This is what the Ohio High School Athletic Association had in mind when it expanded high school football to seven divisions and 28 regions. As grand as the postseason can be, it’s just as fun making the journey.
Here’s what we think we know – courtesy of joeeitel.com – heading into Friday’s Week 10 regular season-finale games.
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• Who’s in the playoffs: Springfield and Northmont (D-I, Region 3), Troy (D-II, Region 8), Bellbrook (D-III, Region 11), Alter, Fenwick, Butler (D-III, Region 12), Clinton-Massie (D-IV, Region 16), Anna (D-V, Region 18), Madison, (D-V, Region 20), Marion Local, Mechanicsburg, Coldwater and St. Henry (D-VI, Region 24) and Fort Loramie, Ansonia, Minster and Lehman Catholic (D-VII, Region 28).
• Who must win Week 10 games to make the playoffs: Fairmont and Miamisburg (D-I, Region 3), Chaminade Julienne and Trotwood-Madison (D-III, Region 12), Springfield Shawnee (D-IV, Region 16), Greeneview (D-V, Region 20) and New Bremen (D-VII, Region 28).
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• Who must win Week 10 games and get help in a combination of other results: Wayne (D-I, Region 3), Lebanon (D-I, Region 4), Bellefontaine (D-III, Region 11), Piqua and Carroll (D-III, Region 12), Northwestern, Valley View and Kenton Ridge (D-IV, Region 16), Miami East (D-V, Region 18), Waynesville (D-V, Region 20), Covington, Troy Christian, Tri-County North and West Liberty-Salem (D-VI, Region 24).
The OHSAA will release first-round playoff pairings on Sunday. Most teams will know their fates on Friday night, although some Saturday games could affect computer point standings.
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The top eight teams in each region qualify for the playoffs and top four teams in reach region will host first-round games. The playoffs shift to neutral sites in the following week’s region semifinals.
With so much on the line for so many teams, Friday’s Week 10 games have all the built-in drama of playoff games. As a bonus, many area teams that are lumped together in regions could face each other in first-round rematches.
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That’s what happened between Alter and Chaminade Julienne last season in D-III, Region 12. This time it’s Alter (9-1) hosting CJ (7-2) at Fairmont on Friday.
Friday also are the final games in the Greater Western Ohio Conference for at least 10 teams: Butler, Fairborn, Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Stebbins, Tippecanoe, Troy, West Carrollton and Xenia. Those teams will split off next season in reviving the Miami Valley League.
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