COLUMBUS — Logan has a new regional home and several new post-season football playmates.
The Chieftains, who are entrenched in Division II of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s post-season party, have been shifted to Region 8 for the upcoming season.
While the move away from Region 7 — where Logan had been included with predominantly Columbus-area teams for a number of years — isn’t quite as drastic as it might seem, the new region does include a couple of the state’s D2 powerhouses.
The Chieftains are lumped in with a number of schools from the always-strong Southwest District and several Columbus area Central District D2 schools are going with them. In all, 11 of the region’s 27 teams are located basically from I-70 in Franklin County to the south and west.
The OHSAA recently released adjusted enrollment numbers for football and what schools were in which of the state’s seven playoff divisions. Specific regions were announced Thursday.
Football is the only OHSAA sport in which Ohio prep teams do not automatically qualify for the post-season, as a little less than a third of the state’s football-playing schools reach the playoffs. Divisions and regions are readjusted yearly to include numbers using the competitive balance criteria.
Ironically, the Chiefs hook up with the only two Division II foes on their 2019 schedule — Chillicothe and Teays Valley — who had already been in Region 8 the past few seasons.
Logan, which will be without a league for a third-straight season, could play a sort of de facto league with those two schools.
Chillicothe plays at Teays Valley in week one; Teays Valley visits Logan in week 2, and the Chieftains travel to Ross County to face the Cavaliers in week 5 for a complete round-robin schedule in which each team has one home game and one road contest. Call it the “Region 8 League” if you will.
Also shifting to Region 8 are Columbus Briggs, DeSales, St. Charles, West and Walnut Ridge as well as Canal Winchester, Franklin Heights and Whitehall.
Next season, the Chiefs will travel to St. Charles to replace Zanesville in the week-seven slot. It will be the first-ever football meeting between the two schools, who have squared off in boys basketball on a nearly-annual basis over the past dozen years.
The Southwest-area schools who comprise the majority of teams in Region 8 are Cincinnati Anderson, LaSalle, Turpin, Winton Woods and Withrow as well as Trenton Edgewood, Fairborn, Harrison, Kings Mills Kings, Morrow Little Miami, Loveland, Riverside Stebbins, Oxford Talawanda, New Carlisle Tecumseh, West Carrollton and Xenia.
Region 8 has been dominated by Winton Woods and LaSalle since the OHSAA made its last major adjustment to the playoff format prior to the 2016 season.
While the OHSAA added a seventh division in 2013, Division I only consisted of two regions until 2016, when it was broken up into four regions in order that all seven playoff divisions would include four regions.
Winton Woods has been the Region 8 champion each of the last two seasons and was state runner-up in 2017. LaSalle not only won the region in 2016 but then went on to claim the state D2 title.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, last made the playoffs in 2009, winning opening-round games in both 2008 and 2009 before losing in regional semifinal contests. They are coming off a 1-9 season in 2018.
Logan’s former playoff home, Region 7, now consists predominantly of schools basically north and west of I-70 all the way up to Toledo.
Central District D2 teams in Region 7 are Big Walnut, Dublin Scioto, Licking Heights, Marion Harding, Columbus Mifflin, Mount Vernon, Columbus Northland, Olentangy, Olentangy Berlin, Watkins Memorial, Westerville South, Columbus Whetstone and Worthington Kilbourne.
Region 7 will definitely have a new champion because Massillon Washington, which went all the way to the Division II finals, has been shifted back to its natural regional home (DII Region 5) among schools in the northeast sector of the state.
Playoff regions for Logan opponents and other schools of interest are as follows. Logan opponents in 2019 and 2020 are denoted with an asterisk(*):
Division I Region 2: Dublin Coffman, Dublin Jerome, Hilliard Bradley.
Division I Region 3: Central Crossing, Gahanna, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson, Lancaster, New Albany, Olentangy Liberty, Olentangy Orange, Pickerington Central, Pickerington North, Reynoldsburg, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington, Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westland.
Division II Region 7: Big Walnut, Dublin Scioto, Fremont Ross, Licking Heights, Lima Senior, Marion Harding, Columbus Mifflin, Mount Vernon, Columbus Northland, Olentangy, Olentangy Berlin, Watkins Memorial, Westerville South, Columbus Whetstone, Worthington Kilbourne.
Division II Region 8: LOGAN, Cincinnati Anderson, Columbus Briggs, Canal Winchester, Chillicothe*, Trenton Edgewood, Fairborn, Franklin Heights, Harrison, Kings Mills Kings, Cincinnati LaSalle, Morrow Little Miami, Loveland, Columbus St. Charles*, Columbus DeSales, Riverside Stebbins, Oxford Talawanda, Teays Valley*, New Carlisle Tecumseh, Cincinnati Turpin, Columbus Walnut Ridge, Columbus West, West Carrollton, Whitehall, Cincinnati Winton Woods, Cincinnati Withrow, Xenia.
Division III Region 9: Dover, Louisville, New Philadelphia, Steubenville.
Division III Region 11: Athens*, Bexley, Columbus Hartley, Columbus Watterson, Granville, Hamilton Township*, Jackson*, Jonathan Alder, Marietta* (OHSAA Jamboree opponent), Miami Trace, Sheridan*, Tri-Valley*, Unioto, Warren*, Zanesville*.
Division IV Region 15: Bloom-Carroll, Cambridge, Circleville, Fairfield Union, Gallia Academy, Heath, John Glenn, Hebron Lakewood, Licking Valley, Logan Elm, Maysville*, Meadowbrook, New Lexington, Philo, River View, St. Clairsville, Vinton County, Waverly.
Division IV Region 16: Hillsboro, Greenfield McClain, Washington C.H.
Division V Region 19: Alexander, Amanda-Clearcreek, Columbus Ready, Chesapeake, Coshocton, Fairland, Ironton, Johnstown-Monroe, Liberty Union, Meigs*, Minford, Morgan, Oak Hill, Piketon, Portsmouth, Portsmouth West, River Valley, Rock Hill, South Point, Wellston, West Muskingum, Westfall, Wheelersburg, Zane Trace.
Division VI Region 21: Belpre, Crooksville, Federal Hocking, Fort Frye, Nelsonville-York, Trimble.
Division VI Region 24: Adena, Columbus Africentric, Coal Grove, Grandview Heights, Chillicothe Huntington, Chillicothe Southeastern, Lucasville Valley.
Division VII Region 27: Berne Union, Caldwell, Beaver Eastern, Reedsville (Meigs) Eastern, Fairfield Christian Academy, Lancaster Fisher Catholic, Harvest Prep, Miller, Millersport, Newark Catholic, Shadyside, South Gallia, Racine (Meigs) Southern, Waterford, Zanesville Rosecrans.