Making sense of the divisional realignments


Sylvania Southview and Cincinnati Anderson played for the D-II state title last year but both will play in D-I in 2009 and 2010

The Ohio High School Athletic Association released the
revised divisional breakdowns Thursday and it resulted in 117 schools of the
718 with football programs changing divisions.

The following is a look at the the big-name programs that are on the move and a breakdown of the winners and losers.

Since the final whistle blew on the 2008 football season,
coaches, fans and players alike have waited with baited breath for the
bi-annual division realignments to be announced.

The wait is over.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association released the
revised divisional breakdowns on May 7 and it resulted in 117 schools of the
718 with football programs changing divisions.

As is the case every time the OHSAA reassigns schools to
other divisions, some big-time programs get shifted around, setting up
potentially for some interesting playoff match ups.

What’s more, four teams that advanced to 2008 state
championship games will be playing in different divisions.

Playing With The Big

Sylvania Southview defeated 2007 state champion Cincinnati
Anderson 29-25 in the D- II title game last season. For the next two years,
both schools will be competing in the senior circuit in D- I.

Anderson moves into Region 4
with the likes of Cincinnati powerhouses St.
Xavier, Moeller, Elder, Colerain, Lakota West, Princeton, Middletown and others. With possible playoff
match ups against the big-school Queen
City powers, the road back to Stark County
just got a lot rockier for Anderson.

For Southview, the Cougars move up to Region 2 with
perennial playoff contenders Brunswick,
Twinsburg, Massillon Washington, Canton McKinley and North Canton

A couple of other schools of note moving up from D-II to D-I
includes playoff regulars Mayfield, Powell Olentangy Liberty and Cincinnati

‘Bear’–ing Down

The most notable school moving from D-I to D-II is Columbus
Brookhaven. The Bearcats won the D-II state title in 2004 and have been in the
big-school division since. Brookhaven qualified for the playoffs three of the
four years it was in D-I but lost in the first round each time.

Akron Garfield is another school of note dropping from D-I
to D-II.


More schools (17) move from D-III to D-II than any other
shift, including defending champ Aurora.

Joining the Greenmen not only in D-II but also in Region 5
includes playoff mainstays Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, Mentor Lake Catholic
and Ravenna, making the region one of the
strongest in D-II with Canfield, Warren Howland, Copley, Tallmadge and Medina Highland all in the mix.

D-III state runner-up from 2007 and a state semifinalist
last season, Sunbury Big Walnut makes the jump up as well. Canton South and New Philadelphia join the Golden Eagles in a Region 7 that
now includes Brookhaven, Columbus Independence, Columbus St. Charles, Dublin
Jerome, Dublin Scioto and New Albany.

Rivalry Continued

Bitter rivals Columbus DeSales and Columbus Watterson both
drop from D-II to D-III. DeSales defeated Watterson 20-17 in the first round of
the Region 7 the playoffs last year ending the Eagles season.

With both schools in Region 10 now, the chance for the
rivalry to continue in the postseason is still alive.

Strongest Region In
Division III?

Look no further than Region 9.

The Region has traditionally been strong but it will be stronger
than it ever has for the next two seasons.

Akron Hoban and Parma Padua Franciscan drop from D-II to
join the region and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
move up from D-IV. The four private schools join Cleveland Benedictine, Akron
Buchtel, Beloit West Branch, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin and Hunting Valley
University School

making Region 9 a postseason buzz saw.

Roll, Red, Roll

D-IV state runner-up a year ago, Steubenville returns to D-III after two
seasons. The Big Red enters Region 11 and the road to the state tournament is
not the hardest Steubenville
has ever seen. Dover could stand in the way as
well as New Concord John Glenn, Newark
Licking Valley

and Thornville Sheridan.

won D-III state titles in 2005 and 2006.


Conference Foes

Southwest Buckeye League contenders Bellbrook and Dayton
Oakwood both move into D-III, Region 12 setting up a potential postseason match
up between the conference foes. Bellbrook drops from D-II and Oakwood moves up
from D-IV.

Also moving into Region 12 from Division II is Dayton Dunbar
– a playoff team from a year ago.


Two schools make a rare two-division shift:
Cincinnati Taft and Dayton Thurgood Marshall drop from D-II to D-IV.


Cortland Lakeview, Youngstown Liberty and Chagrin Falls
drop from D-III to D-IV, Region 13. With Akron Manchester, Canton Central
Catholic, Martins Ferry, Massillon Tuslaw, Perry
and St. Clairsville already in the mix, Region
13 will be tough to get out of the next two years.


Making the least amount of noise are the schools moving up
to D-IV from D-V. Of the 11 schools shifting, only four made the playoffs last
year, including Johnstown-Monroe, Creston Norwayne, Portsmouth West and


Coldwater, the Midwest Athletic Conference power, 2007 D-IV
state champion and regional finalist last year, moves down to D-V, Region 20.
The Cavs join fellow MAC teams Anna, St. Henry and Versailles, setting up the potential for some
rivalry playoff games.

Hamilton Badin is the only other playoff team from last year
of the eight moving from D-IV to D-V.


D-IV state champ Kettering Alter didn’t change divisions but its road to
repeat got a lot easier with Mooney, Stebenville  and Coldwater all out of the way.

*Yawn* Part 2

Four playoff teams from last year highlight the 12 moving
from D-IV to D-V including Caldwell, East Canton, Mt. Blanchard Riverdale and

Speaking Of The MAC

Maria Stein Marion Local, which won the 2007 D-IV state
title a year after winning the D-VI title, moves back down to the small-school

The Flyers lost to state runner-up Findlay Liberty-Benton in
the state semifinals last season.

Perennial playoff contender Bucyrus Wynford joins Marion
Local in the drop to D-VI.

New Kids On The Block

The Hilliard school district in opening a new school,
Bradley, in the fall and it will be added once enrollment is determined.

My Take

All told, there are obvious winners and losers with the
divisional realignment based on the situation they are coming off from the last
two seasons and here is how I would sort it all out:

Winners: Akron Garfield, Bedford, Columbus Brookhaven, Walsh
Jesuit, Mentor Lake Catholic, New Philadelphia, Ravenna, Akron Buchtel, Alliance,
Celina, Columbus DeSales, Columbus Watterson, Dayton Dunbar, Padua Franciscan,
Oak Harbor, Pataskala Licking Heights, Steubenville, Cincinnati Taft, Dayton
Thurgood Marshall, Cortland Lakeview, Youngstown Liberty, Chagrin Falls, Johnstown-Monroe, Waynesville, Purcell Marian,
Cleveland Villa Angela St-Joseph, Coldwater, Delta, Hamilton Badin, Maria Stein
Marion Local and Bucyrus Wynford. 

Losers: Cincinnati Anderson, Sylvania Southview, Columbus
Northland, Mayfield, Olentangy Liberty, Aurora, Avon, Germantown Valley View, Canal Winchester, Canton
South, Norwalk, Sunbury Big Walnut, Akron Hoban, Akron SVSM, Dayton Oakwood,
New Lexington, Waverly, Youngstown Mooney, Cleveland Central Catholic, Columbus
Africentric, Akron Manchester and Mechanicsburg.


*     *     *


Click here for a complete list of the schools that changed diivision and regional breakdowns



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *