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Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Region changes benefit area football teams

By Bruce Monnin
With the recent announcement by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) of the new divisional and regional alignments for the 2007 and 2008 football seasons, it's time for some of us addicted fans to begin looking forward to fall pigskin season.
Before the 2005 season, it was decided that instead of modifying the regions every year, as has been done in the past, the OHSAA would only do so every other year in the future. That makes the upcoming 2007 season the first time the regions have gone two years before being adjusted, so that means there will be more changes than usual for area football squads.
It's always just a guessing game as to whether individual regions will be stronger or weaker, and we won't truly know until after the season is over. However, it's possible to see which seem to have gained or lost the most playoff teams from the previous season.

Region 6:
WBL teams: Celina and Wapakoneta
This region appears to have become somewhat easier. Two of last year's playoff teams, Tiffin Columbian and Lewis Center Olentangy, have been moved to other regions. None of the new teams added to the region qualified for the playoffs last year.

Region 10:
WBL teams: St. Marys, Defiance, Elida, Kenton, Lima Shawnee and Van Wert
Call this the Western Buckeye League region. It may also be slightly easier to qualify for the playoffs in this region this year. Last year's top computer points team, Kettering Alter, and the number-four team, Eaton, have both moved to other regions. To balance this, Tiffin Columbian, a Division II playoff team last season, has been brought into the region.

Region 14:
WBL teams: Lima Bath and Ottawa-Glandorf
Two of last year's top three teams in this region, Milton-Union and Coldwater, have been transferred to other regions. The addition of two Division V playoff teams, Marion Pleasant and Delta, does not balance the scales. It appears all three regions containing WBL teams were made somewhat softer, though not by a great deal.

Region 16:
MAC team: Coldwater
Coldwater moves south from Region 14 to Region 16, but brings the top computer-points team (Milton-Union) along with them. Considering this region has nine teams who made the playoffs last year, and that perennial Division III power Kettering Alter has been moved here, the Cavaliers were not given any favors by the OHSAA powers that reside in Columbus.

Region 20:
MAC teams: Anna, Marion Local, Parkway, St. Henry and Versailles
This is the closest thing to a MAC region. It appears to have lost its strength, as four of the top five teams in the computer-points rankings last year (Marion Pleasant, Lima Central Catholic, Allen East and Spencerville) have moved to other regions. However, four playoff teams have been moved in from other regions, including Division IV Deer Park, West Jefferson, Triad and the Division VI state champs from Marion Local.

Region 22:
MAC team: Delphos St. John's
Another region that lost five of last year's playoff teams, also gained four other playoff teams, most notably Hardin Northern and Ada, which moved north from Region 24 along with Delphos St. John's.

Region 24:
MAC teams: Fort Recovery, Minster and New Bremen
This is the traditional home of the D-VI state champion (10 of the 13 years since Division VI was created). This region appears to have been weakened more than any of the others. While none of the new teams in this region made the playoffs last year, four of the teams leaving the region were playoff teams last year (Hardin Northern, Ada, Marion Local and Triad). And just for fun, non-playoff team Delphos St. John's was also shipped north to cut down the competition level.
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