West Jeff, Plains swap divisions in OHSAA football


West Jefferson head football coach Shawn Buescher will see a different group of teams if his team happens to make the state playoffs this fall. The Roughriders are moving down from Division V to D-VI.

COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the football divisions, playoff regions, statewide composite schedules and additional information for the 714 schools that will compete this fall around Ohio.

High school football practice begins Aug. 1 and regular-season games begin the week of Aug. 24. The regular-season ends Saturday, Oct. 31, with 224 playoff spots — 32 in each of seven divisions — awarded on Sunday, Nov. 1.

The state championships will return to Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Dec. 3, Dec. 4 and Dec. 5.

During the playoffs, Divisions II, III, V and VII will play on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. Divisions I, IV and VI will play on Saturdays at 7 p.m. Playoff pairings and game sites are announced each Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The higher seeded teams host first‐round games. The OHSAA selects neutral sites for the second, third and fourth rounds. The state championships return to Ohio Stadium in Columbus Dec. 3, Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. Of the divisions that play their playoff games on Friday night, one division will play its state championships game on Thursday, Dec. 3. The other three divisions will play on Friday, Dec. 4. The three divisions that play their playoff games on Saturdays will play their state championship games on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Two of the four Madison County schools stayed in the same division they were in a year ago. Jonathan Alder and London will both be back in Division IV. Madison-Plains on the other hand moves from Division VI up to D-V, while West Jefferson goes from D-V down to D-VI.

For a team like West Jefferson who has been a yearly state playoff contender over the past decade, changing divisions and changing regions could have a major effect, but coach Shawn Buescher isn’t going to take anything for granted.

“We’re obviously aware of the change, but we haven’t addressed it with our players,” he said. “We can’t really focus on it right now, we’re concentrating on conditioning and getting ready for the season. We can’t assume that we will be there in Week 11.”

The move from D-V to D-VI could mean a whole new group of potential playoff teams other teams in D-VI, Region 21 include Bishop Ready, Columbus Academy, Grandview, Galion, Cardington-Lincoln, Frankfort Adena, Paint Valley and Lucasville Valley.

“Looking at the numbers we felt there was a good chance we’d drop a division,” Buescher said. “If we’re lucky enough to make it to Week 11, we may get a chance to see some new teams and go some places we haven’t been.”

Madison-Plains enters this upcoming season with playoff dreams, but the move up to D-V means it will now be in the same region as the Cincinnati-area schools like Madeira, North College Hill and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. Another team in that region is Plains’ Week 2 opponent Jamestown Greeneview.

Jonathan Alder,

Division IV

Aug. 28 — Marysville at Jonathan Alder

Sept. 3 — West Jefferson at Jonathan Alder

Sept. 11 — Jonathan Alder at Amanda-Clearcreek

Sept. 18 — Jonathan Alder at Pleasant

Sept. 25 — Galion at Jonathan Alder

Oct. 2 — Jonathan Alder at Buckeye Valley

Oct. 9 — Marion-Harding at Jonathan Alder

Oct. 16 — Jonathan Alder at North Union

Oct. 23 — River Valley at Jonathan Alder

Oct. 30 — Fairbanks at Jonathan Alder

London,

Division IV

Aug. 28 — London at Urbana

Sept. 4 — Greenon at London

Sept. 11 — London at Bishop Ready

Sept. 18 — Madison-Plains at London

Sept. 25 — Grandview at London

Oct. 2 — London at Worthington Christian

Oct. 9 — London at Whitehall

Oct. 16 — Bexley at London

Oct. 23 — London at West Jefferson

Oct. 30 — Columbus Academy at London

Madison-Plains,

Division V

(was Division VI in 2014)

Aug. 28 — Madison-Plains at Cedarville

Sept. 4 — Greeneview at Madison-Plains

Sept. 11 — Southeastern at Madison-Plains

Sept. 18 — Madison-Plains at London

Sept. 25 — Madison-Plains at Harvest Prep

Oct. 2 — Bexley at Madison-Plains

Oct. 9 — Madison-Plains at Columbus Academy

Oct. 16 — Grandview at Madison-Plains

Oct. 23 — Madison-Plains at Whitehall

Oct. 30 — West Jefferson at Madison-Plains

West Jefferson,

Division VI

(was Division V in 2014)

Aug. 28 — West Jefferson at Mechanicsburg

Sept. 3 — West Jefferson at Jonathan Alder

Sept. 11 — Jackson at West Jefferson

Sept. 18 — Fairfield Christian Academy at West Jefferson

Sept. 25 — West Jefferson at Bexley

Oct. 2 — Columbus Academy at West Jefferson

Oct. 9 — West Jefferson at Grandview

Oct. 16 — Whitehall at West Jefferson

Oct. 23 — London at West Jefferson

Oct. 30 — West Jefferson at Madison-Plains

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