COLUMBUS, Ohio – The OHSAA reassigns schools to divisions every other year, and changes in football resulted in 117 schools (16.3 percent) making divisional changes for 2009 and 2010 from the last two years. The changes were approved Thursday by the OHSAA’s Board of Directors at their May meeting.
There are 718 football-playing schools this year, which is up three from 2007 (Hilliard Bradley, Lewis Center Olentangy Orange, Manchester). The division breakdowns for 2009 are: Division I – 120 schools (enrollments of 518 or more); Division II – 118 schools (enrollments between 348 and 517); Division III – 120 schools (enrollments between 252 and 347); Division IV – 119 schools (enrollments between 177 and 251); Division V – 120 schools (enrollments between 125 and 176); and Division VI – 121 schools (enrollments of 124 or less). Divisions are based on enrollment of males in grades nine through 11 as reported to the State Department of Education in October 2008.
Thirty-four (17.8 percent) schools that are changing divisions qualified for the football tournaments last year, including defending Division II state champion Sylvania Southview (moves up to Division I); defending Division III state champion Aurora (moves up to Division II); 2007 Division II state champion and defending Division II state runner-up Cincinnati Anderson (moves up to Division I); and defending Division IV state runner-up Steubenville (moves up to Division III).
Other notable schools changing divisions are 2004 Division I state champion Columbus Brookhaven (moves down to Division II); 2007 Division III state champion Sunbury Big Walnut (moves up to Division II); three-time state champion Columbus St. Francis DeSales (moves down to Division III); and two-time state champion Coldwater (moves down to Division V).
Ohio’s 718 football schools are distributed as evenly as possible among 24 regions. Of note, it is the OHSAA’s policy to keep same-division teams within the same county in the same region. For example, all 23 Division I football schools in Cuyahoga County (northeast Ohio) must be in the same region, which represents 23 of the 30 schools in Region 1.
For a complete breakdown of each division and all 24 regions, log onto www.ohsaa.org.
All of the divisional changes are as follows (asterisk indicates 2008 playoff team):
Moved from Division II to I (12 schools) – Cincinnati Anderson*, Cincinnati Withrow, Columbus Northland, Columbus West, East Cleveland Shaw, Franklin Heights, Mayfield*, Oregon Clay, Powell Olentangy Liberty*, Sylvania Southview*, Toledo Waite, Whitehouse Anthony Wayne
Moved from Division I to II (seven schools) – Akron Garfield, Batavia Amelia, Bedford, Columbus Brookhaven*, Harrison, Lorain Southview, Mansfield Senior
Moved from Division III to II (17 schools) – Aurora*, Avon*, Canal Winchester*, Canton South*, Chesterland West Geauga, Columbus Mifflin, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit*, Lewis Center Olentangy Orange, Mentor Lake Catholic, New Philadelphia*, Norwalk, Painesville Harvey, The Plains Athens, Ravenna, Rocky River, Sunbury Big Walnut*, Vincent Warren
Moved from Division II to III (13 schools) – Akron Archbishop Hoban*, Akron Buchtel, Akron Springfield, Alliance, Bellbrook, Celina, Cleveland East Technical, Columbus Bishop Watterson*, Columbus St. Francis DeSales*, Dayton Dunbar*, Jackson, Parma Padua Franciscan*, Toledo Libbey
Moved from Division IV to III (15 schools) – Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Bellefontaine Benjamin Logan, Bethel-Tate, Cincinnati Wyoming, Dayton Oakwood, Gallipolis Gallia Academy, New Lexington, North Bend Taylor, Oak Harbor, Pataskala Licking Heights, St. Bernard Roger Bacon, Steubenville*, Waverly, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney*, Zanesville Maysville
Moved from Division II to IV (two schools) – Cincinnati Taft, Dayton Thurgood Marshall
Moved from Division III to IV (10 schools) – Cortland Lakeview, Fairview Park Fairview, Youngstown Liberty*, Chagrin Falls*, Rossford, Van Wert, Kenton, Lancaster Fairfield Union, Germantown Valley View*, Lewistown Indian Lake
Moved from Division V to IV (11 schools) – Johnstown-Monroe*, Heath, Creston Norwayne*, Andover Pymatuning Valley, Atwater Waterloo, Cleveland Central Catholic, Portsmouth West*, Reading, Waynesville*, Cincinnati Purcell Marian, Cincinnati Shroder
Moved from Division IV to V (eight schools) – Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Burton Berkshire, Hanoverton United, Coldwater*, Delta, Hamilton Badin*, Jamestown Greeneview, Cincinnati Mariemont
Moved from Division VI to V (12 schools) – Sugar Grove Berne Union, Columbus Africentric Early College, Caldwell*, New Middletown Springfield, East Canton*, Harrod Allen East, Haviland Wayne Trace, Plymouth, Mt. Blanchard Riverdale*, Manchester, Mechanicsburg*, Cincinnati Summit Country Day
Moved from Division V to VI (10 schools) – Morral Ridgedale, Bedford St. Peter Chanel, Rittman, Vienna Mathews, Sycamore Mohawk, Maria Stein Marion Local*, Toledo Ottawa Hills, Bucyrus Wynford*, New Paris National Trail, Arcanum
NOTE – Hilliard Bradley, a new school opening in 2009, will be added later once its enrollment has been determined (no later than Sept. 10).