OHSAA unveils fall sports divisions

Sports Editor

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association unveiled the rest of the fall sports tournament divisions Wednesday after approval by OHSAA Board of Governors and the Wapakoneta Redskins moved down a division in football and moved up a division in girls cross country.

The divisions will apply to OHSAA postseason tournament competition for the next two school years, starting with the 2013-14 school year.

The OHSAA announced new divisions and regions for football June 13.

In football, Wapakoneta will compete in Division III for the next two seasons, moving from Division II, while Waynesfield-Goshen will participate in the new Division VII.

“Going to seven divisions will allow more teams to make the playoffs, so the opportunity to make the playoffs will be better for us,” Wapakoneta City Schools Athletic Director Brad Rex said. “We were one of two Division II schools in the WBL and now we’re one of seven Division III schools.”

Wapakoneta is now in the same division as Auglaize County rival St. Marys Memorial Roughriders as well as other Western Buckeye League teams including the Elida Bulldogs and Shawnee Indians in Allen County, the Celina Bulldogs in Mercer County and the Defiance Bulldogs in Defiance County.

The Bath Wildcats and the Kenton Wildcats remained in Division IV.

Other WBL schools changing divisions included the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans and the Van Wert Cougars each moving down from Division IV to V.

Rex pointed out that by falling back one division, WBL opponents won’t be able to earn as many computer points against Wapak.

A perennial host of neutral site playoff games, Wapak’s Harmon Field will have the opportunity to host even more playoff games with one more than tournament division than usual.

Rex commented on the impact of the added seventh division from the standpoint of hosting tournament games.

“We think we’ll get as many or more tournament games at our facility,” Rex said. “That will help us as well. There will be a lot of Division V, VI and VII schools in our area.”

Waynesfield-Goshen moved down to the smallest division but will see some familiar teams from the Northwest Central Conference including the Perry Commodores in Allen County and the Ridgemont Golden Gophers and the Upper Scioto Valley Rams in Hardin County.

So now W-G is in the same division as routine state powers Delphos St. John’s and Marion Local.

The OHSAA approved a seventh football division in April 2012.

Now, the largest 72 schools in Ohio are in Division I, while the remaining schools are divided as equally as possible among the other six divisions.

With Division I as an exception, each of the seven divisions have been divided into four regions, though the regions have not been named. Division I will be divided into two 16-team regions.

Wapak will be in Division I for girls tennis, boys and girls golf and boys and girls cross country and in Division II for boys and girls soccer and volleyball. 

Wapak’s girls cross country team moved up from Division II.

Rex provided his thoughts on Wapak’s girls cross country team joining the school’s boys team in Division I.

“Competitively, Division I is probably not where we want to be but we’re happy they’ve combined enrollments,” he said.

In January, the OHSAA board approved a recommendation to combine schools’ boys and girls enrollment numbers, divide the total in half and assign tournament divisions for cross country based on that total. The change will now ensure that boys and girls teams from each school are in the same division and region.

“We have had one coach for both teams, so when it came down to tournament time, we had one coach running between two different sites,” Rex said. “This is a good thing. We’ll be able to coach our athletes. It’ll be probably be tougher to compete though.”

W-G will compete in Division III for boys golf and boys and girls cross country and in Division IV for volleyball.

Botkins will be Division II in girls golf and in Division III in boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country and boys golf.

Divisions are based on enrollment numbers submitted by OHSAA member schools to the association. Enrollment numbers are calculated every two years.

Enrollment numbers for the next two school years were also approved by the board recently and were submitted to the OHSAA by member schools in October 2012, when Wapakoneta’s enrollment was 343 boys and 332 girls; W-G’s was 73 boys and 78 girls; and Botkins 75 boys and 68 girls.