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Most area prep football teams move down a division

It was moving day on Thursday for many area high school football teams.

Among the proposals that the Ohio High School Athletic Association board of directors approved during their monthly meeting was the division each varsity football program is assigned this coming season.

What made this different from all other years is the addition of a seventh division. Based on boys enrollment only, the state’s largest 72 schools make up Division I. That includes Centerville, Wayne, Springfield, Hamilton and Middletown. All those teams have been D-I.

The rest of the six divisions have been divvied into 106 schools each. Of the schools that switched divisions from the last two seasons, most went down a division. Triad of the Ohio Heritage Conference and Cross County Conference member Covington dropped two divisions, from D-V to D-VII.

Ponitz Tech of the Dayton City League (D-III) was the only area program to bump up a division.

Some things stood out:

  • Butler County is home to four of the state’s largest D-I schools: Fairfield (1,229), Lakota East (1,165), Lakota West (1,046) and Hamilton (1,021).
  • The boys enrollment disparity among the smaller D-I schools ranges from No. 1 Mason (1,266) to No. 72 Hilliard Darby (609). However, the enrollment gap among D-II schools is 201. It’s less than half that among the new D-VII teams.
  • Trotwood-Madison has appeared in three straight D-II state title games and won the 2011 championship. But the Rams will be aiming for a D-III title this fall.


Trotwood will be lumped with Thurgood Marshall of the City League, Tippecanoe of the Central Buckeye Conference and Franklin of the Southwestern Buckeye League. Thurgood advanced to the D-III state semifinals last season.

  • Alter, also a perennial playoff participant, dropped to D-IV. Defending D-IV state champ Clinton-Massie stayed put, as did Fenwick.
  • Milton-Union, Chaminade Julienne and Brookville all dropped to D-V.


Also approved was the playoff format. Divisions II, III, IV and VI will play at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays. Divisions I, V and VII will go at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.


What wasn’t decided was the order or times for state title games at Canton and Massillon. That will be determined by pairings following the state semifinals.

Also, one title game will be played on Thursday, Dec. 5. Three more will be on Friday, Dec. 6 and the final three on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Most teams will begin practice on Monday, Aug. 5. Schools in which classes begin on Aug. 16 or earlier can begin practicing on Aug. 1.

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