On Monday, Avon High School earned a position in this year’s county academic championship on the Scholastic Games of Lorain County, the radio quiz program (on WEOL, AM 930). The team scored a 500 to 160 win over Oberlin High in the program’s five rounds of questions and answers. Avon sustained a higher score through most of the contest, but scores were close until a final round rally. In two weeks, Avon will face the winner of next week’s second semifinal between Avon Lake, and Elyria Catholic.
On the broadcast of May 2nd, Avon was represented by Brian Lee, Ryan McRowe, and team captain Pete Stamatis, who was for the third time this year named recipient of the weekly “Standout Scholar Award,” a $50 prize given to the student judged by scorekeepers to have contributed the most to his or her team. He won the award twice last year, which places him on the broadcast’s all-time honor roll. The Oberlin team consisted of Armand Ortiz, Elias Bullock, and team captain Chris Schroth.
The first round ended in a tie score, but Avon vaulted to a 70 to 40 lead following the second round which dealt with current events. The third round, the first in which the teams buzzed in, giving an advantage to the quicker team. Avon was the only team that scored in that round, in which both teams were challenged with questions about weights and measures. This increased Avon’s lead further, but Oberlin bounced back, outscoring their opponents in the fourth round.
In the fourth round successions of clues can win a team up to 50 points for a single answer. Quick but incorrect responses award remaining cues to the other team. McRowe scored a quick fifty for Avon when he responded correctly to the first clue about the assassination of President McKinley. Clues about persons with the name Strauss brought a quick but incorrect 30-point response from Oberlin followed with a 20-point score when for Avon when Lee recognized an clip from the “Blue Danube” waltz (by Johann Strauss).
Then clues about the city of Philadelphia brought a 50-point incorrect response from Avon allowing Oberlin to score another 30 points when Schroth scored after mention of the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. Oberlin followed up with Bullock’s 40-point identification of Disraeli and Schroth scoring again, 30 points, naming novelist Toni Morrison. Avon’s final-round rally, spearheaded by Stamatis, provided a sizeable margin of victory, however, advancing the team to the championship.
Times and days of some of the end-of-season weekly programs have been moved to other days because of Cleveland Indians and Cavaliers broadcasts on WEOL. Here are the remaining programs:
5/10, 6:05 p.m. – Second Semifinal: Elyria Catholic vs. Avon Lake
5/17, 6:05 p.m. –Championship
The teams are guided by faculty advisors. Avon’s advisor is Mr. Todd Sayers and Oberlin’s advisor is Mr. Jason Craigo. Continuing a 25-year tradition, each participating school will receive a $1000 tuition credit to be given to a deserving student who will attend an area college or university. Many additional credits are awarded to schools as they compete and win in playoffs. Contributing institutions include Lorain County Community, Baldwin Wallace University, Ohio Wesleyan, Oberlin College, Ursuline College, Ashland University, Case Western Reserve, Heidelberg, John Carroll, Notre Dame College of Ohio, and Tiffin University, many of which have participated in this program for a number of years.
Scholastic Games, on WEOL radio since 1990, is presented on the station by the Elyria Public Library System. Production of the program is made possible by funding from the Nordson Corporation Foundation, the Nord Family Foundation, the Community West Foundation, and the following funds administered by the Community Foundation of Lorain County: the Nelson Stud Welding Fund, and the Oscar H. Steiner Memorial Fund.
A member of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Akron and Cleveland, the program’s 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 has for over twenty years been with Cleveland’s WCLV-FM, now a part of Ideastream public broadcasting. Again this year, most Scholastic Games programs are being followed by a talk feature, “Dialogues in Education,” which presents education success stories with its host, award-winning journalist Bob Tayek.