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High school football: OHSAA releases divisions and regions for football

The News-Herald logo The News-Herald 6/13/2022 John Kampf, The News-Herald, Willoughby, Ohio

Jun. 13—The two-time defending Division III state champion Chardon Hilltoppers might have a steeper hill to climb this fall.

The OHSAA released divisions and regions for its football teams for this coming fall on June 13. There were some notable changes, such as Benedictine and Madison dropping from Division II to Division III and Kirtland dropping from Division V to Division VI. But the big eye-opener to many is the landmine-laced path that will face teams in Division III, Region 9.

For instance, not only is Chardon — with its 28-game winning streak — in Region 9, but Benedictine has moved in and Villa Angela-St. Joseph, with a deep, loaded roster, has moved up from Division IV, Region 13.

"The region remains tough, if you can survive it," Chardon coach Mitch Hewitt said. "I was surprised Benny wasn't in Region 10, which seems to be the weakest region every year.

"We lost St. Vincent-St. Mary (which moved up to Division II, but gained Benny. We lost Dover, but got St. Joe's. What it's going to take to get out of there (and to the state final four) remains tough."

Kenston coach Jeff Grubich agreed. His Bombers are in the loaded Region 9 as well.

"In my opinion, it's the toughest region in the state," he said. "You have so many perennial powers in there, like two-time champion Chardon, Benedictine, Aurora ... all the programs who do things the right way with coaches who take pride in what they do. It's gonna be a meatgrinder again, man."

Here's a look at each region and how things unfold for each News-Herald area team.

—In Division I, Region 1, Mentor and Euclid remain the only area teams.

—Five area teams will be in Division II, Region 5: Brush, Mayfield, North, Riverside and South.

This region spans from biggest (605 Westerville South) to smallest (376 Akron SVSM). Riverside (584) was relatively close to moving up to Division I, missing that cutoff by 21 boys.

—Division III, Region 9 by far encompasses the most area schools: Benedictine, Chardon, Geneva, Gilmour, Harvey, Hawken, Kenston, Madison, NDCL, University, VASJ and West Geauga.

This division spans from biggest (375 Chillicothe) to smallest (270 Jonathan Alder). Chardon (374) is only two boys away from being in Division II. Only Chillicothe and Monroe (375 each) have a larger enrollment than that of Chardon.

In dropping down from Division II, Madison (330) is comfortably in Division III.

VASJ (272) is only two boys away from being Division IV, but the Vikings' competitive balance number of 75 pushed them up a division this year and into Division III.

—Lake Catholic is the only area team in Division IV, Region 13. This region spans from largest (Indian Valley's 269) to smallest (Warrensville Heights' 202). Lake is only 16 boys from being in Division V.

—Perry is the big name to drop from Division IV to Division V, joining other area schools Beachwood, Berkshire, Chagrin Falls and Wickliffe in Region 17.

This region spans from largest (201 Ironton) to Wickliffe's 154. Perry at 182 is not real close to the Division IV home they've had in recent years.

—Kirtland will make a run at another state championship this year — this time in Division VI, Region 21.

This region goes from largest (153 Columbiana) to smallest (113 Patrick Henry. Cardinal and Kirtland are the only two area teams here.

Kirtland (137) is comfortably in this division after being up in Division V last year with an enrollment number of 166. Once again, Kirtland's competitive balance number is 0, meaning no players from outside the school district are on the roster. Kirtland does not have open enrollment.

—Fairport is the area's only Division VII team.

(c)2022 The News-Herald (Willoughby, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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