its 32nd year on WEOL radio (AM930 and FM 100.3), broadcast its final elimination contest this week.  Olmsted Falls will now face Lake Ridge Academy in the program’s annual championship.  Lake Ridge hopes to win its second consecutive top honor.  This week’s was a highly competitive contest in which Olmsted Falls edged out Amherst’s Marion L. Steele High School by a score of  250 to 230 points.  Next week’s season-ending broadcast will be heard Monday, May 23, from 6 to 7 p.m.

  Representing Olmsted Falls in this week’s program were Elena Strozewski,  David Vidovich, and team captain Jacob O’Connor, who won his third “Standout Scholar Award,” which is presented each week by judges to the student determined to have contributed the most to his or her team.  The honor includes a $50 award.  The team from Amherst Steele, which actually led in scoring for a substantial part of the competition, consisted of D. J. Theisen, Mark Vitelli , and team captain  John Perez-Strohmeyer, who has won four Standout awards in previous Scholastic Games competitions.

   The first round of questions is called the “Initial Round” with the answers to all questions beginning with the letter “T,” ranging from Tuscany to tarantula.  Near-perfect scores for both teams ended the round with a 50 to 40 lead for Amherst.  Olmsted Falls had a slight edge in the Current Events round, which ended with a 100 to 100 tied score.  Round three is where the match turns from randomly-assigned questions to buzzers, and it was a race to answer for the rest of the program.  The “Theme Round” consisted of “Super Homonyms,” words that sound the same but have three different meanings, and usually different spellings (such as raise, raze and rays, ware,where and wear, etc.).  The questions were consecutive definitions, many of them challenging.  However, the teams performed nearly equally, with Amherst returning to a ten-point lead (160 to 150).

   In the fourth round, there are high-score clues for each answer. A correct answer to a most obscure first clue in a series can yield fifty points, with diminishing point values in up to four additional clues, the last of which is worth ten points.  In many programs, one team can emerge from this round with a huge lead, but that was not the case this time.  Amherst scored 50 points on the first clue to the first answer which was the Spanish Civil War.  Olmsted Falls scored 30 points by naming the Russian musical composition “Peter and the Wolf.”   Clues about Daniel Boone reached the 20-point clue at which Amherst scored, and then Olmsted Falls scored 30 for naming Chuck Yeager (after Amherst had buzzed in with an incorrect response at the 40-point clue).  The final answer, the Dead Sea, brought a 40-point score for Olmsted Falls, and a lead for that team.  It was only a 20 point lead, 250 to 230, entering the final round.

  The final round and its more than nine minutes of tossup and bonus questions offers great scoring potential with a wide variety of academic topics.  The two teams continued in their near-even race to the buzzers, and amazingly, the final bell occurred when the score was tied at 380 points for each.  Following a short break, host Jim Mehrling described the program’s seldom-initiated policy of sudden death overtime.  It involves a continuation of the script and rules used for tossup questions except wrong answers do not deduct points.  The first correct answer from a first team to buzz seizes victory for that team.

   The first question started, “What is the sum of the number of ‘points’ proposed by President Woodrow Wilson and ….”  Amherst buzzed at that point which, according to program rules, stopped the asking of the question.  Mehrling explained that since the question could not be completed, they had to guess what the second half was and answer accordingly.  The question would have referred to FDR’s “four freedoms,” with an answer of eighteen (14+4), but the guess given was fifteen, and ruled incorrect.  The next question named a couple of asteroids, Olmsted Falls buzzed in and said “asteroids” and won the competition.

   It was an exciting bout to the final seconds, and surely a disappointment to Amherst Steele, but it will be Olmsted Falls High facing Lake Ridge Academy in next Monday’s 32nd annual  championship broadcast.  As in previous weeks this year, the program will be heard from 6 to 7 p.m. on May 23rd.

  This year’s playoffs have been mostly among schools that have won championships in past years.   Amherst Steele was last year’s runner-up and had won in 1991 and 2015.  Last year’s win by Lake Ridge Academy was its third (with 2006 and 2010).  Olmsted Falls shares with Elyria High School the honor of having won five championships, the most recent in 2018,  Of this year’s other finalists Avon won four past championships (2009, 16, 17, 19), Keystone one (in 2004), Avon Lake three (2001, 05, and 20), Admiral King two (1995, 1998, now closed), Oberlin one (1996), Midview one (2003) and two each for North Ridgeville (1999, 2002) and Vermilion (2007, 08).  All of this year’s programs are archived by WEOL on its website ( ).  Additional archives are available at .

    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.  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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