Not only are the Logan Chieftains remaining in Division II in football, but Logan High School’s basketball, volleyball and soccer teams are all staying right where they are — in Division I — for the next post-season playoff cycle as well.
In other words, it’s “same-old, same-old” for the Purple & White.
According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, which in recent weeks has released adjusted enrollment figures for fall and winter sports, male and female enrollments of its member schools are used to determine OHSAA governance classifications (Class AAA, Class AA and Class A) and post-season tournament divisions for each sport.
Enrollment figures are based on the number of students in grades nine, 10 and 11 as of October 2018 as provided by the Ohio Department of Education through its Education Management Information System (EMIS) and are used to determine OHSAA tournament divisions for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years in conjunction with the OHSAA’s competitive balance formula.
Even though there’s been a substantial decline in Logan’s base numbers, it’s not nearly enough to drop the Chiefs and Lady Chiefs into the promised land of Division II.
Instead, it simply makes Logan an even-smaller school in Division I, in which the Chiefs and Lady Chiefs struggle to compete.
The only reason Logan is in Division II in football is because there are seven playoff divisions in that sport and not everyone qualifies for the post-season. There are no more than four tournament divisions in all other OHSAA sports.
For many other schools, a substantial decline in base enrollment numbers would be enough to drop a school down a division in most sports. Not so for Chieftain Nation.
Since the OHSAA has yet to add so-called “super divisions” for sports other than football — though sources say that is under consideration — Logan remains stuck in unfair playoff divisions with schools two to three times its size.
Logan’s boys base enrollment number (450) has dropped a full 10 percent, down significantly from the previous figure of 500, while the base number for the girls (445) marks a 10.8 percent drop from the most-recent figure of 499.
And, according to OHSAA numbers, Logan isn’t really anywhere close to the Division II cutoff line in volleyball, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys basketball or girls basketball.
It would take the addition of at least one more playoff division in those sports to put Logan into a revamped Division II if the OHSAA would eventually follow its “super division” football format where it placed the state’s 72 largest schools in Division I.
Not counting adjustments for competitive balance, Cincinnati Elder (570 boys) is the smallest of the 72 football-playing schools in Division I… and even that is a huge difference when compared to Mason (1,299 boys), the state’s largest school.
And, out of those 72 DI football schools, 23 are from the nearby Central District.
Enrollment-wise, the Logan boys are ranked 140th out of 197 Division I teams in basketball and No. 137 out of 192 in soccer. The girls are No. 125 out of 199 in basketball, 124th out of 195 in volleyball, and No. 117 out of 184 in girls soccer.
If the OHSAA were to place as much as the state’s 100 most-populous schools in a “super division” for basketball, soccer and volleyball (as well as in baseball and softball, for which figures will be announced this winter), Logan would more than likely drop into a new Division II. But that appears to be several years from becoming reality, if ever.
For now, Logan — with 895 combined students, not counting competitive balance adjustments — is stuck in the same post-season division with schools such as Mason (1,299 boys and 1,348 girls for a total of 2,647 students) and Fairfield (1,237-1,197—2,434) on the state level and, in the Central District, with Reynoldsburg (930-807—1,737) and Gahanna (893-843—1,736), to name a few.
Needless to say, there is no other division in any other OHSAA sport with such a huge — and, again, unfair — discrepancy.
More tough numbers: While things are bad enough for Logan, the enrollment numbers are also tough for a couple of Logan’s former Southeastern Ohio Athletic League rivals.
Marietta is the final DI team in girls soccer, ranked No. 184 out of 184 schools, as well as being 195th out of 199 in girls basketball, five girls above the 334 cutoff line. And Zanesville is No. 191 out of 192 schools in DI boys soccer and was bumped one student above the 357 cutoff due to EMIS numbers.
Basketball changes: Having hosted several Division II boys and girls basketball sectional tournaments over the years — not to mention several teams involved being former SEOAL and non-conference rivals of the Chiefs and Lady Chiefs — there’s always local interest in Division II as well.
But, in the Southeast District, there aren’t many changes from last year.
On the boys side, Athens, Circleville, Fairfield Union, Logan Elm, Marietta, New Lexington, Sheridan, Vinton County and Warren (from the Logan sectional) and Gallia Academy, Hillsboro, Jackson, Greenfield McClain, Miami Trace, River Valley, Unioto, Washington C.H. and Waverly (from the Ross Southeastern sectional) all remain in Division II.
The only changes are that Westfall (Logan sectional) and Zane Trace (Southeastern sectional) will drop to Division III this winter, meaning returning teams should remain in their respective sectionals while eliminating the No. 7-seed vs. No. 10-seed game at both sites.
Chillicothe, which slides back and forth between DI and DII, will again join Logan in the Central District for Division I competition.
On the girls side, all 18 SE District schools who were Division II last season — Chillicothe, Miami Trace, Athens, Hillsboro, Warren, Jackson, Logan Elm, Sheridan, Unioto, Circleville, Washington C.H., Vinton County, Gallia Academy, Fairfield Union, Waverly, Greenfield McClain, Meigs and River Valley — will remain in DII.
After doing so for many years, Logan did not host a SE District Division II girls sectional last season due to a conflict of dates during that tournament’s time frame.