OHSAA to address adding D-I football regions

A return to four regions for the Division I high school football playoffs will be addressed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors on Wednesday. Associate Commissioner Bob Goldring confirmed that could lead to the board considering a D-I restructure as an “action item” during its follow-up monthly meeting on Thursday in Columbus.

The OHSAA expanded the football playoffs to seven divisions in 2013. Each consisted of four regions of eight teams except D-I, which was divided into two 16-team regions. That setup still took five games to determine a state champion, but the D-I alignment differed from all the other divisions except for the title game.

Realigning D-I isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are 72 schools classified as D-I in football compared to 107 on average for the other six divisions. If the OHSAA adds a couple of D-I regions and stays with eight qualifying teams per region, a disproportionate amount of D-I teams will be playoff bound. That likely would be OK with D-I programs; not so much for all others.

• The 71st Ohio North-South Classic all-star football games will be held at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium on April 30. The combined Divisions IV-VII game is at noon, followed by Divisions I-III at 4 p.m.

Playing for the South Division I-III will be Darryl McCleskey and Mikal Tolliver (Wayne), Justin Rigg and Elijah Cunningham (Springboro), Louie Wasoski (Miamisburg) and Danny Holstein (Beavercreek). On the South Divisions IV-VII are Mitch Clune and Brandon Forsthofel (Coldwater), Davey Tunon and Jake Garrison (Clinton-Massie) and Trent McIntyre (Triad).

Coldwater coach Chip Otten is the small-divisions South coach and Stebbins’ Trace Smitherman is a South large-divisions assistant. Tickets are $10 at the gate and good for both games.

• The Miami Valley Football Coaches Association “Pigskin Classic” will be held at 7 p.m. on June 10 at Centerville High School. Joel Marratta of Kenton Ridge is the North head coach and Dion Black of Miamisburg the South head coach. Rosters have not been released.

• Beavercreek lost one of its finest last week with the passing of former athletic director Bevan Garwood to cancer at age 69. He was a beloved high school history and government teacher, tennis and football coach. He started at the school in 1969 and was Beavercreek’s AD from ’83 until his retirement in 2000.

A 1965 Xenia graduate, Bevan was a first team All-Ohio middle guard and played on the 1964 Buccaneers team that won a Western Ohio League championship. He also is enshrined in both schools’ athletic halls of fame.

• MVP Jarron Cumberland (Wilmington) hit four free throws in the closing seconds and scored a team-high 15 points in leading Ohio to a 94-92 defeat of Kentucky in a basketball all-star series at Thomas More College at Crestview Hills, Ky., on Sunday. Trey Landers (Wayne) added 13 points for Ohio and Warriors teammate Rockrick Caldwell two points.

Ohio made it a sweep, also winning the girls game 76-71.

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