Ohio’s high school football playoffs begin Friday, Nov. 4, starting a five-week period to determine state champions in seven divisions.
To get ready, we studied data on the 683 schools that have played in the postseason since the playoff format began in 1972.
Here are seven things to know:
A Cleveland school has won the most state titles
Cleveland St. Ignatius High School has won 11 state championships, coming in a span from 1988-2011. The included a streak of five consecutive titles from 1991-95.
The first of those five consecutive titles came with a 24-21 victory against Centerville in 1991.
Since becoming head coach in 1983, St. Ignatius legend Chuck Kyle has amazes a record of 328-84-1, and he has coached all 11 St. Ignatius state championship teams.
Moeller (nine titles) and Marion Local, Newark Catholic and Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (eight) are second and third in state championships.
A small Columbus-area school has the most playoff appearances
Newark Catholic, currently a Division VI school in suburban Columbus, has qualified for the postseason 34 times, the most of any school.
In the 43 seasons from 1973-2015, the school made the playoffs 34 times, won eight state championships, was state runner-up six other times and appeared in the state semifinals 24 times.
The school’s legendary coach who fueled much of that success, J.D. Graham, finished his career with a 220-30-1 record from 1971-91.
An area small school has been the most successful at winning in the playoffs
Marion Local has amassed a 62-10 playoff record in 18 appearances. That success rate of 86 percent ranks best in the state for any school that has played at least eight postseason games. (Fort Recovery has the same winning percentage, going 6-1 in two appearances, including a state championship in 2015.)
Beginning in 2000, Marion Local has won eight state championships, including four straight from 2011-14. It has also been a state semifinalist in 12 of those seasons.
Two schools tie for the most heart-breaking losses
Ironton and Newark Catholic tie for the most losses in state championship games, at six each.
Those losses could be even tougher for supporters to swallow, because the school has won two state championships, while Newark Catholic has the fond memories of eight titles.
Alter holds the area’s longest current playoff streak
The Knights have made the postseason in 15 straight seasons, from 2001-15. That streak has included two state championships (2008, ’09), two second-place finishes (2006, ’14) and seven semifinals.
From 2001-15, Alter went 167-29-1 and reached at least 10 wins in 12 of 15 seasons. The Knights are 8-0 heading in a Week 9 game this season.
15 teams from the region have won state championships
- Maria Stein Marion Local: 8
- 2014, 13, 12,11, 07, 06, 01, 00
- Coldwater: 6
- 2015, 14, 13, 12, 07, 05
- St. Henry: 6
- 2006, 04, 1995, 94, 92, 90
- Versailles: 6
- 2003, 1998, 95, 94, 93, 90
- Germantown Valley View: 3
- 1997, 96, 94
- Alter: 2
- 2009, 08
- Bishop Fenwick: 2
- 1974, 73
- Clinton-Massie: 2
- 2013, 12
- Minster: 2
- 2014, 1989
- Badin: 1
- Chaminade Julienne: 1
- Fort Recovery: 1
- Lebanon: 1
- Piqua: 1
- Trotwood-Madison: 1
2 teams, including one local, are trying to end the state’s biggest playoff frustrations
Covington, in Division VII, and Solon, in Division I, are both near-locks to make the playoffs.
They are also both tied for the most playoff appearances without winning a state championship, at 20. Both have appeared in one state championship game: Covington lost to Mogadore in double overtime in the 1979 Class A title game, and Solon lost to Upper Arlington in the 2000 D-I title game.
Covington is working on an 11-year playoff appearance streak, and Solon has made it in 15 of the past 17 seasons.